Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Press Release: Seeking Volunteers for the 31st Annual International Dinner & Performance Night

Press ReleaseFor Immediate ReleaseFebruary 11, 2014 

University YMCA seeks volunteers for the 31st Annual
International Dinner & Performance Night

[Champaign, IL] – Co-sponsored by the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), the University YMCA is currently seeking volunteers for the 31st Annual International Dinner and Performance Night on Sunday, March 9 from 6pm to 8pm at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St, Champaign. There are many volunteer opportunities available including cooking and performance volunteering. All are welcome to volunteer.

Volunteer to cook! Each person/organization participating is asked to cook either a main dish or a dessert from their country of origin. The University YMCA will reimburse you up to $40/main dish and $20/dessert for items purchased to prepare your dish. Please use the RSVP link provided below to respond indicating your interest.

Want to perform at the dinner? To receive more information about performance opportunities, please fill out the survey.  Due to time constraints, only a limited number of performance opportunities are available. 

For cooking and performance volunteering, RSVP using the following link: or email Kasey indicating your interest in volunteering.

Please respond with your interest in volunteering by February 17, 2014. For more information on other volunteer opportunities including set-up, take-down, and dinner service, contact Program Director Kasey Umland at  217-337-1500 or
Inline image 3Additional Information: This event is open to the public. For those interested in attending the event as a guest and not a volunteer, tickets are only $10 for a sampling of food and music from all over the world. Tickets can be purchased starting February 17th at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign (checks should be made to the University YMCA). Seats are limited, so plan to purchase tickets early.

Pictured right: Event-goers are served a variety of multicultural dishes buffet style. Picture taken at the 29th Annual International Dinner & Performance Night, Photo courtesy of the University YMCA.

The University YMCA and ISSS have been co-sponsoring this event for the campus and community for 31 years. Families, international students, and faculty come together for an evening of great food and live music.  All are welcome to attend!

Inline image 2

Pictured Left: Event-goers enjoying a performance by the [children’s dance group] at the 29th Annual International Dinner & Performance Night.

Past International Dinner menus have included dishes from Vietnam, Hawaii, Korea, Brazil, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey, Romania, Ghana, Peru, Russia, Malaysia, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Israel and several other countries. A finalized menu and performance program is TBA.
For more information and updates on the menu and performance schedule, visit:

Parking Nearby:
Parking lot on 6th between Daniel & Chalmers - Free after 5pm.
Parking garage on 6th & John - Free after 5pm.
Street parking on Wright, Chalmers, & 6th Streets for 75¢ per hour.
Municipal lot on Green & 5th Streets for $1 per hour.

For media inquiries, contact: Megan Flowers, Communications Director
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

University YMCA Statement of Support for Chancellor Wise

As statements are written in broad support of Chancellor Wise and the need for open dialogue and action across campus is rightly being voiced, let us remember that we do not defend the sexually oppressed, indigenous people, and people of color against bigotry as we should. The University YMCA would like to take this opportunity to not only state our support of Chancellor Wise, but to re-emphasize our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all that we do as members of the campus and community.

It is our hope that as an organization that has a 141 year history in enacting change at the University of Illinois that the public outcry against intolerance will not fade until our campus understands that acceptance must be demanded universally, not on a case-by- case basis.  The hate speech directed towards Chancellor Wise is disturbing, disgraceful, and infuriating, but not an anomaly. We cannot continue to treat discrimination as the cause of a smattering of bigots across the physical and digital landscape.

We will not in the face of structural racism accept pithy slogans about freedom of speech. We need to support the true definition of freedom, which must not be based on continued oppression of historically oppressed peoples. At the University YMCA, our goals are clear: to make the University Y and its programs not only as welcoming as possible to people of all backgrounds, but to multicultural and anti-sexist coalition-building.

We have agreed that diversity should be evinced as we consider our constituencies from many points of reference, including, religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and political outlook. But, most importantly, for real change to happen, we have realized and committed ourselves as an organization to uplift the societal vantage point of the oppressed, not-so-public figures of our campus and community members who, through their everyday experiences of exclusion, can best guide us in this coalition-building.