Diversity fair celebrates differences

A student signs up for the Special Olympics club.

Cassidy Maier
Agora Staff
The community and MCCC organizations both new and old gathered in the main hallway of the A Building on Wednesday, Jan. 17 for the annual Diversity Fair.  
The fair followed a march led by MCCC President Kojo Quartey with the theme “We Shall Overcome.”

MCCC organizations that were present included Student Government, Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Phi Theta Kappa, and campus Disability Services.

There were tables set up for veterans, gender issues, Judaism, Islam, and a Special Olympics club.

Between some stations, a series of posters were set up, titled, “Inspiring Moments in African-American History.” Another table displayed African-American literature and art.

A large notebook was set on a stand with the title “How do you value others?” written neatly at the top. Markers in various colors filled pockets in the stand for visitors to write their answers.

On one side of the path that twisted through the fair, three types of desserts were set out, along with punch.  

The desserts allowed visitors to enjoy the tastes of faraway places with chocolate eclairs, Russian tea cakes, and cannoli’s.

Students and faculty walked between stations, stopping periodically to talk to each other and to those manning the tables.

“It’s really cool that we can actually show diversity in the county,” said Jenna Magrum, a student sitting at the GSA table.

Among the visitors were community members like Cajie D. Cunha.

“Demographics are changing. We’re going to live in not just a different world, but we’re going to live in an international world, with global interaction all over and the sooner you learn about international dealings and culture, the better for all of you,” Cunha said.

Among the different stations, the special Olympics table had an interesting story.

Sharon Diefenthaler explained she had decided to come sit at the college for a day or two with sheets set out where people could sign up for a Special Olympics Club. She didn’t know about the diversity fair, and just happened to bring the sheets, along with packets of information.

“This is my my first year and actually it was a fluke, I didn’t even know. I am trying to promote the Special Olympics college club,” Diefenthaler said.
She said once the club has officially formed, it will be the first college club at a junior level in Michigan.

 “This is the fifteenth year of the Diversity Fair/MLK Day celebration,” said Molly McCutchen, director of Human Relations.
The march was added to the event when Quartey became president four years ago.