As you may have read in an earlier Daily Deac, October is Dignity and Respect month on campus, and we have been urging all members of our campus community to make a conscious effort to treat everyone, even (or perhaps especially) folks with whom you disagree, with dignity and respect.
There are many ways to incorporate dignity and respect into daily life. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion published a great calendar with day-by-day actions. If your students missed it then, they could use it for November. When I think of dignity and respect, I think of this quote:
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
Your students have an opportunity to blend the dignity and respect campaign with the chance to hear from one of our country’s most famous authors – who also happens to have taught at Wake Forest for many years – Maya Angelou. Dr. Angelou is an award-winning author, renowned poet and Civil Rights activist. She is going to deliver opening remarks at a celebration of dignity and respect on Wednesday, November 6 at 3:30 in Brendle Recital Hall. This is free and open to the public – and since there is so much demand to hear her speak, your students should jump at the chance and get there early.
The full press release about this event lists more information about this event. In addition to Dr. Angelou, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, and Dr. Edwin G. Wilson (’43), Provost Emeritus, will be speaking.
This will be an event well worth your students’ time. You can also help impress upon your students the importance of developing a strong character, acting ethically in all they do, and being respectful of others. Qualities like honor, kindness, character, and leadership will be things your students can use for the rest of their lives. Best to start practicing those skills and developing them now.