Lumberjacks Dream, Too
Is what makes us different also what should bring us together?
For Daddy Hill and Shaelyn Lampinen, both multi-sport athletes, ACC has been a place they can both contribute to and benefit from the diversity of the institution’s sports teams.
“My teammates are different from those I had in high school because we all come from different parts of the state,” Hill, from the Detroit metropolitan area, explained. “There are people from Flint, Traverse City, Rogers City, etc. We each bring a bit of our upbringing to the team and walk away with new slang, music, and connections,” Hill said.
Lampinen and Hill are both active on campus and have enjoyed learning about all the things that make each person unique.
“I know and recognize that people come from different backgrounds…and keep that in mind,” Lampinen, from the tiny town of Rock in the Upper Peninsula, said. “Even though I may look and talk like the people (I grew up) around, in all reality I was one of the oddballs out where I grew up because of who I am and how I think.”
Walking the Talk
ACC’s basketball teams have different themes for each home game this season to create more of an event on campus instead of just hosting a game. For their home opener against Kirtland Community College on January 18, the theme will be diversity, in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Day being held two days before.
Hill has embraced the theme and is planning to lead several activities to promote diversity and education.
“I decided to plan our MLK Jr. week festivities at ACC to show the importance of unity and cohabitation. I wanted to emphasize the fact that our differences are what makes us special and show how inclusivity can really shape and grow a community. Small things like celebrating multiple cultures are small steps to making Alpena a cultural melting pot,” Hill explained.
Plans include creating an inspiring art installation down the hallway connecting Besser Technical Center and the Newport Center featuring photos, quotes, and fun facts about The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists. Student-athletes will contribute to a large-scale graphic arts project displaying the values they each hold dear. A large poster will be hung on campus with the words “ACC Stands For…”
“This is where ACC basketball teams would come in,” Hill said. “… Each athlete would have an opportunity to write what ACC is in alliance with. These could include women's rights, equal pay, the fight against racism, etc.”
The poster will be displayed before tonight's game.
Finally, to cap off Martin Luther King Jr. week, the Student Leadership Commission and student-athletes will host a celebration for all ACC students from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 19 that will include pizza, beverages, and games.
“Martin's most famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech was about one day having African Americans and Caucasians in unity with one another,” Hill said. “So, for this celebration, we commemorate that with friendly music, board games, and pizza to simply enjoy one another’s company. This will definitely be a memorable event, especially for the sophomores who aren't returning next year, and it's a great way to end a historic week.”