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Global Glam celebrates diversity through fashion, community ties
Hosted by the International Student and Scholar Office, “Global Glam: An Evening of Fashion, Diversity and Community” brought more than 200 campus and community members together March 26 to celebrate global diversity.
The first-time celebration involved more than 80 students modeling traditional clothing that represented their heritage and culture, as well as pieces from local retailers and student designers. The participating models also included 40 international students representing many countries around the world — including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Sudan, Zambia and more.
“Global diversity means creating spaces where people can co-exist regardless of who they are or where they come from while instilling inclusion, respect and appreciation of their differences,” said Mercy Kipenda Mwape, a graduate student model from Zambia.
Many students, like graduate student Tamanna Kabir, echoed Kipenda’s statement and decided to sign up to be a model to showcase traditional clothing from their home countries.
“I participated in Global Glam to represent my national identity, keep the tradition alive and represent the culture of my country, Bangladesh, in front of people across the globe,” Kabir said.
Inspired by the #BreakTheBias social media campaign that promotes solidarity and diverse representation, Global Glam served as an opportunity to demonstrate the range of rich traditions and cultures that Nebraska students represented.
“We envisioned the night as an opportunity for international and domestic students and community members to gather and celebrate diversity through clothing and style,” said Natalie Baskin, international student success navigator.
Along with her team of student workers from ISSO, Baskin spent weeks of preparation in coordinating the recruitment of student models, student-volunteers to assist with make-up coordination, sponsorships, stage preparation and outreach efforts to ensure Global Glam was an evening for all to remember.
During the performance, attendees enjoyed music by a jazz trio comprised of students from the Glenn Korff School of Music and DJ Erin Poor, education and community engagement director for the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The fashion show included designs by students from the Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design Department and a showcase of handcrafted garments designed by members of Lincoln’s multicultural community.
Through the collaborative efforts of multiple university units and Lincoln’s local independent retailers, the event proved to be a great success celebrating the diverse cultures, heritage and communities that enrich the Nebraska campus and community. Global Glam also raised over $700 for ECHO Collective, a non-nonprofit in Lincoln that provides economic empowerment resources and professional mentorship for Nebraska’s immigrants and refugee communities.
University sponsors included the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Glenn Korff School of Music, Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film, SLICE, University Housing and the Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design Department. Independent retailer sponsors included Sapahn, Shannon Formalwear, Tsuru, Stella, Euphoria and Exclusive Hype, Sakeena Tailoring, KG Embroidery & More, K’nyaw Modern Tradition, Best Knit Co, Ally + Ren, Namaste NYC and many more.
“The talents of our students helped bring our idea to life,” said Erika Hepburn, interim assistant director of ISSO, who co-led the event with Baskin. “I am so impressed by our students. They have continued to thrive, learn, create and succeed over the last two years despite the challenges of a global pandemic.”