MARSHALLTOWN - The Marshalltown Diversity Committee is hosting a special event titled, 'Welcoming our New Neighbors from Myanmar' on Monday, Oct. 14. The event will feature short videos, movie clips, speakers and expertise from those who have actually lived in Myanmar.
The event is open to the public and will take place from 11am - noon, at the Marshalltown Community College Student Union, 3700 South Center St., Marshalltown. The highlight of the morning will be MCC student and former Myanmar refugee, Van Uk, as she will talk about her experiences in her native country. Under threat of arrest, Van left Burma on foot. She hiked to India where she settled in New Delhi. In 2000, she and two other teenaged friends were the first Burmese to immigrate to the United States via India. She is currently a full-time, pre-nursing student at MCC.
"Part of the mission of the Diversity Committee is to promote human rights and to foster peace for all humans," says Joan Jaimes, Marshalltown Education Partnership Outreach Counselor. "We feel that it is important to welcome our new neighbors and all of the unique qualities that they bring to our community. Education, just like our demographics, is ever changing and essential for growth. This event will give us an opportunity to listen to what it's like to have lived in that country and about her experience as a refugee."
The schedule is as follows:
11:00 am - Opening video on Myanmar
11:05 am - Welcome by Dr. Chris Russell
11:10 am - Professor Tom Colbert will give brief history of Myanmar
11:15 am - Myanmar video clip
11:20 am - MCC Student and former Myanmar refugee, Van Uk, will speak
11:35 am - Q & A panel
11:50 am - Additional video clips about Myanmar, including "They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain"
Students and community members are invited to watch the entire movie, "They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain," on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 6 - 9 pm during Carolyn Briggs' class in Room 206. The video is part of MCC's Composition I evening class.
The Marshalltown Diversity Committee is continuing to reinforce its mission to educate others about their principles and to implement a culture of equality among those who work and study within the college. The Committee is chaired by Joan Jaimes and members this year include: Barb Jennings, George Johnson, Katie Kothenbeutel, Valerie Ruiz, Chris Russell, Hashem Hashemi-Toroghi, Angie Redmond, Carolyn Briggs, Mary Means, Jennifer Wilson, Marie Sheneman, Tim Castle, and Chris Brees.
The next event will be the Annual Diversity Festival this spring. For more information, please contact Joan Jaimes at 641-844-5714 or e-mail Joan.Jaimes@iavalley.edu.