Diversity Week 2021 Activities to Include Speech by Shanna Peeples, More 

Chip Chandler

WTAMU students posing with Bucky Buffalo. Photo provided by WTAMU Communication and Marketing

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]  

CANYON, Texas — A student organization fair, a free movie screening, a party and a speech from a former National Teacher of the Year are on tap for West Texas A&M University’s Diversity Week 2021. 

The week, part of WT’s Start Strong initiative, will feature a slate of activities from Sept. 7 to 9 on the Canyon campus, organized by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. 

“Diversity is one of our core values as a University, as laid out in the long-term plan WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World, and this week really serves as a way to highlight our broad spectrum of students, faculty and staff,” said Angela Allen, WT’s chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Up first: The kickoff of the We Are One Diversity Talk series with Dr. Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year and current Dr. John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair in Education at WT. 

Peeples’ talk, “The Power of Stories to Help Us Understand Ourselves and Each Other,” is set for 12:30 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Senate Chamber room of the Jack B. Kelley Student Center. 

“Thinking about the unique parts of our own identity is a powerful part of what we can call a ‘story of self.’ When we meet new people or have new experiences, it’s the first choice we make: what will we share about who we are and where we’ve been?,” Peeples said. “Reflecting on aspects of our identity asks us to think about, for example, what parts of us we choose to hide and what parts we choose to share. From there we can think about how we show up in various spaces: Which parts of us feel welcome in any given space and which parts of us feel unwelcome? As we become more aware of how our own complex identity feels included or rejected, we begin to understand the complexity of identity for others and their experiences of feeling included or excluded. All of us want to feel truly seen, heard and valued.”  

Activities will continue with the F1RSTGEN Kick-Off Bash at 6 p.m. Sept. 7 in Legacy Hall inside the JBK. 

The event will serve as a way for potential members to learn about the organization, a student group that supports and encourages first-generation scholars. It will feature free food, door prizes, a student panel discussion, music and dancing. 

Diversity Week 2021 also will include a diverse student organization fair from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 8 in the JBK Commons and a screening of “Trolls: World Tour” at 6 p.m. Sept. 9 in Legacy Hall. 

All events are free and open to all students. Peeples’ discussion also is open to the public; call 806-651-8480. 


About West Texas A&M University 

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs. 


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