Diversity Week events scheduled through Sept. 19

The Western Carolina University Department of Intercultural Affairs is sponsoring Diversity Week on campus to raise awareness and appreciation for diverse groups in the community from Sunday, Sept. 14, through Friday, Sept. 19.

Monti Washington and Julia Garcia

Monti Washington and Julia Garcia

The week’s keynote speakers will be Julia Garcia and Monti Washington, who will present an interactive program titled “Diversity University” in the A.K. Hinds University Center Grandroom at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18.

Garcia, author of the book “Somewhere In Between,” is the creator and founder of Truality.org, a movement that combines motivational speaking with the creative arts. Washington is a professional actor, life coach and award-winning spoken-word poet.

Slam poetry, role-playing skits and crowd participation will be part of their program, which they designed to break stereotypical barriers through cultural collaboration while exploring, expanding and educating students.

In addition, the duo will share stories of dealing with pain and loss from their own lives as a way to help inspire students to be true to themselves. The Office of Leadership and Student Involvement is co-sponsoring the event.

Garcia and Washington also will lead a diversity leadership training program from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 19.

The week kicks off with the Annual Ally Picnic at the WCU picnic area on Sept. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Then on Monday, Sept. 15, in the University Center, where all other Diversity Week events are held, John Habel, associate professor of psychology, will present “Unintentional Racism” at 3 p.m. in the Catamount Room. Also, the video “Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land” will be screened in the Cardinal Room at 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, a study abroad fair sponsored by International Programs and Services will be held in the Grandroom from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a discussion titled “More Than Just a Game” centered on sports ethics and culture will take place the Catamount Room at 5:30 p.m. Leading the discussion will be Kadence Otto, professor of sport management, and Tom Belt, coordinator of the WCU Cherokee Language Program.

The “Take Back the Night” event to shatter silence about sexual violence will follow on Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Grandroom. Jessica Greer Morris, executive director and co-founder of Girl Be Heard, will present at 7 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Residential Living, Department of Student Community Ethics, First Year Experience program, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs, and Counseling and Psychological Services.

Diversity Week concludes Sept. 19 with an open house in the lounge of the Department of Intercultural Affairs from 1 to 4 p.m.

To register for the diversity leadership training program, send an email to Takeshia Brown, associate director for programs in the Department of Intercultural Affairs, at ftbrown@wcu.edu. For more information about Diversity Week, call 828-227-2276 or send an email to ica@wcu.edu.