Fall 2006

These grants have been awarded to student- and/or faculty/staff-initiated projects that address issues of identity, pluralism and unity.

Arab Culture Night
Recipients: Farrah Bdour and Alana Gorman-Knutson
Arab Culture Club and Belly Dance Ensemble
Co-sponsored by the Arab Culture Club and the Belly Dance Ensemble, the goal of this event is to educate the Brandeis Campus about various aspects of Arab society and culture. Coinciding with the first day of "Eid," this event also is a chance for Arabs (Muslims, Christians, Jews, and others) to come together and celebrate a holiday that although rooted in Islam, nevertheless offers an opportunity for reconciliation and crossing religious boundaries. 

Carnival de Noche
Recipients: Cori O'Neill and Jennifer Corrales
Brandeis Ballroom Dance Team, Brandeis Ballroom Club, AHORA, and Salseros
The Brandeis Ballroom Dance Team joins the Brandeis Ballroom Dance Club, AHORA, and Salseros for a social dance event to create a dialogue through dance, reflecting the stylistic interaction between more traditional western dance and Latin dance style. 

Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Recipients: Kate Housman and Walter Cuenin
The Christian communities at Brandeis host a Thanksgiving Dinner to provide not only a chance for the Christian communities to come together and share a meal, but also for the greater Brandeis community to join in an important part of a cultural and religious heritage in a non-threatening environment. 

Jammin' with Jamele
Recipients: Christine Caruso and Ashley Pham
Jamele Adams, Associate Dean of Student Life, encourages the Brandeis community to engage in  discussion on diversity and the role it plays in our lives and on campus. The event features spoken word performed by Dean Adams and crowd participation in diversity training exercises.

Kate Bornstein
Recipients: Marci Simon and Ariel Berman
Kate Bornstein, a postmodern gender activist, author, performance artist and former Brandeis graduate student comes to Brandeis campus to educate and raise awareness about transgender and genderqueer communities.  

MSA and Castle Quad Iftar
Recipients: Colleen Johnston and Samantha Levin
Muslim Student Association 
The Muslim Student Association hosts an Iftar in the Castle Quad to provide sustenance for members of the community fasting for Ramadan, and to raise campus awareness about this Muslim holiday.

Religious Pluralism and Spirituality Semester
Recipients: Jessical Keweshan and Farbod Hagigi
Religious Pluralism and Spirituality Group
Throughout the fall semester, the Religious Pluralism and Spirituality Group is offering three specific programs aimed at encouraging all to recognize, respect, and celebrate religious diversity in the Brandeis community. These include "Tuesdays with...", which is a series designed to connect students to faculty and staff in a non-academic setting. Also, "Speed-Faithing," is a new initiative to encourage greater religious exploration and understanding by providing a more inclusive forum for interreligious learning. Finally, RPS hopes to institute an interfaith devotional gathering on a weekly basis to be held on campus and open to all students.

Sharing Our Faiths
Recipients: Walter Cuenin and Jessical Keweshan
Religious Pluarlism and Spirituality Group
Sharing Our Faiths is a program that the Religious Pluralism and Spirituality group started three years ago to foster greater religious exploration and understanding. Throughout the year, each organized religous group on campus will advertise one service where people of any religious background can attend a 10-20 minute explanation of how the service will progress and what the various prayers mean. 

The Black Eyed
Recipients: Nicholas Brown and Jennifer El-Far
Jennifer El-Far's senior thesis, performed as part of the debut season of the Free Play Theatre Cooperative. This ground-breaking play is about four Palestinian women from different historical periods who meet in the afterlife and reflect on their lives as Arab and Muslim women, the concept of martyrdom and the nature of peace in a violent world. 

Through Our Eyes, Kwanzaa Celebration 2006
Recipients: Tia Oliver and Shakiva Wade
Brandeis Black Student Organization
Each year, the Brandeis Black Student Organization commemorates the celebration of Kwanzaa by putting on a show the entire campus will enjoy. Kwanzaa is a unique African-American celebration that focuses on the traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. Our vision for this year's celebration is to incorporate a bevy of dance, monologues, musical selections, lyrical dance, slam poetry, step, a hip hop dance as well as the traditional candle lighting ceremony. 

Wearing My Religion/Praying in My Religion
Recipient: Jessica Kent
Wearing My Religion and Praying in My Religion are two opportunities for Brandeis community members from all different faiths to meet one another and discuss different situations relating to religion that occur on campus.