A series of events throughout April will celebrate diversity on campus and in the community.

Event Series to Celebrate Diversity

A series of events throughout April will celebrate diversity on campus and in the community.

Series of Events to Celebrate Diversity

The College of Our Lady of the Elms will highlight and celebrate racial, cultural and religious diversity on campus and in the community with a series of events including gatherings, film showings and more throughout the month of April.

“Diversity is an integral component of the Elms College experience: Elms embraces a diverse and multicultural campus population,” said Javier Venturi, lecturer in Spanish and director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Elms. “Celebrating our multicultural identities through an interdisciplinary approach is the key to promote and enhance diversity, inclusion, love, peace, unity and cultural understanding at Elms College and in our surrounding communities.”

April 5 - Film screening: Ida

The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival will screen the movie Ida (2013) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, in the Alumnae Library Theater.

Set in 1961 during the Stalinist dictatorship, the movie pushes still further into the past; almost every element in the story evokes the war years and their aftermath. Ida won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Poland's first entry to win. It tells the story of an orphaned young woman -- a novice named Anna -- who is sent by her Mother Superior to visit her aunt in Lodz before she takes orders. A minor state judge and Communist Party member, Wanda Gruz tells her niece that her real name is Ida Lebenstein, and that she’s Jewish: a “Jewish nun,” she says. But Wanda has mysteries of her own and scores to settle; Ida’s mother was her beloved sister.

April 5-25 - Art exhibit

The exhibition “Unity in Art” will be displayed April 5-25 in the Alumnae Library Well; an artist reception will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. This exhibition will feature artwork created by students in the introductory art course and Painting ll class taught by Nanci Costanzo, associate professor of art. “The work offers social commentary on the unity/diversity theme,” Costanzo said.

April 9 - Community event

“Elms College Nursing: Growing a Healthy Future for All (Enfermería de Elms College: Cultivando un futuro saludable para todos),” a free community event including food, entertainment and informational sessions, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 9, in the Elms Cafe Annex, located in the Mary Dooley College Center on campus.

This celebration will include brief presentations about the Elms College diversity and inclusion office and the college’s School of Nursing; music, dance, poetry and vocal performances; door prizes and a raffle; campus tours; and opportunities to meet with a bilingual admission officer from Elms. The musical selections will include Gigantes de la Plena, directed by Fred Angulo. Dance and poetry will be provided by Darwin J. Cruz.

“All prospective nursing students with Hispanic and Latino backgrounds are invited. Prospective nursing students from African-American and Asian ethnic backgrounds are cordially invited as well,” Venturi said.

April 11 - Film screening: 14 Kilometers

Venturi will host a screening of the film 14 Kilometers at 7 p.m. Monday, April 11, in the Alumnae Library Theater.

In this 2007 drama from Spain, three people looking for a better life become stranded in the desert with little hope of survival. Buba is an auto repairman living in Niger with his brother Mukela; their village is mired in poverty, and given Buba’s talent as a football player, they decide to travel to Spain, where they believe Buba might have a shot at playing as a professional. Unable to travel legally into Europe, Buba and Mukela pay a smuggler $1,000 each for passage in the back of a panel truck into Algeria, where they can then pass into Spain. En route, Buba and Mukela meet Violeta, a teenage girl from Mali who is escaping an arranged marriage with a man she hates.

April 12 - Student panel

As part of the Agora Talk Series, a student-led panel discussion titled “Where Are You From?” will be held at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in the Alumnae Library Theater. This event, which is free and open to the public, will deal with gender, religious and ethnic identities.

“This panel discussion will allow people to share their collective experiences in order to gain a new perspective on the lives of underrepresented students, and members of our community too,” Venturi said. “Understanding our diverse students’ backgrounds is crucial to our campus and to our community growth as well.”

April 13 - Film screening: Golden Door

The Veritas Film Series will present a screening of the film Golden Door (2006) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in Veritas Auditorium. This event will be hosted by Peter A. DePergola II, Ph.D.(c), M.T.S., lecturer in healthcare ethics and medical humanities at Elms College, and Venturi.

Golden Door tells the story of the Mancusos, a Sicilian family, in 1913; when they are visited by a man who tells them that America is a land of plenty, they cautiously accept his offer to take them to America. After a dangerous voyage aboard an ocean liner, the family arrives in New York to face a number of new challenges, as they abandon their old lives and struggle to assimilate in this massive foreign city that is now their home.

April 14 - Film screening: Brooklyn

The movie Brooklyn will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Alumnae Library Theater. Síle Dolan, the 2015-2016 Fulbright language teaching assistant at Elms College, will cohost the screening with Venturi.

Directed by John Crowley and was based on the novel by Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

The film received many nominations for industry and critics awards, including three nominations for the 88th Academy Awards (best picture, best adapted screenplay and best actress). Saoirse Ronan's performance as Eilis also garnered her BAFTA, Critics' Choice, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for best actress.