MIT Multicultural Conference 2023
Jam: “With our minds, hands, hearts, stories, and visions, together we can build a better world.”
MIT hosted its annual Multicultural Conference (MC^2) at the MIT Endicott House from Nov. 17 to 18. Dr. Alma Jam from the MIT Office of Intercultural Engagement, facilitated the program.
This year's conference, themed "Culture & Climate: Resiliency, Restoration, & Renaissance," aimed to explore the intersections of resiliency, restoration, and renaissance in the context of culture and climate.
"Understanding the intersection of resiliency (how we got here), restoration (how to fix the current issues), and renaissance (how to make it better for the future) will help to make MIT and the greater community a better place for generations to come," Jam said.
The conference was an overnight event, and featured a mix of team-building activities, speaker-led workshops, and opportunities for reflection. The agenda was designed over several months by the MC^2 planning committee composed of MIT undergraduates and graduate students across various disciplines.
This year, the conference drew eighteen students and hosted seven speakers. Dana Thomas, a Wellbeing Lab Graduate Resident Intern, led a session called “Coping with Climate Anxiety and Centering Your Wellbeing” to help attendees “identify coping mechanisms for minimizing [climate change’s] impact centered on your wellbeing.” Jeremy Torres, Assistant Director of LBGTQ+ Services, led a concurrent one hour session, “I'm Resting: How Rest is Radical Resistance,” about how “resting can be a form of radical resistance and understand why it is important for activism work.”
Cindy Xie ‘24, an Urban Studies & Planning major, led a workshop titled “Writing Alternative Climate Futures.” Xie noted in the session description, “Drawing on traditions such as speculative fiction and creative science writing, this session will attempt to generate hope around the climate crisis by reclaiming agency over our narratives.”
MC^2 not only emphasizes the importance of individual and collective voices but also strives to move conversations into actionable outcomes.
"By educating student leaders on their power to effect positive change, the conference aims to extend its impact beyond the event itself," Jam said.
For those interested in participating in future Multicultural Conferences or joining the planning committee for the 2024 event, inquiries can be directed to email@example.com, or directly to Dr. Jam at firstname.lastname@example.org.