Resources for ResLife and Student Leaders

Educational Program: Ties that Bind

In Educational Progams, In-Services on March 1, 2013 at 1:25 AM
Ties that Bind(Samantha Cassell)

Ties that Bind
(Samantha Cassell)


This program is meant to highlight the diversity within a community, especially “invisible” diversity. Different colored strips of paper represent different aspects of someone’s identity. Residents write on the strips why that identity is important to them, then the strips are added to a large link chain. The chain can be hung up in a common area. Diversity, decoration, fun!


Lots of colored paper





Cut out a lot of strips of different colored papers. I suggest about 8 different colors. Choose an aspect of identity/personality to correspond to each color. Ours were gender, race, religion, family, ability, activity, sexual identity, region, other.

Colors of diversity

Colors of diversity

Have residents choose a few that are important to them- as many as they want, depending on how inspired they are. They should write down why it is important to them or how they feel it plays into their identity. Once they wrote it down, staple the strip into the chain! Hang the chain up in a common area for all to see.

The mostly-completed chain

The mostly-completed chain

This is a good way to demonstrate all types of diversity. It shows both how the community is similar as a whole but each person is a unique individual as well. Yay, diversity!


  • We did this program in the lobby. Since it didn’t take much time, almost everyone who came into the building participated! Those who were really into it stayed longer and did more in-depth links.
  • Tailor the categories to your community.

Credit: Samantha Cassell, Valparaiso University


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