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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 14, 1997)
Speaker calls for UNL unity
By Brad Davis
Motivational speaker Marlon
Smith spoke of a “community of
unity” in his speech Monday night at
the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
Smith encouraged the audience,
which was estimated at nearly 2,000
people, to realize the power of one
person “makitig a difference” on
campus and in the world, he said.
One instance that helped Smith
realize the power of one person
occurred on the San Francisco Bay
Bridge, near where Smith lives in
amnn said an unknown car in
front of him paid his toll to cross the
bridge, and after Smith finally caught
up with the car, the driver simply
wished him a nice day, and drove off.
The next time Smith crossed the
bridge, he said he paid the toll for the
man driving the car behind him.
“By doing one small, kind act -
maybe it brought a little joy to his
life,” Smith said.
Smith has spoken about one per
son making a difference, leadership,
the power of choices and diversity
since 1992 when he quit his job at
Hewlett Packard and became a full
time speaker, he said.
Smith began speaking to middle
and high school-aged audiences during
his time as the service chairman of a
fraternity at the University of Virginia.
He graduated with an electrical engi
neering degree from UVA in 1989.
It was not until Smith’s junior year
at UVA that he began to experience
life outside of his “comfort zone.”
Smith had lived in a comfort zone,
surrounding himself with people sim
ilar to him since his third-grade year
in a Maryland elementary school.
That year, a white child Smith
said was one of his best friends called
him “the N-word” while they were on
After that experience, he said, he
was afraid to associate with people dif
ferent from him. Smith said he realized
he was prejudging other people and
associating with only those around
whom he was comfortable until he
joined a country dance group at UVA.
He developed new friendships, and
invited people from the predominantly
white dance group to attend African
American step dance shows, he said.
It was then that Smith realized
“you have to stefu^utside of your
comfort zone to create diversity.”
Monday’s diversity speech was
sponsored by the Association of
Students of the University of
Nebraska, Mortar Board and the
Smith is the rounder and presi
dent of his company called Success
by Choice, and has spoken across the
United States and in South Africa and
Viet Hoang, president of the
Innocents Society and speaker of the
ASUN senate, organized Smith’s
appearance at the University of
Besides the sponsors, other orga
nizations donated the money neces
sary to bring Smith to the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln, Hoang said.
Chancellor James Moeser donated
the Lied Center for the evening.
Hoang said he hoped students
took Smith’s message to heart.
“I hope that they’ll take time to
reflect and apply the message to their
own lives - to evaluate themselves.”
Smith was at UNL in April, when
he spoke at the Minority Leadership
Conference, he said.
During last year’s speech, which
was soon after the Sigma Chi cross
burning incident, Smith said he found
UNL students to be pro-active. "
“It was exciting,” Smith said.
“There were some issues, but they
didn’t try to scoot them under the
table - they tried to learn from them.”
UNL Director of Diversity and
Affirmative Action Ricardo Garcia
said he wanted UNL to work toward
establishing an accepting community.
“At UNL we must continue to
work at building a community that
fosters and thrives on its diversity,”
Garcia said. “Diversity is part of the
quality of education at any university,
and here we must work to maintain it.”
Smith said all people have some
thing in common, and to have a truly
diverse “community of unity,” people
must step outside their comfort zones.
“I want you to realize the world is
big,” Smith said. “Now (in college) is
the time for you to grow as an indi
smith called tor students to take
a stand” against off-color jokes and
other acts of intolerance, realizing
that someone they know could be
offended by what is said or done.
Toward the end of the speech,
Smith challenged the audience to
hold their arms out for three minutes,
which he said would be challenging.
One and a half minutes later, the
song “Lean on Me” started to play,
and the audience put their arms
around each other for support.
“It won’t be easy, Jput each one
can make a difference,” Smith said.
Smith said the administration of
the university cannot make the differ
ence on their own, but instead all stu
dents have to work together to
increase the acceptance of diversity at
“The choice of yours - it’s in your
hands. Vision without action is just a
dream; action without vision is just
the passing of time; but vision with
action can change the world.”
Refusal disappoints officials
JOHANNS from page 1
to change his personal values,” he
said. “All we’re asking him to do is
at least acknowledge that there are
gays and lesbians who live in
Lincoln and contribute to Lincoln.”
But Johanns said he simply
could not ignore his religious beliefs
“To ask me to reject my own per
sonal values on this issue and
endorse it - that is where I have to
draw the line.”
Students who drew lines forming
anti-gay messages turned the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln into
a hot topic for debate last week as
homosexual messages promoting
National Coming Out Week were
vandalized and altered.
They were hateful acts on which
Johanns did voice his opinion.
“I absolutely condemn that sort
of thing,” Johanns said. “That has no
place in our community.”
But Johanns’ words only went
halfway for Knudsen.
“I think it’s wonderful he con
demned the hate speech, and we
appreciate his support,” she said.
“But it’s not the same as recognizing
us as valued citizens.”
LeMieux said a simple signature
by the mayor would have gone a
long way for many members of the
“Clearly the mayor is in a won
derful position to send a message to
the homophobes in Lincoln that says
gays and lesbians are a part of
Lincoln and are going to stay a part
of Lincoln,” he said. “He has done
nothing to foster an accepting
atmosphere for gays and lesbians.”
Mayor launches television ad campaign
ADS from page 1
Republican nomination for gov
A date for his official
announcement has not been set.
The 30-second commercials,
which begin airing today, pro
mote Johanns’ fiscal record and
property tax reduction efforts.
The commercial also features
a mother who talks about
stronger families, a farmer dis
cussing the need for lower prop
erty taxes, and a local business
owner talking about wanting a
governor who pays attention to
the state budget.
Campaign officials would
not say how much the ad cost to
During the morning news
conference, Johanns said he
hoped the race to the statehouse
would be a friendly race, and he
promised as much from his side
of the campaign.
“No matter what happens, no
matter how much mudslinging
takes place,” he said, “we just
aren’t going to take part in it.”
He added that he believed a
“nice guy” campaign could be a
winner next November.
“You can win that way,” he
said. “This state is crying out for
a campaign run at a higher
Pending his official
announcement, Johanns will
face State Auditor John Breslow
and U.S. Rep. Jon Christensen
for the Republican nomination
Double homicide still leaves questions
From Staff Reports
Four months ago today, Lincoln
police found two bodies. For four
months, they have been looking for
Officers found Harold Fowler
and Duane Johnson on June 14,
both dead in their apartment at 801
S. Ninth St. from gunshot wounds.
Investigators determined that the
bodies had been there since late
June 9 or early morning June 10.
With six investigators working
full time, Lincoln police are hoping
that keeping the case in the public
domain with a Monday press
release will produce more leads.
Based on witness information,
police are searching for a white man
in his 30s with blondish-brownish
hair. At the time of the killings, the
suspect had hair past his shoulders,
but police warned that the man may
have cut his hair or altered his
appearance since the crime.
The suspect is believed to be
violent and a drug abuser.
Jim Peschong, assistant chief,
said investigators have been follow
ing leads back through each man’s
“We’re not at a loss of things to
follow up,” he said. “You’ve got two
people who are dead and their lives
go off in different directions.”
Police asked that anyone with
information regarding the case call
CrimrStoppers at 475-3600, or the
Lincoln Police Department service
desk at 441-7204. Callers’ names
are kept confidential, and there is a
cash reward for information leading
to the arrest and conviction of the
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. MANJ1RA DATTA ;
Filmmaker and Photographer from India
Locating the Glass Wall
Visual Images and Reflections
on the Status of Peasant Women in India
3:00 p.m., TODAY, Oct 14, City Union
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