Tie-dye brings students closer to their cultures and each other

Iya Katib (18, Nursing) and Jamie Torres (21, Associates of Arts) dye shirts during Tie-Diversity.

MOIRA MCINTEE, Managing Editor

Eastfield’s Multicultural Affairs department hosted a “Tie Diversity” event for students to express themselves on campus with an artistic outlet. Students were able to create a tie-dye T-shirt to represent their individuality.

Tables were outfitted with a variety of colored dyes, tutorials for designs and a chart listing the different color identities. Individual culture, class, gender, race and other personal characteristics were given a corresponding color to be represented on each student’s shirt.

“You can tie-dye a T-shirt based on your identity. Whatever identity is the most salient for you,” multicultural affairs coordinator Nia Jackson said. “What we do as Multicultural Affairs is make sure that everybody is celebrated, uplifted and they feel comfortable here on campus.”

Situated in the lower courtyard outside of the C building, the event on Sept. 8 drew in onlookers easily.

“I was in The Hive and I just walked out the door and happened to see them setting up,” psychology major Jakobe Anthony said. “I’m glad I ran into it, and I’ll definitely be looking out for it if it ever happens again.”

Many students used the event to connect more with their friends, the diversity aspect sparking new conversation and learning between them.

Associate of arts major Jared Taylor chose to use specific colors that represented his heritage, teaching his surrounding friends something new about his identity.

“I’m Jamaican but not a lot of people know that because I don’t have an accent,” Taylor said. “I grew up with a little of the cultural background at home, but at some point I want to go back to visit and see more of [Jamaica].”

Taylor’s friends were surprised to learn this about him and credited the event for helping them find out more about their friend.

Inviting her classmates to come along, arts major Jamie Torres said the event caught her attention for multiple reasons.

“I decided to come take a look because I was interested in doing new stuff on campus,” she said. “I felt like I could relate to this activity and how it was about creativity but also culture.”

Torres said that the different cultures students relate to should be proudly represented around campus and she made sure to use rose-red on her shirt to display that. Celebrating the cultures of Eastfield campus helped some students connect with each other and feel closer to home when they might be miles, or countries, away.

Torres said the distance sometimes makes her feel divided from those around her, but because of the Tie Diversity event, she felt closer to those sharing a similar experience.

“It’s kind of hard to be away from the country that you’re used to,” Torres said. “But I think every single person can relate to how that feels and help each other with those feelings.”