Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement
Celebrations of / Days of Service
- Welcome Week
- Homecoming (community clean-ups, code violations in neighborhoods—Sunday before Homecoming)
- MLK Day of Service
- Big Event
IME offers four large-scale celebrations of service each year. These volunteer opportunities
available to USM students, faculty, and staff and occur at various times during the
The first event is our Welcome Week Service Activity during the First Week of School in late August/ early September. The second major service activity is during the week of Homecoming. In January, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the MLK Day of Service as part of the campus wide MLK Celebration.
The Big Event is collaborative effort between our office and a committee of campus partners to create a weeklong celebration of service for the Pinebelt. Days of Service/ Celebrations of Service (weeklong activities are an opportunity for the campus to come together and build upon the great service performed throughout the year by the USM community.
Service Nights are monthly on-campus service events provided by the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. Coordinated by our Eagle Service Ambassadors, these activities provide an opportunity for students to engage in service together without the need to leave campus. It removes barriers to student service created by lack of transportation.
Service Projects include Dog toys for Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Blankets for the Homeless, Stuff Bears for Child Patients, creating little free libraries, making hygiene kits for the homeless, etc.
The IME Volunteer fair is a Non-Profit and Community partners fair that brings the community to campus for students to see the various volunteer opportunities that they can participate in and for them to learn about the ways that they can make an impact in their community.
Kente Graduation Ceremony
The University of Southern Mississippi Kente Celebration is an event which recognizes, acknowledges, appreciate, and celebrates the educational achievements of our students within the African Diaspora. We aim to celebrate academic excellence of our graduates, while affirming their identities and cultures.
Purpose: Our purpose is to share and celebrate their heritage, individual accomplishments, and accomplishments of the entire graduating class as they transition into the professional world. Students receive a hand-woven Kente stole from Ghana, Africa. The Kente stole cloth dates to 12th century Africa, Ghana, and the Ashanti people. The cloth, traditionally worn by Kings, Queens, and influential figures in Ghana’s society during ceremonial occasions. The Kente Ceremony is open to ALL graduating Black and African American seniors and graduate students graduating in the Fall/Spring semester. Our goal is to empower our students to be their authentic selves and encourage them to pursue their dreams as they receive recognition walking across the stage.
Succeeding While Achieving Greatness (SWAG) is a college preparation program that is designed to facilitate a smooth transition into university life while allowing students to develop the academic skills and personal responsibility necessary to ensure success at the university level. This program caters to first year historically underserved students and transfer students succeed while at Southern Miss. The program format is designed to cover topics not discussed during traditional orientation. We cover topics but not limited to civility, dress code, budgeting refunds, etc.
Celebration of Scholastic Excellence (COSE)
This program is done in partnership with the Afro-American Student Organization. This program recognizes the accomplishments of our African American students and student leaders. We pay tribute to historical trailblazers who have paved the way for historically underserved students past and present.
Black Faculty, Staff, and Student Mixer
This is a social event held in partnership with the Black Faculty Staff Alliance. This event connects historically underrepresented students' network, build connections, and fellowship with faculty and staff at USM. This serves as an opportunity for students, Black administrators, and faculty to focus on issues that Black students and employees face at USM. This event is traditionally, held during September, at the height of the semester.
International and Diversity Education Week (I.D.E.W.)
Held in collaboration with Study Abroad, English Language Institute and Center for International Studies. This event provides the campus with a weeklong opportunity to engage and interact with International and domestic students. As a result, students are given the opportunity to engage with various cultures. Programming includes, Study Abroad Fair, British Tea, International Diversity Fair, and International and Diversity Luncheon.
Homeless Awareness Week
This interactive teaching demonstration creates awareness of poverty and food distribution. A meal is provided during which everyone eats in proportion to the way food is distributed throughout the world. By experiencing world conditions, participants gain a better understanding of the disparity of food and wealth distribution.
Second Chance Prom (PRISM Event)
This event gives students in the LGBTQIA+ community the opportunity to attend prom without restrictions. This formal event mimics high school prom in that it includes a “pride walk”, dinner, formal attire, a DJ and photobooth. This event caters to the LGBTQIA+ population and allies. Students are not limited in gender expression nor are they limited in date choice. Students who are in attendance feel welcomed.
Rainbow Graduation (PRISM)
Rainbow Graduation is annual graduation ceremony, like the Kente graduation, recognizing and honoring LGBTQIA+ and ally students and acknowledge their accomplishments and contributions. Our goal is to provide a venue to demonstrate the success in an intimate and celebratory way. Students are given a rainbow stole that can be worn during commencement and serves as a visual representation that the university supports all students and their unique identities.
PRIDE Day at Spirit Day (PRISM)
A fun, social evening of all things PRIDE. Can encompass, Drag shows, games, parade, food. We want to provide an on-campus “Pride” experience for students to attend and broadcast their talent.
National Coming Out Day (PRISM)
National Coming out Day is held nationally on October 11th. The Office of IME celebrates students, faculty, and staff on their courage to be their authentic selves. This Celebration varies and serves as an outlet for students to connect and gain peer and institution support.
This day long, conference is done in partnership with the Men of Excellence. This event targets men of all backgrounds to come together for a common cause, Brotherhood. This interactive summit includes interactive programming in a manner that is relatable to students and supports the retention efforts of the university.