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Arab American Heritage Month Celebration

The Minoritized Faculty and Staff affinity group invites the campus community to celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month on Thursday, April 18 from 3:00 -5:00 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge on the first floor of Old Main. The theme for the national celebration and recognition is “Celebrating Arab American Resilience and Diversity.”

The event will feature authentic food, educational information, and activities and prizes. We look forward to faculty, staff, and students coming together to celebrate. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Stephanie Masood or Bennie Williams, co-chairs of the affinity group.

Submitted by: Bennie D. Williams, Assistant Dean of Students, ALANA Student Center

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award

Canisius University would like to acknowledge a student and/or a non-student (faculty, staff or administrator) who represents the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). Toward this end, we are soliciting nominations for an award or awards to be presented at Spring Honors Convocation. The nominee(s) must demonstrate qualities promoting social justice, racial harmony, civil rights, human rights, advocacy for the poor or non-violence.

To submit a nomination, please click here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ALANA Student Center at asc@canisius.edu.

Submitted by: Bennie D. Williams, Assistant Dean, ALANA Student Center

ALANA Achievement Award

Canisius would like to acknowledge the accomplishments of an African American, Latino/a American, Asian American or Native American (ALANA) graduating senior who exemplifies the Jesuit value of magis through academic excellence, exceptional leadership, character, dedication and service to Canisius and the community-at-large.

Toward this end, we are seeking nominations for the Canisius University ALANA Achievement Award, which will be presented at the Spring Honors Convocation.

To submit a nomination, please click here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ALANA Student Center at asc@canisius.edu.

Submitted by: Bennie D. Williams, Assistant Dean, ALANA Student Center

Bill Davis Scholarship

Canisius University is proud to recognize Sarah Lynch and Rita Warren as recipients of the 2024 Bill Davis Scholarship sponsored by the Diversity and Equity Network of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

This scholarship is named in honor of the late Bill Davis, director of the Upward Bound program at Loyola University Chicago from 1969-1990.  He is also one of the founding members of the Diversity and Equity Network. This scholarship, awarded annually, commemorates his commitment to education, public image and student of color motivation.

Please join me in congratulating both Sarah and Rita for their accomplishments.

Submitted by: Bennie D. Williams, Assistant Dean of Students, ALANA Student Center

Upcoming Ramadan Holiday

Dear Canisius Community,

I hope this letter finds you all well. As done in the past, I would like to share information about an upcoming religious holiday.

Ramadan is a holiday practiced by Muslims* where they focus on introspection, communal prayer, and observe religious fasting. This year Ramadan will take place from March 10-April 9**. Here is some information about Ramadan:

  • Individuals refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and intimate contact from dawn to sunset
  • Individuals increase their focus on personal restraint, proper conduct, and empathy with the less fortunate through giving to charity and engagement in local projects
  • All Muslims who have reached puberty are obligated to fast. Individuals who are not at puberty, although are not obligated, may choose to fast anyway. Exemptions are made for individuals in situations where fasting would be a hardship such as illness, pregnancy, nursing, etc. 

In an effort to support the members of our community, here are some items for your consideration: 

  • Please be flexible with scheduling. Individuals may need to pray during class, meetings, etc. 
  • Due to fasting, individuals may struggle concentrating. Consider allowing individuals to keep their cameras off during any virtual classes, meetings, etc. or to take a quick break if needed.
  • Individuals may begin to wear hijabs during this month. Remember it is not the individual’s responsibility to educate the community.
  • There are prayer rooms located in the library that individuals can use if needed. If you have space in your office, you may want to consider identifying a space that can be used for prayer. If you would like some signage to identify these spaces, please contact the ALANA Student Center. 

Canisius Dining will also be offering a Ramadan dinner meal with a breakfast pack for any student who is observing the holiday. The meal will be available at the Global Station in the Social Hall Dining Hall and can be picked up until 7pm daily. Students will be asked to swipe in for dinner and receive a ticket that can be redeemed for the meal at the Global Station. You can contact abruzzia@canisius.edu with any questions or concerns. 

Consistent with our institutional statement on diversity and inclusion, these efforts will help us achieve our goals of “creating a culture of acceptance, awareness, learning, respect, and understanding inside and outside of the classroom.” If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the ALANA Student Center at asc@canisius.edu or you can contact me directly at willi100@canisius.edu. Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Go Griffs!

Bennie D. Williams

Assistant Dean of Students 

*The term Muslim refers to individuals who practice the religion of Islam 

**Dates may vary depending on individual’s religious school of thought

Submitted by: Bennie D. Williams, Assistant Dean of Students, ALANA Student Center