SIU hosts Diversity Week to highlight unique campus experiences


Sophia Rogers | [email protected]

Marisa Hamamoto and Adelfo Cerame dance during Diversity Week Aug. 30, 2021, at SIU Shyrock Auditorium in Carbondale, Ill. “Dance is my passion and I think dance belongs to everyone and dance should be accessible to everyone” said Marisa Hamamoto.

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale hosted its annual Diversity Week, where students, faculty members, and others organized five days of events centering inclusion and diversity. 

O.J. Duncan and Dr. Sandy Pensoneau-Conway kicked off the week with a Zoom training on proper uses of LGBTQ+ terminology, followed by a military culture seminar from Veterans Services Coordinator Paul Copeland, a meet and greet with Chancellor Austin Lane and a performance by dance company Infinate Flow

Marisa Hamamoto, the founder of Infinite Flow, said she started the dance company after a stroke left her temporarily paralyzed in college. 


The Diversity Week performance was Infinite Flow’s first performance at SIU-C.

“It was clear to me that people with disabilities do not have equal access to dance as well as other things,” Hamamoto said. “I just felt destined to do something about the dance aspect of that because dance is my passion and I think dance belongs to everyone and dance should be accessible to everyone.” 

In the days that followed, Diversity Week organizers hosted events online and in person that covered topics such as obstacles faced by women at SIU-C, how to make hiring practices more inclusive, a water balloon fight, inclusive design and a variety of arts-focused presentations. 

“It was wonderful. Good energy, beautiful theater, beautiful campus… It was great that people from the community came, not just from the campus,” Hamamoto said. “There are all these silos and divisions, but at the core we are human beings and we have the ability to connect and relate to one another.”

Staff reporter Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram at @janiyah_reports. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.