Color Conference to Come to UCSD

The A.S. Council, in conjunction with the UC Student Association, will host its annual Students of Color Conference Friday in the Price Center.

The theme of this year’s conference is “”The Politics of Silence: Establishing a Voice at the Crossroads of the New Millennium.””

According to organizers of the event, the theme encompasses one of its main goals: to encourage more students, particularly those who are typically under-represented, to become active voices in their community.

“”It’s going to be a beautiful thing having all these people coming together,”” said A.S. Vice President External Eugene Mahmoud. “”But ultimately you’d want to see even more infusion of students of color in things like student organizations and governments.””

The origins of the conference were at UCSD 12 years ago. In 1990, UCSD hosted the first conference to create a forum in which students could have open discussion with one other about issues concerning higher education within the contexts of race and ethnicity.

Mahmoud says the conference gives UCSD students a chance to talk to all sorts of students, including those from all the UC schools, as well as some California State and private universities.

Kicking off the conference Friday will be a presentation of the film, “”Malcolm X”” at 2 p.m. in the Price Center Theater. The conference will run until Feb. 18.

Activities for Friday will include an evening concert featuring the L.A. Symphony in the Price Center Ballroom. A march and rally with the coalition Justice for Janitors and Bus Riders Union will take place at noon Saturday.

A banquet with keynote speaker, Professor George Lipsitz of UCSD’s ethnic studies department and the play “”Vagina Monologues”” will conclude the evening’s activities. Sunday’s events will include various workshops including one on HIV and AIDS in communities of color, as well as a panel titled “”Changing Face of Activism.””

Mahmoud sees the conference as an important opportunity for students to learn from their greatest teachers, their peers.

“”It’s a conscience-building conference,”” Mahmoud said. “”Students of all different backgrounds will be able to identity with others on a much more personal level because of their similar backgrounds.””

Organizers of the event expect about 300 students from across California to attend the conference. Some issues that planners anticipate addressing are recent statewide proposals such as SP1 and SP2, which essentially ban the use of affirmative action in the UC system.

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