Diversity and Equality in Birmingham

By on August 26, 2014

When people hear about diversity and equality, most people only think of these among gender and race. However, we are a very diverse species, and as such, we are part of so many different communities that deserve equal representation. Equality and diversity can span across gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, among other qualities. Birmingham is full of places to go for each of these groups when seeking involvement, equality or help. Here are just a few:

1. Visit the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).

The mission of the association is “eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” The YWCA focuses on helping out those in need by making sure they have affordable housing, childcare if necessary, domestic violence services and social justice. The YWCA is also partnered with AmeriCorps and the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). Once a year, the three organizations collaborate to bring together a group of high school kids to participate in a camp called Anytown Alabama. It is a great opportunity, and if you have the chance, you should participate. If you are interested in any of the above, feel free to visit their website at ywcabham.org for more information.

2. Check out the LGBTQ Alliance at UAB.

Whether you are part of the LGBTQ community or just an ally, this organization is great. The organization exists to provide advocacy, support, and networking for faculty and staff members of UAB’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Allies (LGBTQA) community. Already this year, the Alliance has been working on making UAB a friendlier place for the LGBTQ community by getting UAB to allow students to use a preferred name on rosters. The Alliance meets once a month on the second Thursday from 12-1 P.M. Membership is free, and participation in the organization is kept confidential. For more information on this organization, visit their website at uab.edu/alliance.

3. Become a Blazer Male Excellence Network (BMEN) Mentor.

The BMEN Peer Mentoring Program is designed to provide support for incoming Black male students at UAB. The organization takes one new student and pairs them with a returning student to help provide a smoother transition into university life by providing information on how to properly navigate their collegiate experience. The mentors are selected each spring so do not hesitate to apply. For more information, visit their webpage at uab.edu/students/bmen.

4. Attend a BhamCru meeting.

BhamCru is one of the largest student organizations on campus. It is a movement in Birmingham that puts God and others first. It a very fun and open organization. They meet once a week on Tuesdays at 8:30 P.M. in the Chemistry building. For more information, visit their website at bhamcru.com.

These are only a few of the numerous organizations around Birmingham. Many can be found here on campus through BSync. Just log onto Blazernet and click on the tab on the right. There is diversity all around us. All you have to do is be willing to see it.

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About Samuel Wainwright

Samuel Wainwright is the Features Editor at the Kaleidoscope. He is a double major in English and History with a double minor in Psychology and High School Education and a Pre-Law indicator.
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