Graduate students host Diversity Day for trauma survivors

Bob Garcia

CSUN’s fourth annual Diversity Day will be organized by a committee of graduate students in the department of social work and will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Northridge Center in the USU.

This year’s diversity day will focus on the trauma and stories of the featured speakers as survivors and now advocates.

“The event was born out of student ideas,” said Jose Miguel Paez, a CSUN professor and liaison of the Diversity Day committee. “Over the years we have had different themes such as: LGBTQ, critical race theory and immigration.”

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is expected to feature motivational speaker Tchicaya Missamou, author of “In The Shadow of Freedom.”

Missamou was a child soldier in the Congo, then became a marine in the Iraq war, to a successful gym owner in Santa Clarita.

“We want to raise awareness about trauma,” said Paez. “We also want to give students the skills to help those who are dealing with trauma.”

There will be 20 other breakout speakers including lawyers, mental health practictioners and social workers. The event will include informative sessions in regards to meditation, yoga and mindfulness training.

Diversity Day is only open to graduate students who are majoring in social work and it is expected that about 400 graduate students, staff and faculty will be attending.

– Contributing reporting courtesy of John Saringo-Rodriguez