by Inji Kim
Ever since President Trump’s attempts to reshape immigration policies have started, many have voiced their concerns about the potential political and social repercussions. Leslie Loffredo (’19) was no different, concerned about how much the Drew campus would be affected. The initiative to turn her concern into action began when she consulted Professor Louis Hamilton, the Director of the Baldwin Honors Program, who connected her to four first year Baldwin scholars who were interested in the topics of immigration, race,religious or gender tolerance. After many discussions and brainstorming ideas, the group decided to promote the idea of celebrating diversity around campus. “We wanted to link a series of events to have a continual conversation about the issue throughout the connection,” explained Loffredo. Another aim of the group was to reach a diverse audience on campus, which encouraged them collaborate with numerous departments on campus.
The series will contain three different events. The first event will take place on Monday, February 20, 7:00pm at LC 28 for a screening of Beyond Borders, a documentary on immigration directed by Micah Fink. After the screening, Fink will make a special appearance to hold a discussion with the audience. Following the screening, Breaking Barriers, a celebration of the multicultural and diverse Drew Campus will be hosted by the Baldwin Honors Program and the Humanities Department on Wednesday, March 15th. The event will shed light on different cultures on campus, with food and music from different cultures in conjunction with a community art project. “Art is everywhere, regardless of where you are from,” explained Maimouna Kante (’19). Adding on, “We wanted the attendees to actually participate and have something more tangible,” said Violet Wallerstein (’19) on why they chose to organize a community art project as a part of their series.
Finally, the series will conclude with hosting a speaker, Dr. Madhulka S. Kgandelwal, the Director of the Asian/American Center and Associate Professor in Urban Studies Department at Queens College, City University of New York. Kgandelwal will speak on “Charting New Paths in Feminism: Indian Women in New York City”. “Once we started this process, we noticed how much of a conversation is already going on campus,” said Loffredo. “This is why we want to celebrate what we have right now and foster future.”