Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Celebration of Differences highlights diversity on campus


Many student organizations came together to host the Celebration of Differences event in the Ferguson Student Center Thursday. Spectrum, Blend, Better Together, and SGA worked together to put on this celebration for students. The Black Student Union partnered with them to celebrate their 50th anniversary of existence.

Darnell Sharperson, a sophomore majoring in public relations and the soon-to-be president of BSU, said the Celebration of Differences was the kickoff event for celebrating BSU’s 50th anniversary.

“We wanted to create a space where students felt comfortable,” Sharperson said. “We didn’t want any students to protest, and there are other ways to combat negativity.”

The negativity Sharperson is referencing has to do with the white-nationalist Jared Taylor, who was scheduled to speak on campus the same day as the Celebration of Differences. On Monday, the University of Alabama sent an email to students saying Taylor was no longer eligible to come to campus because the student organization hosting him, Students for America First, dissolved.

Sharperson said he thought the energy in the room was amazing, and it was moving to collaborate on this event.

Malia Davis, a junior majoring in news media, was checking in students who were there for extra credit. About 1,300 students checked in. However, there was a maximum of about 150 students who stayed through the duration of the event.

Julia Gale, a sophomore majoring in MIS, was at the event representing Spectrum. 

“I think it’s really important for UA to support inclusivity and diversity,” Gale said. “The world is diverse, and we should celebrate that.”

Jacobi Alford, a senior majoring in business management, is the director of the Afros choir group. The Afros sang two worship songs on stage, and some later performed separately. Alford said he was not expecting a large number of people to show up, but he was “happy that there is.”

After the Afros performed, Darby McQueen, a senior majoring in social work and coordinator of the event, gave a small speech thanking all attendees and participants of the event. 

“We see a lot of hate toward different things, but also more acceptance than any other time in our history,” McQueen said.

BSU hosted an open mic after McQueen finished, and numerous students came up to sing or recite poetry. 

Jeff Bolger, campus director for the campus ministry, Outreach, performed an original piece of poetry.

“You can have an impact on the world,” Bolger said.

After the open mic, the event concluded. McQueen said she thought the event went really well and this was a step toward student accepting diversity in a positive manner.

“I think UA has done a really great job this past academic year of supporting diverse movements and events on campus,” McQueen said.  “It was an honor to work with so many people for this event.”

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