For Immediate Release
January 17, 2017

Contact: Denise Isom; 805-756-2250

Cal Poly to Celebrate Diversity with #InclusionStartsWithMe Week

Keynote event to feature comedian W. Kamau Bell and musical guest Allen Stone

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Office of Diversity and Inclusivity will host a series of special events during #InclusionStartsWithMe Week from Thursday, Jan. 26, to Thursday, Feb. 2.

“The campaign, #InclusionStartsWithMe began in the fall as a reminder to the campus community that we all have to do our part to make sure that we are aware of others, that we are accepting and embracing of differences, and that we strive to reach out to each other,” said Denise Isom, interim associate director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusivity.

A “teach-in” will kick off #InclusionStartsWithMe Week on Thursday, Jan. 26. This daylong series of events, centered on Dexter Lawn, will feature Cal Poly educators teaching workshops throughout campus. A tweet-chat will also occur from 11 a.m. to noon. From 6 to 8 p.m. in the Graphic Arts Building (No. 26), Room 103, UC San Diego professor David Serlin will present “Boys and Their Toys: Prosthetics, Disability and the Brave New World of Queer Masculinity.”

On Monday, Jan. 30, from 1 to 3 p.m. the first episode (“The Differences Between Us”) of the film series “Race: the Power of an Illusion” will be screened and discussed in the Mathematics and Science Building (No. 38), Room 114.

The keynote event of the week, “Unite Cal Poly,” will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Performing Arts Center. Billed as Cal Poly’s inaugural celebration of inclusion and diversity, the event will feature critically acclaimed socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell and music by alternative soul singer Allen Stone.

Bell, well-known for his Emmy Award nominated, hit CNN docu-series “United Shades of America,” will present his show “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour.” The W. Kamau Bell Curve is a comedic exploration of the current state of America’s racism, through a seamless mix of stand-up comedy, video and audio clips, personal stories and solo theatrical performance.

Stone’s soulful style will complement the evening with songs from his new album Radius, which channels a weight-of-the-world sensitivity while still radiating hope and promise.

Unite Cal Poly is free, but only open to the Cal Poly community. Students, faculty and staff with Cal Poly ID cards may pick up two free tickets at the Performing Arts Ticket Office on Grand Avenue.

The final event of the week, titled “What Gives?” will be a dialogue on police and community relations on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 2 to 3 p.m. at Congregation Beth David. Panelists include San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell, criminal law attorney Jeff Stein, David Conn of the Five Cities Diversity Coalition, and Cal Poly’s Camille O’Bryant, professor in the Kinesiology Department and associate dean in the College of Science and Mathematics, and Bryan Shon Hubain, assistant dean of students and director of Cross Cultural Centers. Congregation Beth David is located at 10180 Los Osos Valley Road in San Luis Obispo.

The full schedule for Inclusion Starts With Me Week is available on the Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity website at

- College of Liberal Arts:
- Office of Diversity and Inclusivity:
- Cal Poly Arts:

About W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell is a critically acclaimed sociopolitical comedian and host of the Emmy Award nominated, hit CNN docu-series “United Shades of America.” He also hosts the public radio show “Kamau Right Now!” on KALW in San Francisco and is co-host of two podcasts: “Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period” and “Politically Re-Active.” The New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.”

About Allen Stone
Along with immersing himself in a songwriting approach that involved unflinching examination of “some very dark and negative moments in my life,” Stone shaped the sound and feel of Radius by pushing himself to “get past the boundaries of what I felt comfortable with, so that I could progress into a whole new level of creativity.” Despite that sometimes-daunting process, Radius wholly reveals Stone’s easy grace in blending everything from edgy soul-pop and earthy folk-rock to throwback R&B and Parliament-inspired funk.

About Cal Poly’s Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity
The Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity (OUD&I) is committed to “Making Excellence Inclusive” (the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ guiding principle) by strategically working to enhance the campus climate through embedding diversity and educational equity in all aspects of the university. Cal Poly is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and culturally competent campus community that engages in a curricular and co-curricular learning environment that incorporates the Learn by Doing philosophy. OUD&I is identified as a vital asset in guiding universitywide initiatives through collaborative relationships with departments to foster inclusion and uphold the institution’s comprehensive polytechnic mission.