PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University students, staff and faculty as well as local community members are invited to express their personal commitment to embrace diversity and nonviolence at the First Diversity Kickoff Celebration from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

The celebration is an opportunity for the campus and surrounding community to address intolerance based on sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age or disability. In addition, the event will highlight resources and special programs available this year, said Milton Lang, special assistant to the president.

“We want to provide a forum for the community to come together and learn about these issues and available resources,” Lang said. “We all have to stand together to move forward to improve the climate here on campus and on the Palouse.”

The celebration will begin with a reception, music and food. Attendees will be given time to sign a pledge against violence and racism, and WSU President V. Lane Rawlins will deliver the keynote address.

A one-person play, “Faces of America,” follows at 6:45 p.m. The play details nine stories based on the lives and recollections of a diverse set of American voices.

The Office of the President is sponsoring the celebration, part of a number of recommendations made by last year’s Council on Campus Climate. Rawlins appointed the 30-member council last fall to address concerns, including violence, racism, homophobia, and the recruitment and retention of faculty of color. Council members included 20 students, five faculty and five staff.

For more information, contact Lang at 509/335-5506.