Living Treasures: Honoring Pluralism


The Diversity Caucus, an affinity group that focuses on pluralism for both students and faculty at Bellevue College, is celebrating its tenth year with its semi-annual “Living Treasures” event. To commemorate, it is dedicating an evening to looking towards the future of Bellevue College and its pluralism efforts. Pluralism involves minority groups maintaining their individual, cultural identities. This event will be a potluck dinner with entertainment provided. BC’s Living Treasures takes place on Friday, March 16, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the cafeteria.
“The purpose of this event is to honor those who have fought for pluralism rights on campus, advocates and champions of pluralism at Bellevue College,” said Leticia Lopez, co-chair of the Diversity Caucus. “The group’s function is to make people more aware of campus diversity.”
This year, the Diversity Caucus has invited two of its retired colleagues, Jim Bennett and Lucy Macneil, to join them in an evening of music, comedic entertainment, dinner and dancing. Sponsored by Bellevue College, this event will feature a live jazz band and Isabella Du Graf. Because it is a potluck dinner, RSVP’s must be turned in no later than March 14 at 5:00 p.m.
Bennett worked at Bellevue College for more than 30 years, and was named the Vice President of Equality and Pluralism in the 2005/2006 school year. Macneil was at Bellevue College for over 20 years and had served as the Vice President of Human Resources. The pair had worked hard over the years to ensure that Bellevue College has pluralism and that any issues of diversity are addressed.
Both of them are pluralism advocates and will offer advice and encouragement for Bellevue College. At BC’s Living Treasures, they will be discussing current pluralism efforts on campus and ideas for the future.
Some questions they will be addressing include: What have we done to make our campus a more diverse and inclusive place to work? What are our greatest accomplishments? Where do we fall short or fail? Because this is the caucus’s tenth anniversary, the big question of the night will be: What would we like to see on our list of accomplishments ten years from now?
“BC’s Living Treasures is supposed to be an event meant to celebrate each other and all the hard work people have done over the last ten years,” said Juan Ulloa, co-chair of the Diversity Caucus. “We’ve had about six Living Treasures events in the last ten years. Our first event ten years ago honored about 12 or 15 people.”
There are currently no students serving as official members of the Diversity Caucus, although Lopez said that students are free to join. Several current members include Juan Ulloa, Leticia Lopez, Carol Grant, Peggy Strader, Shanika Russell, and Beabe Akpojouwo. The Student Pluralism Committee and the Employee Pluralism Committee are just two of several more official groups that the Diversity Caucus works alongside. The Diversity Caucus, however, is unique.
“What separates us from other groups is that we don’t report to anyone. There are no set meetings or agendas. It’s less official,” said Lopez.