Race in the Tri-States 2: Creating cultural diversity at Culver-Stockton College

Creating racial diversity at Culver-Stockton College.

Joe Stubbs, the director of Greek life and diversity initiatives and Mya Canty the Black Student Union president have taken on the challenge of raising racial awareness at Culver-Stockton College .

Stubbs says breaking common stereotypes about minorities is still a big challenge.

"Many times the students from the really small towns may not have ever seen a black person before," Stubbs said. "And the only image they have seen is from TV. So they come to campus many times with those same mindsets that what I saw on TV is what these students are."

The Black Student Union is bridging that gap of understanding by teaching others about black history and culture.

Canty says it's also a place for the students to talk about their own problems.

"We talk about it in our meetings, how to make things better, and how to fix those issues, how to address those issues," Canty said. "I mean it's kind of rough and that's why I'm really thankful for Joe because I think we come from a personal hurt standpoint and he kind of like knows exactly how to smooth that over."

Stubbs says the key to creating racial understanding is giving people a safe place to explore the issue.

"When I've done diversity workshops on campus, I've had huge turnouts because they want to have the mediator to feel comfortable," Stubbs said. "I don't think they're comfortable enough to approach that situation on their own. So when we provide a common ground or a happy medium they take it and run with it."

But racial understanding is not just a black/white issue.

Culver recently added 8 Saudi Arabian students to its campus and Canty says that their issues concern her as well.

"I pretty much think it's all love," Canty said. "We kind of ... even though we're obviously different, it's kind of a minority thing. Like, we just look out for each other and recognize each others plights and each others struggle. So in my opinion it's nothing but love."

As a part of Black History month the students of the BSU will dress up and portray famous and influential figures in black history.