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Hundreds Attend Unite Cal Poly Event

Hundreds of Cal Poly students, faculty and staff attended Unite Cal Poly, the university’s inaugural Celebration of Inclusivity and Diversity.

Held Tuesday, Jan. 31 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center’s Harman Hall, Unite Cal Poly featured critically-acclaimed socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell and alternative-soul musician Allen Stone. 

W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell at Unite Cal Poly Jan. 31




Bell, known for his Emmy Award nominated docu-series “United Shades of America,” presented “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour,” which explored the current state of American racism through a mix of stand-up comedy, video clips, personal stories and solo theatrical performance.

Unite Cal Poly was an entertaining, yet thought-provoking evening focused on creating a positive and welcoming campus environment. The event, sponsored by the Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity and Cal Poly ASI, was free for those with a valid Cal Poly ID card.

Third-year graphic communications student, Sheila Ahi, was the artist behind the Unite Cal Poly event graphics. In making the logo for the Unite Cal Poly event, Ahi aimed to combine the event’s theme (#chooselove) with Cal Poly’s branding standards. “We wanted the Unite Cal Poly brand to reflect a fun, open environment,” Ahi said. “For the logo, I wanted to incorporate a circle to represent unity, which the event was all about, and by using warmer Cal Poly colors in the display, it was not only eye-catching, but welcoming.”

Unite Cal Poly
Unite Cal Poly logo designed by Sheila Ahi




Unite Cal Poly was the keynote event of “Inclusion Starts with Me” week, Jan. 26 – Feb. 2.  

“The campaign, #InclusionStartsWithMe, began in the fall as a reminder to all in the campus community that they have to do their part to make sure they are aware of others, that they are accepting and embracing of differences and that they strive to reach out to each other,” said Denise Isom, Interim Associate Director of the Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity.

Ahi believes the Unite Cal Poly event fulfilled the goals of the “Inclusion Starts with Me” campaign. “When you ‘#chooselove’, rather than staying passive or being prejudiced, you are helping build a supportive environment for everyone in the Cal Poly community,” she said. “When I saw all the people that showed up to Unite Cal Poly, I could feel that unconditional support -- no matter what race, ethnicity, sexuality, or socioeconomic class you are -- you are valued.”

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