Affirmative Action Day 2009 Celebrated

Photo: Mike Peters

Featuring the play “Not Until You Know My Story,” poetry readings, and the reading of a proclamation by President Susan A. Cole, Affirmative Action Day 2009 was celebrated on February 18 at the Kasser Theater. Sponsored by the Montclair State University President’s Commission on Affirmative Action and Diversity (PCAAD), the event drew more than 120 students, faculty, and staff from across the campus to enjoy the program and to show their support for Affirmative Action and diversity.

“The work of bringing full equality to all is still ahead of us,” said Cindy Meneghin, the program organizer and chair of the PCAAD in her opening remarks. “I’ll certainly join the chorus that praises the legal and even social advances made in the many struggles for equality, but overt and subversive discrimination and prejudice still exist. Are we there yet? No. Will we get there? Yes…but only if we work together.”

The keynote presentation was the play “Not Until You Know My Story,” presented by the national touring group Had to Be Productions. The characters in the play are derived from interviews with real people and the play addresses differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, size, and privilege. The thought-provoking production was followed by the opportunity for audience members to talk with the actors—and with each other—about the diversity issues and emotions triggered by the play.

Also on the program were students Dorothy Scott, president of the Montclair Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Trevor Cahill, a member of Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect, Unity at Montclair State (S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.S.), and Alexandra Pamiloza, president of the Unified Asian American Student Organization (UAASO) who each read selections of poetry.

More than 30 student organizations also participated by setting up displays, handing out information and answering questions. Thanks to the support of many Montclair State organizations and departments, and the participation of so many students, Affirmative Action Day 2009 was a great success.