March 16, 2009

SIUC to host concert, Multicultural RSO Social

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two special events are coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale: A concert by Pizmon and the inaugural Multicultural RSO Social with a Bi-Racial Identity Program.

Pizmon will perform an hour-long concert on Thursday, March 19, beginning at 5:15 p.m. in the Kaskaskia/Missouri Rooms on the second floor of the Student Center. Pizmon is a Jewish a capalla group, indeed the first college Jewish group singing without instrumental accompaniment. Four people from Columbia University created the group in 1987, now Barnard College and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America help with fielding the group.

The always-changing student group performs in venues large and small the world over, with about 50 concerts each year. Pizmon is actually a Hebrew word meaning “the chorus of a song.” The group’s mission is offering Jewish music for inspiration and community outreach. Their travels took them to the Ukraine in 2006, where they joined the local Jewish community for the Purim celebration. The concert is a collaboration between the Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services.

“We can learn a lot about a people and a culture from their music,” said Carl Ervin, coordinator of Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services. “Pizmon’s performance will expand our understanding and appreciation of Jewish culture and the commonalities that exist within the human condition through the use of incredible musical voices and inspiring songs.”

The Multicultural RSO Social and Bi-Racial Identity Program are new to the calendar too. This two-part event is set for 4-7 p.m. March 25 in the International Lounge on the Student Center’s second floor.

A wide variety of SIUC Registered Student Organizations, known for their promotion of diversity within their groups and the SIUC community at large, will participate in the program. Nikki Williamson, a senior psychology major from Springfield and intern with Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services, is the program organizer. She is bi-racial and declares herself proud to be so, so she created a program that showcases the mixed cultures, encourages diversity in RSO memberships and interactions, and examines what it’s like to be bi-racial.

“The Multicultural Social with a Bi-Racial Identity Program provides students and student organizations with role models and practical examples of how diversity can work and is working successfully in a wide variety of student groups across the campus,” Ervin said. “This event is for anyone curious about or interested in seeing the benefits of diversity to an organization as well as learning more about the often overlooked subject of bi-racial identity.”

The Pizmon concert and Multicultural RSO Social, both U-Card approved, are the latest additions to a wide array of events and activities at SIUC in celebration of Women’s History Month. The theme of the month is “Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet.”

For more information about the activities contact Women’s Studies at 618/453-5141 or Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services by visiting the office on the third floor of the Student Center, by calling 618/453-5714, or on the Web at You can find the complete calendar and event details at