At Governors State University there’s a good chance you’ll meet classmates who look a lot like you – or completely different. The diversity of our learning community is one of the things that makes us stand out – everybody fits in here. Our diversity is just one of the reasons GSU changes lives. We have programs that honor our diversity – and they’re just waiting for you to get involved in - special events, workshops, meetings and organizations. No matter which you choose, each recognizes the ethnic and cultural diversity of the campus as a community strength.

Celebrating Diversity & Social Justice

Let's celebrate diversity with our observance of history and heritage months. Throughout each designated month, Governors State University features a variety of programs and events highlighting the culture, traditions and contributions to society which these groups have made. During these months we host a variety of special events - you are bound to find one (or more) that you won't want to miss.


  • Latino Heritage Month


    Latin@ Heritage Month

    Latin@ Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

    During National Latin@ Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latin@ Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture. This year's theme is “A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success.” 


    August 25th – September 30th
    I AMerican EXHIBIT
    Sergio Gomez, Curator
    GSU Art Gallery
    An art exhibit exploring the meaning of being American by 24 Artists exhibiting work from a variety of ethnic, cultural, and national perspectives.

    September 15th - October 15th
    Hall of Governors

    Campus Café
    Traditional Latin American cuisine will be served in the Café on various days throughout the month

    GSU Library
    The library will be highlighting literary works and other resources pertaining to Latin@ heritage and authors Visit, homepage and select the Library Catalog located under Library Resources.  Type in GSU Latino Collection and you will find a listing of over 141 items that are currently in the GSU Library.  For more information, visit the library or contact us at



    Monday, September 15th
    Benetiz2Featuring Michael Benitez, Social Justice Educator and Chief Diversity Officer & Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, University of Puget Sound
    4:30pm, Sherman Hall
    Is there a preference for the terms Latin@ and/or Hispanic among the Hispanic/Latin@ community?  This lecture problematizes and critically examines the difference between Hispanic and Latin@ formations and explores different understandings of the terms and how they are situated in Latin American and American contexts shaped by cultural and sociopolitical histories, historic and current migrations, and political agendas and conditions.

    Tuesday, September 23rd
    with Dr. Ellen Walsh, Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Andrae Marak, Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences & Dr. Ileana Baeza, Assistant Professor of Spanish
    7pm, F 1622
    The life and career of legendary civil and labor rights leader Cesar Chavez is dramatized, following Chavez's mission to officialize the rights of immigrants and farm workers, as well as his personal journey as a husband and father. Outspoken but gentle, willful but soft spoken, the organizer's unique presence and unwavering commitment to non-violent protest would make him an enduring symbol of freedom and equality for generations to come.

    Friday, September 26th
    I AMerican RECEPTION
    curated by Sergio Gomez
    5pm, E/F Corridor
    A multi-media exhibition exploring what it means to be an “American” from the perspective of bi-cultural artists living in the United States.

    7pm, Sherman Hall
    Hear from staff columnist for New York Daily News, co-host of Democracy Now, member of the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (2008), and one of the founding fathers of UNITY: Journalists of Color.

    Thursday, October 2nd
    7pm, Prairie Place Great Hall
    A conversation amongst Black and Latino males to connect and share their personal journeys, define manhood and establish brotherhood.

    Tuesday, October 14th
    with Elianna Barrios, Clinical Counselor, Heartland Alliance
    7pm, F 1622
    Learn about the dangerous 2,000 mile journey children as young as 8 years old take in order to reach their families in the United States to escape violence and poverty. There will also be a discussion on diagnosis and treatment for the acculturation of undocumented children and how to create awareness and support.

    Wednesday, October 15th
    12pm – 2pm, Hall of Governors
    Close out Latin@ Heritage Month by participating in a festive celebration with food, games, live music and dancing.

    Saturday, October 18th
    8am, Logan Square Neighborhood Association
    7am departure from Main Entrance
    Volunteer and learn more about the process to become an American citizen.  RSVP at

    2014 Latin@ Heritage Month Sponsors

    Art Department
    Association of Latin American Students
    Campus Dining
    Civic Engagement & Community Service
    Dean of Students
    Dual Degree Program
    History Department
    Intercultural Student Affairs
    Student Life
    University Housing

    We are looking for campus community members interested in joining our efforts.  Send an email to Mr. Robert Clay, Director, Intercultural Student Affairs at or call x4551 if interested or for more information.


  • Black History Month



    February has been annually recognized as a time to celebrate Black History, since 1926 as a weeklong celebration, and since 1976 as a month-long celebration; commemorating the historical and cultural experiences and contributions of African Americans.  Governors State University celebrates Black History Month with a series of events throughout February in association with student organizations and academic programs. 

    Submit your program by clicking here!!!  

  • Women's History Month


    Celebrating: Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.

    Governors State University proudly celebrates Women’s History Month with a series of events throughout March. Prior to the 1970’s, the topic of women’s history was largely missing from general public consciousness. To address this situation, the Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” originally celebration in 1978 and chose the week of March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day. The celebration was met with positive response, and in 1987, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the celebration to the entire month of March.

    Click here for printable calendar >>>

    Women and STEM Tribute
    March 1 – 31
    Display Case: 1st floor, B-Building
    When you are walking down the hall of the B-wing; stop and take a look at the display of exceptional women involved with STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. For more information, email

    Multicultural Fashion Show & Contest
    March 4
    4:00p.m. – 5:30p.m., Hall of Governors
    Students will model an outfit to represent the country of their choice or a particular culture. Viewers will vote on the most creative outfit. There will also be a Henna Fundraiser. Come out and support!
    For more information, email

    Be Prepared! Rape Aggression and Defense (R.A.D.) Class
    March 8
    9:00a.m.-5:00p.m., Recreation and Fitness Center
    R.A.D. is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. This course is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. (Workshop open only to women.) For more information, email

    Panel Discussion with Movie Screening: “Not My Life”
    March 11
    6:00p.m. – 8:30p.m., Center for Performing Arts
    A viewing the movie “Not My Life” followed by a panel discussion on the effects of human trafficking on women and children. For more information, email
    Labor Unions in the 21st Century: What is your [S]Take?
    Dr. Dan Gilbert, who is an Assistant Professor at the School of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign. Will give a brief overview of the history of unions, perhaps with an emphasis on the role Chicago played, and talk about contemporary labor issues that might be more interesting to the students.  For more information, email

    Film and Discussion: "Want I Want My Words to do to You"
    March 13
    12:30-3:30 p.m., Sherman Music Recital Hall
    This film looks at what brings women to prison throught their own voices as they write a play about their lives.
    For more information, email

    Hot Flashes
    March 19
    6:30p.m., Center for Performing Arts
    Cost: Free - GSU Students with ID, $10 - General Admission
    A play about the strength of women-young and old-as they overcome obstacles, face their issues and become "Phenomenal" in their own right. For event information, email

    "The Miracle Worker" Presented by Montana Repertory Theater
    March 21
    8 p.m., Center for  Performing Arts
    Cost:$25 / $35 / $45
    Montana Repertory Theater returns with "The Miracle Worker," telling the story of Helen Keller, deaf and blind since infancy, who finds her way into the world of knowledge and understanding with the help of Anne Sullivan, her gifted tutor. In some of the most turbulent and emotion-packed scenes ever presented on the stage, Helen overcomes rage and confusion to triumph over her physical disabilities.  For more information, email

    PechaKucha Night
    March 26
    6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., E-Lounge
    It’s a presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. Present your ideas, interests, hobbies …. At this event!  For more information email

    Our Bodies, Our Labor, Ourselves: Reproductive Technologies and Women’s Rights
    March 27
    4:30p.m. - 6p.m., E1540
    A class discussing modern reproductive technologies such as surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, and prenatal testing as powerful resources. For more information, email

    Open Mic Night featuring Women’s Poetry
    March 27
    5:00p.m. - 6:00p.m., Café Annex
    Inviting all women to participate in a poetry reading of your choice; selections must go along with the subject of women’s rights and/or women’s equality. To sign up and or more information, email or

    Women’s History Month Closing Event: Mama’s Place

    March 28
    7:00 p.m., Sherman Recital Hall
    Join us for a “Student Performance Spotlight” featuring Allen-Patricia Britten, this year’s GSU Idol winner, who performs excerpts of her original production of “Mama’s Place.” This is a story of one mother’s daily challenges as she struggles to raise five scrappy children with limited resources and negative outside influences. Her story will move you from laughter to tears particularly when a social worker shows up at her door; she risks losing it all as she fights to uphold her Christian values against a system in opposition to her beliefs. For more information, email

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month SAAM


    The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. 

     April 26, National Student Leadership Diversity Convention (NSLDC)- Chicago

    The National Student Leadership Conference addresses the most critical topics of diversity and social justice challenging our campuses today.  The Diversity Conference is affordable opportunity for students leaders to learn more about diversity and inclusion.  What are the workshop topics?

    Diversity and Inclusion: What Every Leader & Advisor Needs to Know

    Examining Sexual Orientation on your Campus & Becoming an Ally

    Recognizing and Understanding the Foundation Privilege

    No More Drama: Effective Conflict Resolution skills for Diverse Leaders on Campus



     April 28, Clothes Line Project - Hall of Governors 11am                


    Plans are under way.... Please submit ideas to 

  • Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month


    A tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history.


    Plans are under way.... Please submit ideas to

  • LGBT History Month




    Governors State University celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month with a series of events during the month of October.

    “For a community deprived of its history, LGBT History Month teaches our heritage, provides role models, builds community, and recognizes our extraordinary national and international contributions,” said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of the Equality Forum, an international civil rights organization.

    LGBT History Month was first celebrated in 1994. October was chosen as the month for the celebration because National Coming Out Day was first held in October, and October commemorated the first march on Washington by LGBT people in 1979.


    October 1st - 31st

    31 DAYS, 31 ICONS 

    Student Commons and Select GSU Monitors

    31 leaders, heroes, and community members who have made a difference in the LGBT community will be highlighted throughout the month.  Each day in October, a new icon is featured with a video, biography, bibliography, images and other resources. 

    B Wing Hallway 
    This is a brief chronological history of marriage equality in Illinois, the United States, and the world. When and where was the first "gay marriage"? What are some of the triumphs and challenges in the history of marriage equality? Find out by visiting this display. You can even request to have additional events to be added to the timeline that are pertinent to you.
    GSU Library
    Seeking to be more aware of the LGBT community?  GSU Library has a collection of books, DVD's and eBooks dedicated to the LGBT experience.   Visit,  and select the Library Catalog located under Library Resources.  Type in Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender or LGBT for your keyword and you will find a listing of items that are currently available in the GSU Library. Visit the library or contact us at  


    Thursday, October 2nd 
    11am - 4pm, Café Annex
    Join us as we celebrate LGBT History Month.  The kickoff will include light refreshments, highlights for each of the upcoming events, and information about each of the LGBT organizations and resources at Governors State University.


    featuring Anthony Stanford, Author
    5pm, E Lounge
    Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community explores the various reasons for the Black Church's aversion-and the general black cultural inflexibility-toward homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and acceptance of the LGBT community. It connects black cultural resistance toward homosexuality to politics, faith, and fear; follows the trail of faith-based funding to the pulpit of black mega-churches; and spotlights how members of the black clergy have sacrificed black LGBT Christians for personal and political advancement.
    Saturday, October 11th
    11am, B2203
    Join us as we celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBT) or as an ally.  Hear stories from the LGBT community, their families and allies about their experiences and learn how to support those who came out.  Refreshments will be served.  ALL are welcome to join the celebration regardless of sexual orientation.
    Monday, October 13th
    7:30, F1622
    Bobby Griffith was an all-American boy ...and he was gay. Faced with an irresolvable conflict-for both his family and his religion taught him that being gay was "wrong"-Bobby chose to take his own life.  Prayers for Bobby is the story of the emotional journey that led Bobby to this tragic conclusion. But it is also the story of Bobby's mother, a fearful churchgoer who first prayed that her son would be "healed," then anguished over his suicide, and ultimately transformed herself into a national crusader for gay and lesbian youth.
    Thursday, October 16th
    featuring Eric Vironet, Founder of Gay Straight Alliance 
    4:30pm - 7:30pm; 6pm remarks, E/F Corridor 
     Come learnabout LGBT history at Governors State University as part of the 20th Anniversary of the Gay Straight Alliance. 
    Tuesday, October 21st
    6pm, B1200
    Everyone has the right to feel welcomed in a workplace where principles of fairness, respect, and equality are valued and promoted.  An inclusive workplace has policies in place to ensure equality in human rights, employee welfare and fair recruitment practices.  This presentation will discuss the benefits of working within an inclusive workplace and how to begin networking with such employers.  Students will also be provided with information and resources from the Chicagoland area and online to assist the LGBT community with career planning and professional development.
    Thursday, October 23rd
    3:30pm, F1622
    Been looking all your life for a sizzling mash-up of Paris Is Burning, Rent and Dreamgirls? Leave It On the Floor (2011) is that and more, a supersized musical featuring a family of fierce voguing performers coming together to snatch a trophy in the big ballroom competition. 
    Tuesday, October 28th
    3:30pm - 5:30pm, Hall of Honors 
    SafeZone is a training program open to ALL students, staff, faculty, and community members. The goal of this program is to raise awareness about the dynamics of gender and sexual orientation while exploring different ways to embody inclusive allyship for people of all orientations, genders, sexualities, identities, and levels of being out.  Participants must RSVP at by October 20th. 

    2014 LGBT History Month Sponsors

     Career Services
    Civic Engagement & Community Service Center
    Dean of Students
    Gay Straight Alliance
    Gender & Sexuality Studies
    GSU Program Council
    Intercultural Student Affairs
    Interdisciplinary Studies
    Math Department
    Student Life
    Visual Arts Gallery
    We are looking for campus community members interested in joining our efforts.  Send an email to Mr. Robert Clay, Director, Intercultural Student Affairs at  or call x4551 if interested or for more information.


  • Universal Human Rights Month


     Universal Human Rights - December 2014

    In December we raise awareness to the struggle for human rights. The Presidential Proclamation for Human Rights Day reminds us that more than 60 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, declaring the "inherent dignity" and "equal and inalienable rights" of all human beings as the "foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

    Plans are under way.... Please submit ideas to