Chatham News

Chatham earns national diversity award for its All Faith Worship Service

By:
March 17, 2010

BOSTON (March 17, 2010) – Diversity has long been an integral part of many events at NACA’s National Convention, and during the Association’s 50th Anniversary celebration in February 2010, diversity awards were presented to individuals and campus programs within the Association that have moved NACA’s diversity initiatives forward through various activities and programs.

One of those awards, the 2010 NACA Outstanding Diversity Achievement Campus Program Award, was presented to Chatham University for its “All Faith Worship Service.”

NACA is a membership-based association that links the higher education and entertainment communities in a business and learning partnership, creating educational and business opportunities for students and professional members.

The NACA Outstanding Diversity Achievement Campus Program Award is presented to an institution for a program that fosters meaningful relationships between diverse student groups, challenges stereotypical perceptions of diverse populations, helps students learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds and generates awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures.

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on the role of Higher Education to provide opportunities for students to embrace spiritual needs. Chatham’s weekly, student-led service is a time for all students, faculty and community members of all faiths to come together to worship. The service, initiated in 2009, provides opportunities for spiritual reflection and meditation for all participants of varying faiths.

The All Faith Worship Service community embraces the diversity of religious and spiritual beliefs, and this assists students in having an increased understanding, tolerance, and respect for all global religions. For many Chatham students, the All Faith Worship Service has provided an outlet to develop and mature their own spiritual beliefs in addition to learn about the beliefs and traditions of other faiths besides their own.

The All Faith Worship Service is a collaborative effort between Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and the Interfaith Council. The service has been led by a multitude of individuals from these different areas that spend their Sunday evenings with Chatham’s new All Faith Worship Service community. In the beginning, the service was primarily run by different religious presiders, faculty, staff, and student leaders; at this point, the service has become student led.

The NACA National Convention is an annual gathering of more than 2,500 event bookers and campus activities professionals from NACA member colleges and universities who come together to network, book talent, receive training and develop the services that they are able to offer the student body at their home colleges and universities. NACA marks 50 years of advancing campus activities in higher education in 2010.

Other diversity-related activities taking place during the Convention included:
• HBCU Connections, a program designed to introduce delegates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to programs, services and resources available to them through NACA, while also allowing them to network with other delegates;
• Diversity Mix & Mingle – LGBTQIA, a social networking event designed specifically for delegates who affiliate themselves with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, questioning, intersex and ally interests;
• Educational exhibits built around the theme “Everyone is Cultural” to share information about the history of NACA diversity initiatives; and
• Coffee and Conversations Exchange, a morning opportunity for interested delegates to exchange ideas about diversity issues over morning coffee.

NACA’s entertainment showcases have always featured ethnically diverse artists performing in equally diverse genres, ranges from hip-hop and jazz to country music and comedy. A special entertainment component of the Convention is the NBC Universal Stand-Up for Diversity showcase, which features seven comedians from various ethnic and racial backgrounds. All were selected through the annual Stand-Up for Diversity Talent Search and will tour the U.S. throughout 2010.

Since 1960, the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) has evolved into the nation’s largest collegiate organization for campus activities. Its membership is composed of 1,000 member colleges and universities nationwide, and more than 800 associate members doing business in the college market. Associate members include talent agencies and performers representing more than 8,800 artists and specialty product items.

For more information, contact Jason Darby at jasond@naca.org, or visit www.naca.org.