UM event in Bangor focuses on diversity

University of Maine students and children form a human knot - a fun activity that encourages team work and communication - that will have to be undone while holding hands.  This was one of the several activities that was offered at the Marthin Luther King Jr. Diversity Day at the Bangor Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 organized by the University of Maine's Bodwell Center.  Children could dance with UM's D-Fusion hip-hop crew, do crafts, listen to Native American storytelling and hear a diversity discussion at the second annual program. BDN photo by Gabor Degre
University of Maine students and children form a human knot - a fun activity that encourages team work and communication - that will have to be undone while holding hands. This was one of the several activities that was offered at the Marthin Luther King Jr. Diversity Day at the Bangor Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 organized by the University of Maine's Bodwell Center. Children could dance with UM's D-Fusion hip-hop crew, do crafts, listen to Native American storytelling and hear a diversity discussion at the second annual program. BDN photo by Gabor Degre
Posted Jan. 17, 2011, at 9:39 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 7:17 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Mercede Ambrose, 9, of Winterport knew who Martin Luther King Jr. was before she participated Monday in a diversity event at the Bangor Mall.

“He was important because he helped rights equal for blacks,” she said.

Mercede came to the mall with her grandmother Wanda Ambrose of Bangor and her 7-year-old cousin Jayden Jenkins of Bangor.

“We were just having a day out at the mall and found this,” the grandmother said.

The program was set up by the University of Maine Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, the Office of Multicultural Programs, and UMaine Athletics. Activities included team building, crafts, lessons in diversity, and stories about King and his legacy.

“This is not like going to school,” Mercede said. “There’s a lot more activities.”

Erik Selberg, 22, of Brunswick, a senior majoring in history, agreed that the event was a good way to introduce children to the concept of diversity.

“Diversity is a huge part of our history, and as we move into the future, we’re going to find more diversity,” he said. “If you understand where you come from, it can only help you.”

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