The issue of war has been and should be on everyone’s mind to some degree. The Santa Barbara community has been very responsive to this issue simply through the ongoing Saturday peace marches downtown. Our campus has also had several events including last week’s anti-war rally at Storke Plaza.

It is crucial to understand this war as one deeply rooted in issues of race, privilege, etc., as much as that of capitalism and power. Because of the complexity of our president’s use of the terms “war” and “terrorism,” it is especially important that we all work together so that we can deliver a unified message as an anti-war movement.

As Rebekah Waldron, co-chair of Student Commission on Racial Equality (S.C.O.R.E.) told me, “There have been several attempts to form an anti-war coalition on our campus but it has been difficult to get diverse communities to work together. Hopefully this can be a great opportunity to bridge different perspectives not only on our campus but from across the state so that together we can build an effective anti-war movement.”

This said, I would like to invite those interested in anti-war activism to the University of California Student Association’s 13th Annual Student of Color Conference, which will take place Feb. 28 through March 2 on our very own UCSB campus. This year’s title is “The War on Education and the Militarization of Our Community.” The mission statement of the conference is as follows: “This conference will deal specifically with the repercussions that the war on terrorism has on students, particularly students of color. This conference will be an exciting opportunity for schools to unite in order to confront the otherwise daunting topic of foreign conflict by focusing on issues specific to students and discussing realistic actions that can be taken to ensure that our civil liberties and opportunities for higher education remain.”

Associated Students’ S.C.O.R.E., along with representatives from various organizations such as Women’s Commission, Asian Sisters & Brothers for Ideas in Action Now!, Queer Student Union and El Congreso, have worked incredibly hard to make sure this event is a success. The keynote speaker will be Aaron McGruder, the creator of the “Boondocks” comic strip.

The conference will also consist of various workshops on a wide array of topics ranging from “Sexual Terrorism: Rape and War” to “Militarization Recruitment of High School Students.” Some of the highlights include a performance piece by Erin O’Brien and a concert with the B-Side Players and Prophets of Rage. The welcoming event will begin Friday evening at 7:30 in Corwin Pavilion.

Don’t miss this great and rare opportunity. This conference is open to everyone. For more information about this weekend contact S.C.O.R.E. at 893-8849. I look forward to seeing you there.

Isabel Millan is the external vice president for statewide affairs for Associated Students.