By Jenna “Eviana” Bradshaw, Contributing Writer
The Iota Chapter of Delta Phi Lambda participates in an annual event called R.I.C.E. (Realizing and addressing Issues in our Culture and Education). The conference aims to address certain issues within the local, national, and international Asian communities. It is a combination of faculty-led, student-led, and community-led workshops and talks that bring a variety of people together to talk about issues that Asians and Asian Americans are facing today.
This year’s theme was “Connecting Communities.” The keynote speaker touched upon the importance of connecting with those outside your circle (family, ethnicity, etc.) and joining a greater cause. Later on in the conference, workshops were held to talk about more specific topics within certain communities.
One workshop in which sisters attended was about the international adoption community and the spreading awareness about the issues facing those within that community. Also, two sisters presented at the conference, our chapter’s president, Lien Dang, and myself. We presented on how college organizations need to reach out and connect to their local communities for not only service opportunities but learning opportunities as well. There are a lot of things we can learn from those around us. We also talked about how community members can reach out to student organizations as well.
The conference ended with a panel made up of the keynote speaker, one of the event coordinators, one workshop presenter, and a sister of Delta Phi Lambda. Overall, this year’s R.I.C.E. conference was a great success and a wonderful experience. The networking with community members, other student organizations (both at GVSU and other universities), and is definitely an event that can be duplicated at other universities!
P.S. The keynote speaker, Sook Wilkinson, and her colleague, Victor Jew, recently wrote a book called Asian Americans in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest that I highly recommend. Though this book is somewhat specific to Michigan, it holds many experiences and topics that I feel are relevant to many Asians Americans and Asians living in America.
Feature image: Asian Student Union of Grand Valley State University