“Not everything needs to be so serious when talking about diversity.”
Diversity speaker Phillip Milano will present a “Dare to Ask” style event at 7 p.m. tonight in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The Office of Multicultural Affairs is cosponsoring the event, which is free for students and community members, with Union Activities Council.
Milano said anything people have “ever wondered about someone of another race, gender or culture but were just too afraid or embarrassed to ask” will be addressed.
Milano published his book “I Can’t Believe You Asked That!” in 2007 through Perigree Books, which talks about these questions. He also created Yforum in 1998, a “daring” online message board where members converse about culture and intercultural affairs.
Jason Brooks, director of Multicultural Affairs, said he found Milano’s program interesting because it “opens up the topic of diversity.”
“(Milano) is going to be pushing the envelope with a lot of things,” Brooks said. “He pushes the envelope on things that people need to talk about, though.”
Brooks said from what he gathered from Milano’s YouTube videos, the speaker covers a wide range of topics, such as race, sex and religion.
UAC representative Molly Poe, sophomore elementary education major, said UAC was planning on bringing Milano to speak on campus, and they got Multicultural Affairs involved in coordinating and promoting the event.
“I found his open discussion of taboo topics interesting,” Poe said. “It may take some students out of their comfort zone a little, but there are a lot of interesting topics that need to be discussed openly. It’s about increasing our communication with each other.”
Brooks said Multicultural Affairs also encourages community members as well as students to attend the event.
“There’s going to be a lot of humor,” Brooks said. “Not everything needs to be so serious when talking about diversity.”
Multicultural Affairs will host the Icebox poetry and live music night April 12 in the Memorial Union. Brooks said proceeds from this year’s Icebox event will go toward multicultural scholarships for women, ethnic and LGBT groups. Brooks said the Icebox event is the “biggest event coming up.”
“In conjunction with diversity education program, we are also trying to get the art department involved in this next event,” Brooks said. “We’re looking for students interested in a ‘poets and painters session.’”