Apr 20, 2017
By George E. Mauzy Jr.
The Ohio University Multicultural Leadership Ambassadors Program, now in its fourth year, continues to grow its diverse pool of speakers.
The Multicultural Leadership Ambassadors are a group of trained peer educators who are comfortable with their own diversity and has a mission to eliminate stereotypes while building inclusive, understanding communities through interactive presentations.
Each spring, they are trained to define the meaning of diversity and converse with others in a sensitive way. They are also taught how to discuss their unique stories in a manner that will help their audiences realize the importance of diversity in their own lives.
Dr. Shari Clarke, vice provost for diversity and inclusion, who created the Multicultural Leadership Ambassadors shortly after arriving on campus, said next year’s Ambassadors are more diverse than the previous groups.
“This new class has expanded the voices to include a wider range of diversity,” Dr. Clarke said. “They now represent Jewish and Asian-American voices in addition to socio-economic differences and personal challenges based on mental health issues. The Ambassadors also include diversity of culture, race and sexual orientation. We’re really excited about the growth of the program.”
Take a closer look at some of the Ambassadors:
- “I wanted to be a part of a team that strives to make Ohio University and Athens a better place for all who live here,” said Hannah Borowski, junior global studies: war and peace major. “I hope to encourage people to get to know one another instead of judging each other by their covers and guessing they wouldn't get along just because of their appearance.”
- “I speak to not fitting in within my impoverished neighborhood and because of that attending a private school in a more affluent neighborhood,” said Marius Lancaster, freshman psychology major. “I was viewed as less than and told that my place in the community was based on policies that allowed for affirmative action. I had to find out my own self-worth and where I belonged since I felt as if I was an outsider, not only in my own neighborhood, but also in the community where I went to school.”
- “My story combines topics of growing up as a Latino in a rural part of Southern Illinois, while ‘looking white’ and using that as an advantage to spreading diversity and inclusivity within my community,” said Sahuaro Marzolf, sophomore international business major. “I hope to get people to engage in important dialogues, which address the coexistence, education and tolerance of our fellow men and women.”
- “I am biracial and have grown up with the accusations of not being black enough, but then also not being, by any stretch of the imagination, white,” said Imani Evans, sophomore communication studies major. “I would rather embrace the title of black because it allows me to create what it is for me. Being black in the U.S. allows a space for me to create a mixed identity for myself.”
- “I usually talk about stereotypes and how it affects our judgement of other people we meet,” said M. Hashim Pashtun, third-year doctoral student in civil engineering. “Along with that, I discuss Islamophobia as well as positive thinking and not letting stereotypical mentalities change our perceptions. I hope to initiate more conversation among students regarding diversity and inclusion.”
- “I will share my story as an Asian-American biracial woman in the U.S. because many Asian Americans are misrepresented in the media and in communities,” said Ami Scherson, sophomore music major. “With this in my mind, I hope to create a conversation to diminish stereotypes on campus and in the community. I want to create a difference on this campus by making it easier for other Asian-American students to study here, without prejudice.”
For more information, contact Dr. Shari Clarke at 740-593-2431 or visit https://www.ohio.edu/diversity/ambassadors.cfm.