A Very Short Film About Diversity


“A Very Short Film About Diversity,” below, is scheduled to be shown to all First Year students at North Central College in mid-October 2016.  A project of students, faculty, and staff, it’s part of a larger effort to make diversity more central to the college’s life and curriculum.

In Winter 2014 a group of faculty, staff, and students formed C.O.D.E.—Coalition On Diversity in Education—with the goals of improving coordination between curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and website to better reflect the already significant efforts at diversity already underway at the college, and to foster even more.  It’s C.O.D.E.’s goal to so infuse diversity throughout college life that every student, staff, and faculty will have to learn about diversity deeply, face issues of racism and inequality squarely, and learn what they can do to combat the deleterious effects of these.  I’ve written many times that Americans would rather talk about anything—anything—but race.  C.O.D.E. wants to force both conversation and action.

The short film below comes with a brochure that every first-year student in their First Year Experience class will get after they see the film.  It contains names and contact information for each “multicultural club” on campus, representatives of many of these clubs appearing on the film and inviting everyone to “Join Us!”  You don’t have to be black to be part of the Black Students Association, or Hispanic to be part of Raza Unida, etc.  The brochure also contains a small sample of courses now being offered where students can study diversity more deeply.  (See this brochure Here.)

I was asked to make a short statement on Why Diversity Matters for the brochure and wrote this:

IT’S GOOD BUSINESS:  Corporations know diversity results in greater innovation and productivity. They invest heavily in diversity programs and look to hire people knowledgeable and comfortable with diversity.  IT’S HUMAN: The world grows more global and interconnected every day.  Without understanding and respecting our differences more deeply, it’s harder to connect to our common humanity.  IT’S AMERICAN:  So much of the culture and economy of the U.S.A. has been created by racial and ethnic minorities, yet racism and ethnic strife so often disrupt our social life.  Your generation could be pivotal in lessening racism and helping our country fulfill democracy’s promise.

“A Short Video on Diversity” and the brochure will be the first time every first-year student gets such a concentrated presentation on diversity.  Thanks to all who participated.  It’s a great first step to have everyone understand how important diversity is.

  Go to a post giving more history and detail on the C.O.D.E. initiative.

  Go to the TEACHING DIVERSITY main page of this site.

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Light The Band

The Video below shows Dan Guzman’s band Light The Band playing this past August at the iconic Boom Boom Room in San Francisco (John Lee Hooker’s club) and at Bocci’s Cellar, its weekly gig in Santa Cruz.  Though Dan’s bands have always had a jam vibe, Light The Band amps this up and commits to a funkier, bluesier, more New Orleans feel. Honest, real, immediate—its grooves build to exciting, high-energy jams, or just stay in the pocket—or both—and there’s more dancing than ever at Light The Band shows.


The band began as a trio—drummer Logan Tyler, bassist James Tashnick, and Dan on guitar—in late 2013, with guitarist and singer/song writer Tim Gan joining in early 2015.  More recently their sound has grown fuller with B3 keyboardist Pat Blizinski and Bay Area sax legend Chris Noonan often joining their sets.

The video below features this six-person lineup and short shots of some of the band’s key songs: “Waitin on the Boys,” “Way Down Low,” “Baby Brother,” and a carry-over from Hypnotist Collector days, the Dead’s “West L.A. Fade Away.”  You can also catch Light The Band on these other videos and more:

 JB’s “Give It Up or Turn It Loose” — a great example of its high-energy jamming.
 ”Way Down Low” — LTB as a trio at Oakland’s Stork Club.
 ”Waitin on the Boys” — at the Boom Boom Room.  (For a longer, just-audio jam of this song with B3 organ, go Here.)
  Go to Light The Band’s website, and hear more of Dan’s music on this site.

Below, the video’s picture shows them at Boz Scagg’s club Slim’s in San Francisco. ENJOY!


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Guzman for Aurora: The Fiestas Patrias Parade

Below, video highlights of Aurora’s 2016 Fiestas Patrias Parade featuring Guzman for Aurora. The youth group Simply Destinee made up a large part of the marchers supporting Rick Guzman’s run for mayor of Aurora.  Learn more at GUZMAN for AURORA.   Enjoy the Video and learn a little about Fiestas Patrias and Simply Destinee below.

rick-patriasFiestas patrias means “patriotic feasts” and refers to five of the seven national holidays of Mexico celebrating its nationhood: the Anniversary of the Constitution of 1917 (February 5), Benito Juárez’s Birthday (March 21), Labor Day (May 1), Independence Day (September 16), and the Anniversary of the Revolution of 1910 (November 20).  New Year’s and Christmas days are the other two holidays, and some people also consider Cinco de Mayo—celebrating the Mexican Republican victory over the French at the battle of Puebla in 1862—another of the fiestas patrias.  In the U.S. Cinco de Mayo has become perhaps more popular than the original five.

The September 16th celebration, the Dia de la Independencia shown in the Video below, also commemorates for some Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s “Grito de Dolores” (cry of Dolores).  In the early morning hours of September 16, 1810, at the village of Dolores near Guanajuato, Hidalgo called for the end of Spanish rule.  In some regions, the event has been celebrated for over 160 years.

Martin Luna started the youth group Simply Destinee in memory of his niece Destinee.  With the help of Liza Oliva, Destinee’s mother, they promote awareness, expression, and self-esteem for young people through many means, including the dancing they did in parade.  Guzman for Aurora thanks Simply Destinee for its support.


  Go the GUZMAN for AURORA website, and to the Lead Post on this site about Rick Guzman’s candidacy.

 Rick Guzman’s candidacy is about celebrating our togetherness, but also about creating more Life, more Growth, and more Safety for Aurora.  Go Here to find out how he led a project that turned a $500,000 city investment into a $35,000,000 development commitment, a 70-to-1 return on investment.

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