The Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Outreach (MADO) Committee focuses on creating an inclusive experience for all Carolina students and serves to empower the student body’s efforts to celebrate and foster diversity on campus. Jihanne Burgess and Cara Pugh served as the 2016-2017 co-policy chairs of MADO.
Jihanne, a junior exercise and sports science major, has been involved with MADO since her first year. For junior public policy major, Cara, it is her first year on the committee. Both are passionate about carrying out MADO’s mission.
“My favorite part about MADO is seeing the smiles on the faces of people that come to our events and that feel like there’s a space for them – whether it’s for an hour during that event or whether it’s for months to come following the event, that they know that MADO was instrumental in helping their voices be heard on campus,” Jihanne said.
MADO is comprised of a diverse group of critical thinkers, who use their diverse backgrounds and experiences to better understand and serve the student body. With guidance from their Student Life and Leadership advisor, Kate Kryder, Jihanne and Cara have diligently taken their roles to new heights.
Cara says that this role has helped her develop leadership skills that she can use to empower students around her. “I have been able to serve my university better by uplifting other students and empowering them to reinforce their own methods of leadership,” Cara said.
MADO’s events and campaigns surround all types of diversity and are designed to help groups build connections and collaborate with one another. Some of the programming include the annual Unity Dinner, MADO Jeopardy and Town Hall on Safety and Wellness.
From February 7-9, the Tunnel of Oppression set up several displays in the Union, which showcased the various identity-based oppressions students face. MADO invited faculty members, staff, administrators and students to walk through the Tunnel of Oppression together. Afterwards, they came together to discuss how they could use their platforms as leaders on campus to become change agents to shift conversations on campus to focus on oppressions students experience.
“It really forces you to open yourself up to different scenes and different things that you might not experience from a day-to-day basis, but there are people on this campus that experience those things,” Jihanne said.
One of MADO’s greatest contributions to this campus is providing a space for underrepresented voices to be heard and listened to. Its mission is to serve as a liaison to diversity groups to help them advocate, create and educate on their own behalf.