Just pause. That’s what we’re asking you to do for five days.
Pause before you assume you know everything about someone based solely on one factor, such as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, age, etc.
Welcome to It Starts With MEek, five days of events from Wednesday, April 19 to Tuesday, April 25 designed to remind students that one factor does not define who we are.
“For example, women once were stereotyped as only being qualified for secretarial, teaching or nursing jobs,” said Robin Street, University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media, senior lecturer and It Starts With MEek chair. “Once we quit stereotyping women, look at how much has changed.
“Even Mississippians are often stereotyped by people from other areas of the country, and look at how many outstanding Mississippians we have.”
Street said we often fall into an easy trap of stereotyping people based on their outward presentation without bothering to discover the many things we share in common with that person.
“Please join us as we all seek to understand together how to approach each person with understanding, dignity, respect and inclusion. We all have more in common than you know.”
There’s also a journalism and marketing competition happening with an April 7 deadline. You can read more here.
Here’s a lineup of speakers and events for the week:
Wednesday, April 19
“It” Starts today!
10 a.m. Opening Ceremony
Welcome from Robin Street, senior lecturer in IMC. Introduction of committee. Announcement of competition winners. Debut of video.
Welcome and remarks from:
Charlie Mitchell, Ph.D., associate dean and professor of journalism, Meek School of Journalism and New Media
Don Cole, Ph.D., assistant provost and associate professor of mathematics
Shawnboda Mead, director, Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement
Recognize: Katrina Caldwell, Ph.D.,vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement
11 a.m Other Moments: A Class Photography Exercise in Honoring Difference at Ole Miss Mark Dolan, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism and new media, and his students.
1 p.m. Making a Difference by Engaging With Difference Jennifer Stallman, Ph.D., instructor and academic director of racial reconciliation, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.
2 p.m. Tell Me a Story: Mastering the Primary Building Blocks of Diversity and Inclusion Katrina Caldwell, Ph.D., vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement.
Thursday, April 20
A Day in My Life
The joys and challenges of the lives of students and faculty members in diverse publics at UM
Throwback Thursday: Faculty members will be posting throwback photos of themselves.
9:30 a.m. From James Meredith to Millennials: Race Relations at Ole Miss
A panel of UM students discuss at the state of race relations on campus and their hopes for the future.
Moderator: Shawnboda Mead, director, Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. Panel members: Bianca Abney, IMC major; Brittany Brown, broadcast journalism major; Terrius Harris, outgoing president, Black Student Union; Tysianna Marino, president, UM chapter of NAACP.
11 a.m. Red, Blue and Rainbow: An Inside Look at Being LGBT at UM
A panel of UM students, faculty and staff members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender discuss their life at Ole Miss.
Moderator: Rachel Anderson, journalism major and ISWM events co-chair. Panel members: Danica McOmber, general manager, Gear Gaming; Dylan Lewis, IMC major; Mykki Newton, videographer/editor, Meek School; Susannah Sweeney-Gates, project coordinator, Center for Continuing Legal Education, with her spouse, Hayden Gates
1 p.m. Building Trust Within Professional and Personal Communities: A Workshop Dr. Jennifer Stollman, instructor and academic director of racial reconciliation, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.
2:30 p.m. Sometimes I Feel Invisible: The Experience of Living with a Disability
Moderator: Kathleen Wickham, Ph.D., professor of journalism. Panel members: Stacey Reycraft, director of student disability services; Adam Brown, sports editor, Hotty Toddy.com; and students Jessie, Trenton, Timber, Martha-Grace, Josh and Jeremy.
5:30 p.m. Spoken Word performance A relaxing night of spoken word expressing stories, thoughts, and aspirations on stereotypes, respect and inclusion from members of the Ole Miss community.
Friday, April 21
Bringing it All Back Home Day
Alumni return to share their perspectives
10 a.m. Race in America: A Journalist’s Perspective, Jesse Holland, Associated Press race and ethnicity reporter
11 a.m. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. A panel of Black Meek School alumni discuss their experiences at Ole Miss and as professionals (This panel repeats at 1 p.m. )Moderator: Jesse Holland, Associated Press race and ethnicity reporter. Panel members: Gabe Austin, video editor, Mississippi Today; Ashley Ball, communications associate, Siemens Corporations; Poinesha Barnes, news producer, WREG; Kim Dandridge, attorney, Butler Snow; Selena Standifer, deputy public affairs director, Mississippi Department of Transportation.
Noon: Private luncheon for panel members, committee members & faculty
1 p.m. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Session II. A panel of Black Meek School alumni discuss their experiences at Ole Miss and as professionals. Moderator: Rose Jackson, manager, Global Citizenship, FedEx Services. Panel members: Gabe Austin, video editor, Mississippi Today; Ashley Ball, communications associate, Siemens Corporations; Poinesha Barnes, news producer, WREG; Kim Dandridge, attorney, Butler Snow; Jesse Holland, AP race & ethnicity reporter; Selena Standifer, deputy public affairs director, Mississippi Department of Transportation.
2 p.m. Red, Blue and Rainbow Alumni: A panel of LGBT Meek School alumni discuss their experiences at Ole Miss and as professionals Moderator: Shepard Smith, Fox News chief news anchor. Panelists: Martin Bartlett, PR strategist, Barracuda Public Relations; Hayes Burchfield, attorney, Burchfield Law Firm, PLLC; Kells Johnson, assignment editor, WZTV Fox 17 Nashville; Sid Williams, senior enrollment representative, SCAD.
3 p.m. My Journey from Farley Hall to Major News Events around the world Shepard Smith, Fox News chief news anchor.
4 p.m Reception for all speakers and Meek students.
Monday, April 24
Mind, Body & Spirit Monday
9 a.m. Normal Does Not Exist, Mental Illness Does, Mary Beth Duty, licensed professional counselor and owner, Soulshine Counseling and Wellness, as well as an alumnus of the Meek School.
10 a.m. From the Bible Belt to Baghdad: what today’s IMC and Journalism professionals need to know about the world’s major religions. Dr. Sarah Moses, assistant professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion.
11 a.m. Keeping the Faith: Members of the Jewish and Muslim faiths discuss their religion and the challenges they are facing in 2017. Moderator: Dr. Will Norton, dean, Meek School. Panel members: Dr. Mahmoud A. ElSohly, research professor and professor of pharmaceutics; Dr. Richard Gershon, professor of law; Katherine Levingston, president, Hillel.
1 p.m. Mental Health and Me: Panel Discussion on Personal Experiences with Mental Health Issues Moderator: Debbie Hall, instructor in IMC. Panel members: Lindsay Brett, doctoral student, School of Education; Mary Beth Duty, owner, Soulshine Counseling and Wellness; Justin Geller, child and youth outreach coordinator, Communicare; Hailey Heck, IMC major; Tysianna Marino, public policy major; Abby Vance, journalism major.
2 p.m. Role of Individual and Institutional Accountability in Doing Diversity and Equity Michèle Alexandre, professor of law and Leonard B. Melvin, Jr., lecturer.
3 p.m. Keeping it Real on Social Media: Guidelines for Handling Diversity Issues, Ryan Whittington, assistant director of public relations for social media strategy.
4 p.m. Unity in Diversity: Fashion show and entertainment. Weather permitting, fashion show will be in Farley front yard. Rain location: Overby Auditorium.
6 p.m. Racial Politics in Memphis Otis Sanford, former managing editor, The (Memphis, Tennessee) Commercial Appeal, now holder of the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism at the University of Memphis.
Tuesday, April 25
Farley Festival Day
Journalism students are asked to wear purple and Journalism faculty and staff to wear ’60s outfits today to show their support for the It Starts with (Me)ek campaign.
10:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m Farley Festival.
Join us on the front lawn of Farley Hall for entertainment, information, prizes and fun. The festival celebrates the ’60s because of the many movements that gained strength that decade, such as civil rights, gay rights and women’s rights. Rain location: Inside Farley Hall.
Students wearing purple to the tent get a free Chick-fil-A treat. Students bringing a program stamped with at least two events they attended get a free T-shirt.
During Diversity Rocks events, if you require special assistance relating to a disability, please contact Paula Hurdle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some accommodations, such as ASL interpreting, will require advanced notice to arrange so please request such services at least one week before an event.