In an effort to show that war is not colorblind, students from UC campuses across the state are gathering at UCSB to promote peace.

The 13th Annual UC Student Association’s Student of Color Conference is being held Feb. 28 through March 2. This year’s conference is titled “The War on Education and the Militarization of Our Community” and will focus on the repercussions the war on terrorism has for students, particularly for students of color.

“Basically, the conference is an opportunity for all UC students and community members to come together and discuss effective strategies for dealing with issues faced by students of color due to the current atmosphere in America, post-September 11,” Rebekah Waldron, co-commissioner of the Student Coalition on Racial Equality (SCORE), said.

The focus of the conference will be the peaceful resolution of the conflict with Iraq. Other topics to be addressed during the conference are racial profiling, hate crimes and the mistreatment of people of Middle-Eastern descent.

“The Students of Color Conference will attempt to mobilize a statewide coalition in order to construct an effective anti-war movement,” Waldron said. “I hope that the conference will be a turning point for students to come to an understanding of the issues of war, especially recognizing how people of color are affected.”

The conference’s budget of approximately $20,000 is being provided by SCORE with the support of several sponsors including UC Student Association, Fund for Santa Barbara Events, Multicultural Center, I.V. Community Relations Committee, Graduate Student Association, Chancellor Henry Yang and Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas.

The UC Student Association has put on the Students of Color Conference at different UC campuses for the past 13 years, but this is the first to be held at UCSB. SCORE is organizing the event with assistance from other campus groups including A.S. Women’s Commission, Student Action Forum on the Middle East, Queer Student Union, Asian Sisters and Brothers for Ideas in Action Now! and El Congreso.

Several workshops will be held dealing with various topics ranging from “Sexual Terrorism: Rape and War” to “Militarization Recruitment of High School Students.”

In addition, there will be a performance by Erin O’Brien and a concert by the B-Side Players and Prophets of Rage. Aaron McGruder, creator of the “Boondocks” comic strip, will kick off the conference Friday evening at 7:30 in Corwin Pavilion.

The conference is open for all to attend. Admission is free for UCSB students and $10 for non-students. For more information, contact SCORE at 893-8849.