Public invited to share at ‘7 Countries, 7 Stories’ open-mic night

February 13, 2017 | Events, UToday
By Christine Billau

The University of Toledo is hosting a night of open-mic storytelling about heritage and identity to encourage the community to better know and understand one another. The event follows a March Against Injustice organized by students in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven countries for 90 days.

The free, public event titled “7 Countries, 7 Stories” will take place Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Participants who share stories will be limited to four minutes each.

“It becomes a lot harder to paint a group of people with a wide brush once we’ve heard each other’s stories,” Hedyeh Elahinia, co-president of the UT Muslim Students Association and sophomore studying biology, said. “We all have something to tell, be it funny, tragic, intimate, happy, long, short or silly. Listening forces us to see individuals rather than labels. We hope this event can serve to help our community members humanize one another and look past each other’s labels.”

“7 Countries, 7 Stories” was organized by the UT Muslim Students Association and the UT Office of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the UT Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, the Gamma Nu chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., and the International Students Association. It is sponsored by the Center for International Studies and Programs, Jesup Scott Honors College, and Division of Student Affairs.

“This is an evening of short stories from our community about our community,” said Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion. “The University is stronger when we value everyone, regardless of difference. We’re proud of our students for embodying that spirit of inclusion by taking the lead in organizing this inspired event, as well as the recent rally.”

Food also will be provided, including halal and vegetarian options.

For more information, click here.

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