Jermaine Evans makes diversity part of the dialogue at Wisconsin Lutheran College
As a freshman, Jermaine Evans was invited to be a member of WLC's International Diversity Club. Since that time, he has become the current co-president with the goal of bringing people of different cultures together. He said, "We try to make people more aware of similarities rather than differences."
Under the supervision of Dr. Peter Fraser, Evans, along with co-president Jose Rosario, brainstorm new and different ideas to draw participation from everyone on campus. There are approximately 15 active members with heritage from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Malawi, Bulgaria, Russia, Philippines and more. Last November, they headed up a trip to Wisconsin State Fair Park for the Holiday Folk Fair. This experience allowed them to eat different types of foods as well as interact with different cultures.
They also try to reach out to the community by involving kids from Hope School in downtown Milwaukee and kids from Wandani, St. Marcus Lutheran Church and School's after-school program. This past year they had the first ever black history program where these kids could read poetry, sing, dance, perform karate and play drums.
Evans enjoys working with these children because their words and actions remind him of himself at an early age. He has been a volunteer for the Wandani program for three years, helping the basketball program by keeping score, aiding in security and coaching the Hope team. "It's fun working with the kids," says Evans. "It surprises me how much they don't know. They don't think they can be successful, but with hard work and a good support group, they can." He continues, "Coming to college, I thought nobody cared whether or not I succeeded and I doubted myself, but Coach Dennis Miller and Dean Paul Knueppel were there supporting me saying, 'You can do this.'"