Diversity week brings former skinhead and Academy Award winner to campus

For the first time in DMACC history, the Diversity Commission will be hosting a weeklong event to celebrate and recognize the diversity that resides on our campuses.

Under the leadership of Chairwoman Joanne Dudgeon, the commission has developed a simple and attainable mission: “Advocate for diversity awareness and ensure the integration of diversity into all aspects of institutional life.”

One of the speakers who will be sharing their life story during Diversity Week is Frank Meeink, in the Building 6 auditorium on Wednesday, February 24 at 10:10 a.m.

Meeink became a Skinhead at the young age of 13 and was a leader and Neo-Nazi recruiter by 18.

Once incarcerated for the kidnapping and beating of a rival Skinhead gang member, Meeink found clarity and understanding for other races and lost hatred for them.

“It took a while for me to be proven wrong consistently…what I knew in my head and heart and by human nature…I knew it was wrong.” Meeink spoke frankly and with great understanding and mindfulness when asked what changed his perspective in life.

“I plan on speaking about the history of my life and how dramatic things happened to me…everything changes everyone it’s all about empathy. I want to help other people like others helped me,” Meeink said.

Another one of the speakers is Anthony Weeks, Academy Award winner and artist behind the moving documentary “Imaginary Circumstances: Disabilities in Hollywood.”

This short film brings to light how people with disabilities are represented in television, movies, and other types of media beginning from the past and moving forward in the 21st century.

When asked about his inspiration behind the film, Weeks stated, “Primarily it was my niece, she has a rare nerve disorder that has left her with no mobility. I would visit her in Iowa and watch TV shows with her and noticed there were few characters with disabilities. Watching TV in the 70s there were quite a few, now there are almost none.”

Weeks will be speaking Thursday, February 25 at 9:40 a.m. in the Building 6 auditorium.

The Diversity Week Festivities began on February 17 with an online scavenger hunt that encapsulates the theme of the week.

The scavenger hunt was developed by commission board member Darwin Pagnac and takes place entirely online.

“We wanted an activity everyone could participate in, despite what campus they are on,” Pagnac said.

The scavenger hunt consists of one question and all answers to this question can be found on the DMACC Diversity Commission page as well as on the Internet.

The end of the scavenger hunt on February 24 will declare six students or faculty members from each of DMACC’s campuses declared the winner.

All participants’ answers will be carefully evaluated and the winners will be selected based on accuracy and timeliness of submission. Once determined, each winner will receive $100, and bragging rights of course!

In order to access this virtual scavenger hunt simply go to the DMACC page and search “Diversity Week” in the A-Z index and click on the link with the heading “DMACC Diversity Week.”

From there, select the blue heading that requests you to click for more details. Then simply follow the directions and read the rules.

The DMACC Diversity Commission has done tons of work to ensure DMACC’s first annual Diversity Week is both memorial and informative. For more information on the events and speakers, please visit https://www.dmacc.edu/diversity

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