EWU students and organizations join together for Unity Day


Kaisa Siipola for The Easterner

Josiah Martinez, ASEWU Diversity Outreach Council representative, planned and organized the Unity Day event. Clubs and organizations from around campus participated in Unity Day.

By Kaisa Siipola, Reporter

Students and faculty gathered around the campus mall on Nov. 8 for a Unity Day event organized by Josiah Martinez, ASEWU Diversity Outreach Council representative to give underrepresented groups a chance to address the issues they experience on campus.

Departments and organizations involved in the event included the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Black Student Union, Chicana/o Studies Program, Africana Studies Program, EWU Disability Culture Club, EWU Scary Feminists, MEChA and Disability Support Services.

Students and faculty shared their thoughts on the significance of representing their organizations on Unity Day.

“Scary Feminists being out here and tabling is showing a lot of activism,” EWU Scary Feminists Cultural Diversity coordinator Jen Contreras  said. “We are trying to educate people on what feminism actually is and how intersectional it is, yeah so we are happy to be out here.”

“For me today on Unity Day, yes, [I’m] here standing for BSU because I am the events coordinator, and of course I want people to know Black Student Union, Black Lives Matter and all that stuff,” BSU events coordinator Gracia Alzoubeir said. “But it’s Unity Day, so it’s like we are standing out here for not just BSU, but we are standing out here for MEChA, NASA, Africana, Chicana/o […] it’s about being together as a campus and a family.”

“Having [the] MEChA table at Unity Day is really important to me because that’s kind of [what] we are standing for this year and actually every year, is kind of having unity between different cultures and different people,” secretary of MECHA Antonia Romero said. “So we are kind of trying to empower everyone.”

At noon, three speeches included two student speakers, Gracia Alzoubeir and Kathryn Gauna, and guest speaker Levi Horn, a Native advocate from Spokane.

Alzoubeir encourages students and faculty to listen and educate themselves on the multicultural clubs here on campus.

“Eastern’s multicultural clubs and organizations gives students of color a platform like today’s to express the issues that their people face,” Alzoubeir said. “But in order to really take care of minorities’ needs we must ask what they been through, what they’re going through and what they fear is to come.”

Gauna is grateful for the various forms of diversity on campus and how EWU embraces diversity to not just herself, but to other students as well.

“Diversity is also important to me just because it makes students better global citizens, and makes them more open minded to others and what their situations may be,” Gauna said.

Martinez has other events he plans to execute throughout the school year. Martinez intends to execute another Unity Day event when the PUB returns.

“I’m going to host it in the new cafeteria area in there so that we have a larger space and might have performers there, so it’s TBD,”  Martinez said. “If the PUB is not open in time, we will be in the library.”