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Rodin United aims to bring the conversation about inclusivity and minorities to Rodin College House in the long term. | Courtesy of Hannah Waten

If you want to talk about issues within a specific minority group, there are plenty of organizations to join on campus. But if you want to talk about all minorities and how to be allies, Rodin United offers a unique forum for these conversations. 

Each college house has different methods of bringing programming to its community. Often, this programming is in collaboration with various minority-specific groups proliferate at Penn, but Rodin United is an attempt at bringing together many different identities for a sustained period of time.

Rodin United aims to bring the conversation about inclusivity to Rodin College House in the long-term, and to people who might not be part of a marginalized group or people who are interested in learning more about the way various identities intersect.

A large part of the program focuses on “how to be an ally, a program that focuses on what is ally-ship," residential adviser and College senior Hannah Watene said. "What is diversity and what does it mean to be an ally to people from non-dominant groups."

“It’s not only that your identities are intersectional, it's that your oppressions are also intersectional,” graduate adviser and Graduate School of Education student Richard Liuzzi said. 

Rodin United was created this year by melding two different programs: a diversity program and a program for international students. The way that the creators of the group saw it was that the two groups, when put together, could be greater than the sum of their parts.

“We kind of get this notion that international communities self-segregate,” Watene said, adding that continuing to have a program that was just about international issues did not help that and that they needed to "stop this idea of secluded communities [needing] secluded programming.”

RU is still defining what they want to be, and the leaders say that they’re “just facilitators,” according to Watene, and that the goal of the group is “getting residents to talk about what they want to learn.”

As of now, the group is mainly following traditional modes of programming in Rodin, and they are thinking about partnering with other minority, LGBTQ and international groups on campus.

“Diversity does apply. It’s a discussion that everyone needs to be having,” Watene said. “Being aware of your privilege is just as important as being aware of your lack of privilege.”

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