Cultural & Diversity Events
ECE welcomes students of all nationalities, cultures, identities, and backgrounds. We are proud of the diverse communities that are represented by our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, and we are committed to recognizing and celebrating that diversity.
In an effort to make the department a home away from home for our students, we acknowledge and celebrate many cultural events and holidays from around the world. These events serve to empower cultural exchange, understanding, and respect. All are welcome to attend!
While ECE does not host a Christmas celebration, we do host an event celebrating common Western cultural practices late in the Fall semester that we call our “Festive Sweater Party.”
Come join us for hot coco and cookie decorating, and wear your most festive holiday sweater for a chance to win a prize!
Diwali (Deepawali) is the famous Hindu Festival of Light, which lasts for five days and is celebrated every year. Lighting a lamp symbolizes the destruction – through knowledge – of all negative forces, such as wickedness, violence, lust, anger, envy, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, oppression and suffering. Fireworks are lit and families and friends enjoy sumptuous feasts together.
ECE celebrates Diwali with food, dancing, and activities such as henna and candle lighting and decorating.
More about Diwali >
ECE Culture Club
ECE Culture Club was initiated in 2020 as a community-bonding event series. Each event is led by an ECE student, faculty, or staff member, and explores their home country, region, and/or culture. Events cover the different traditions, languages, food, crafts, history, etc. Attendees can ask the presenter questions on different topics, including recommendations for places and times to visit and foods to try.
Each event is open to all ECE students, faculty, and staff. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a list of upcoming events and to watch recordings of past events, visit our Culture Club Event Page >
Not to be confused with Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), Halloween – or “All Hallows’ Eve” – is a largely secular holiday celebrated mainly in Europe and North America. It originated in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland when it was believed that the souls of the dead returned home. People wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts, which is how demons, witches, hobgoblins, and fairies became associated with the holiday.
ECE celebrates Halloween with a costume contest and a traditional Trick-or-Treat event where students visit offices throughout the EECS building to collect candy.
More about Halloween >
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset in keeping with ṣawm, meaning self-restraint, which is one of the pillars of Islam. After sunset, the fast is broken with the evening meal, Iftar, which is shared with friends and extended family.
ECE hosts a special Iftar dinner during Ramadan, which features traditional foods and occasionally live music. For anyone who is not able to return home during Ramadan, they are still able to share this tradition with their ECE family.
More about Ramadan and Iftar >
Lunar New Year
Also known as Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival, this holiday has been around for thousands of years and is practiced by 20% of the world’s population. It began as a ceremonial day to pray to gods for a good planting and harvest season, but it is also associated with the myth of Nian. Nian was a monster who came every New Year’s Eve until a boy repelled it with firecrackers and red decorations.
ECE celebrates Lunar New Year with an event featuring Chinese music, cuisine, calligraphy, and performances.
More about Lunar New Year >
Nowruz is part of the Persian New Year Festival that dates back to more than 3,500 years ago. It’s about spending time with family, friends, and neighbors.
ECE’s Nowruz celebration features food, music, and a Haft-Seen, which is a tabletop arrangement of seven symbolic items.
To learn more about this holiday’s history and traditions, check out our: Nowruz Pamphlet >
ECE is committed to creating a community where all aspects of people – including race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, religion, body shape, size, and ability – are respected.
Below are events that ECE specifically hosts for the purpose of providing platforms to those whose voices are traditionally silenced. We hope these events can help spark honest conversation that will lead to a more compassionate, respectful, and inclusive environment for all.
On June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, bringing news that the American Civil War had finally ended and that the enslaved were now free. Juneteenth has been celebrated by the African American community ever since. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Today, Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom and achievement with the goal of promoting and cultivating knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.
Spirit Day is a world-wide anti-bullying campaign designed to raise awareness about the challenges and issues faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community.
ECE, in partnership with the Office of Student Affairs, honors this day by handing out Pride t-shirts for solidarity and hosting roundtable discussions to foster a compassionate and inclusive environment.
More about Spirit Day >
Dr. Willie Hobbs Moore Distinguished Alumni Lecture (ECE)
Dr. Willie Hobbs Moore (1934–1994) was the first African American woman at Michigan to earn a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering (‘58 and ‘61), and the first African American woman in the country to earn a PhD in physics in 1972.
The Dr. Willie Hobbs Moore Alumni Lecture is given once a year by ECE alumni from traditionally underrepresented groups in ECE who are leaders in their field and serve as role models for the ECE community through their leadership, impact on society, service to the community, or other contributions.
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