By Sophia Therese R Gallego, SAFHA Publications
The Ateneo Center for Culture and the Arts (ACCA) is an office at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University that promotes the importance of harmony between arts and culture in the lives of the students. In its long service in the university, ACCA has been known for bringing arts and culture into the daily lives of the students—always introducing to them the purpose of sining at kultura in their lives.
One of ACCA’s highlighted activities is the ORGULLO: An Awareness Exhibition. This event was held in partnership with El Consejo Atenista and Social Awareness and Community Service Involvement on June 29, 2019, at the college lobby of the Fr. Eusebio Campus of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, with its prime objectives of promoting acceptance and appreciation for the community to raise awareness about the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Bill.
Moreover, the program is significant to the youth’s peacebuilding efforts in that it promotes and creates a safe space for everyone. ACCA believes that this event helps cut the stigma on one’s gender orientation. In addition, it deepens our understanding and appreciation for fostering peace and harmony as we live together with others. At the same time, the program engaged and enabled the youth to participate in peacebuilding efforts by running an art exhibit where students were encouraged to submit their artworks that would express their feelings and opinions about the SOGIE Bill. A seminar cannot be concluded without holding a series of talks that would educate the students.
As someone who helped implement the program, I believe that it has benchmarked our way to further introducing SOGIE to the university to promote appreciation and acceptance among the students.