KG NEWS  &  EVENTS

KG Launches 5th Annual Rainbow Week on the Uegahara Campus

Public Relations Office        May 15, 2017

Professor Takeda with students on the Central Lawn

Professor Takeda with students on the Central Lawn

Kwansei Gakuin University launched its 5th annual KG Rainbow Week on May 15th, a weeklong series of activities which will run from May 15th to May 19th on the Nishinomiya Uegahara campus and from May 22nd to May 26th on the Kobe-Sanda campus. KG Rainbow Week is intended to celebrate diversity and deepen student understanding of the issues facing sexual minorities, both on campus and across the world.
Held annually since 2013, the date of KG Rainbow Week was chosen to coincide with the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO or IDAHOT) on May 17th, a day for people in over 130 countries to unite in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation. This year, the theme of Rainbow Week is “A Kwangaku Where I Am Accepted as I Am” The university will hold a variety of events—including exhibits, movie screenings, discussion panels, talk sessions, lectures and joint chapel services—aimed at celebrating diversity and increasing awareness of LGBT issues.

Professor Takeda speaking at the launch event

Professor Takeda speaking at the launch event

During his opening remarks, Professor Joe Takeda, of the university’s Institute for Human Rights Research and Education, emphasized his wish for KG Rainbow Week to serve as a call for real social action, in order to ensure that Kwansei Gakuin University is a place where everyone feels accepted. University President Osamu Murata declared, “One aspect of being a global citizen is being able to understand and acknowledge differences in sexuality, and I hope that we can take advantage of this opportunity to create a space where we can have frank discussions with each other.” The opening speeches were followed by moving musical performances from volunteers, including the student a cappella group “Crescent Party."

Members of the Crescent Party a cappella group

Members of the Crescent Party a cappella group

Ms. Kobayashi speaking at the event

Ms. Kobayashi speaking at the event

To close the launch event, Waka Kobayashi, a Kwansei Gakuin alumna and Kobe IDAHO event organizer, spoke about her own experiences and offered words of encouragement. “While these actions now might be small, you have friends on this campus who still feel like they can’t say that they are sexual minorities. I really hope that you will all continue to carry on the work of Rainbow Week.”
Since its founding in 1889, Kwansei Gakuin University has aspired to create an educational environment that accepts people from all walks of life, with a deep concern for human rights based on the university’s guiding Christian principles. In that spirit, the university released an “Inclusive Community Declaration” in September 2010, a mission statement aimed at bringing about a barrier-free KG which recognizes strength in diversity. Faced with an era replete with complex and ever-changing challenges, KG continues to work toward building a community that respects diversity and acknowledges different values, in order to empower individuals to make contributions to society and the world at large.