Oct 202008
Authors: Tyler Okland

Former U.S. Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Dominique Dawes will speak tonight about the challenges and successes of underrepresented populations to inspire CSU community members at the Lory Student Center Theater from 7 to 9 p.m.

Her speech will include a collection of personal anecdotes defining moments during the course of her life “journey,” said Marlon Blake, the co-organizer.

Dawes’ speech will cover the proposal that “success is not a destination, but a journey,” Blake said, highlighting the importance of small victories, which she said are the true indicators of success.

“She can inspire people to overcome a variety of obstacles they may face,” said ASCSU Sen. Melisa Panagakos, who plans on attending the event.

Though some may see her speech as more receptive to the minority audience in attendance, Dawes’ message intends to be all-inclusive, as racial equality must be produced on all sides of the cultural spectrum.

Erika Green, co-organizer of the event, said racism is still an issue in today’s culture, whether it is recognized or not.

“It’s ingrained into our society — that’s why people don’t believe it is evident,” she said.

Panagakos agreed, saying she believes that racial inequality has remained a problem, even at CSU.

“A lot of it is on the subconscious level, but I think racial inequality is still a prevalent issue,” she said.

Dawes’ speech will also follow her achievements as not only an African American athlete, but as a woman.

“As a woman, this tells me that I can work toward my goals and achieve them,” Green said. The event, sponsored by Black Definition, will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m. during which audience members can meet Dawes.

Staff writer Tyler Okland can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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