The University’s “21 Days of Change” kicks off April 1 as a collaborative series of events that focus on social change. Groups from both the campus and the community are participating to help raise awareness, encourage involvement and promote change. Events begin April 1 and continue through April 21 when Mycoskie visits campus to share his story about his One for One movement.
Mycoskie’s One for One movement is an excellent example of social change and provides the perfect way to close out “21 Days of Change.” After learning that most children in developing countries grow up barefoot, the creative entrepreneur founded TOMS Shoes with the simple promise to give a pair of new shoes to children in need with every pair sold. The TOMS One for One movement uses the power of consumers to make positive social change and has become a blueprint for social enterprise now taught at universities around the world. Mycoskie and his work have been featured in People magazine and Time, and he is the recipient of the 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence. He now focuses his shoe giving and awareness efforts to fighting podoconiosis, a soil-transmitted disease that affects millions but is preventable with basic hygiene and by wearing shoes.
Before Mycoskie’s April 21 visit to campus, students and community members will be encouraged to take part in a variety of events and projects that comprise the “21 Days of Change.” A Social Justice Leadership Conference on “Local Connections and Global Perspectives” will set things in motion on April 1. The conference, sponsored by WTAMU’s Diversity Committee, will run from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Alumni Banquet Facility. The conference’s keynote speaker, Ibrahim Ramey, will present an open-to-the-public Distinguished Lecture at 7 p.m. that evening titled “Muslims in the West Post 9-11: Challenges and Opportunities.”
In addition to the conference, bidding begins April 1 at Ebay.com for the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum’s Style Your Sole Celebrity Auction. Twenty-one local artists and celebrities have used their creative talents to decorate TOMS shoes for the auction, and proceeds will benefit Canyon Meals on Wheels, Downtown Women’s Center and the museum. Bidding closes April 21. For a complete list of celebrity artists, visit wtamu.edu/TOMS.
A campus clean-up is planned for April 2, and April 5 is TOMS Shoes official One Day Without Shoes. The WTAMU event, sponsored by Student Government, encourages students to experience a day without shoes to raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life.
The WT Alliance will sponsor Buff Soles April 4-9 to collect new and gently used shoes. Students, faculty, staff and community members are asked to drop off donations at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center during the week and at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 9, the Buff Sole Give will present the collected shoes to representatives from Faith City and Mission Amarillo.
National Volunteer Week will be observed April 11-14, and Shack-A-Thon: Give-A-Goat is planned for April 13 on the lawn southeast of Old Main. The event is sponsored by the WT Alliance and Christian Relief Fund. Students will build and live overnight in shacks of cardboard, wooden pallets and duct tape. Funds raised will help purchase goats for the impoverished of southern Sudan.
Sigma Nu will sponsor “Stay Afloat” April 14 at the Virgil Henson Activities Center. Participants will build boats of cardboard, plastic wrap and duct tape for a race in the pool. Prizes will be awarded, and proceeds benefit the TOMS Shoes One for One movement.
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and CORE will sponsor Spring Fling/Battle of the Bands from 1-6 p.m. April 16 on the lawn south of the Old Education Building. The bands will battle it out, while those with TOMS shoes can use paint, glitter and more in a Style Your Sole activity. The event will close out with The Lloyd Dobler Effect in concert from 5-6 p.m. The S.T.O.P. (Students Taking On Prevention) Film Festival, sponsored by Amarillo Independent School District, Family Support Services, PULSE, Impact Futures, Tobacco Free Amarillo and Ragtown Media, begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center.
The WT Alliance will host Rez Week April 18-21 with Lifted Up scheduled for April 18 at the Virgil Henson Activities Center.
The winner of the April 16 Battle of the Bands will be the opening act for the Hawk Nelson concert at 6 p.m. April 21 at the First United Bank Center. Tickets for the concert are $10 each for open seating or $8 for groups of eight or more. After the concert, a TOMS documentary will play before Mycoskie takes to the stage at 8:30 p.m. for his Distinguished Lecture presentation. The lecture is free and open to the public and will close out “21 Days of Change” at WTAMU.