West Virginia Universitys 2007 Diversity Week observances are Oct. 14-21, and while the campus is gearing up to celebrate the presence and cultures of those who come here from across oceans, its also readying to welcome a native son home.
It Takes All of Usis the theme of this years Diversity Week, presented annually by the Presidents Office for Social Justice.
A genuine African princess is paying a visit to campus during the week, and youll also see examples of meaningful work and research done by WVU s international faculty, students and staffers.
Others will offer compellingjourneystories of tenacity and triumph in the face of physical disabilities and other challenges.
The week also folds in the inauguration celebration of President Mike Garrison, a WVU alum and first-generation college student from north-central West Virginia who is being officially being installed Oct. 19 in ceremonies at Woodburn Circle.
Were very pleased and honored that President Garrison has chosen our Diversity Week to be part of his special moment as he comes home to WVU ,said Jennifer McIntosh, executive officer for social justice.
That shows you the power and pull a community has on people,she said,and you cant have a community like WVU if you dont have tolerance and awareness of �€~the other guy,you know? That means respect, understanding and appreciation of other cultures. Thats our University and thats Diversity Week.
Sunday, Oct. 14 Sometimes the best way to get to know people is by breaking bread with them. WVU s Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority is hosting a Cultural Awareness Dinner from 4-7 p.m. in the Towers ballrooms on the Evansdale Campus. Enjoy tasty food and make the acquaintance of international students, staff and faculty who have come to call WVU and Morgantown home. There is a nominal fee to attend. Call 304-293-5496 for details.
Monday, Oct. 15 Lunchtime at the Mountainlair has never been so vibrant and life-affirming. WVU s African Dance Ensemble under the direction of Gordon Nunn will give a special noon performance in the commons area. The internationally recognized ensemble has toured the United States, Taiwan and South Korea.
Tuesday, Oct. 16 When peace takes root, harmony and awareness bloom. The American Indian community from the campus and the region will again gather down from Woodburn Hall for the official rededication of WVU s white pine Peace Tree. The noontime ceremony is also a call for the end of war and conflict.
Wednesday, Oct. 17 Sarah Culbersons search for her birth father ended happily three years ago, but she also discovered something far beyond her dreams. She found out she was bona fide royaltya princesssince her father is a member of the ruling family for the Sierra Leone province he calls home. The WVU grad talks about her life as a long-distance advocate to the people of her new, second home during the Universitys annual Women of Color Luncheon in the Mountainlair ballrooms. The luncheon is sponsored by the Council for Womens Concerns and Presidents Office for Social Justice. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, visitwww.as.wvu.edu/cwcor call Gloria Browning, senior special events coordinator, at 304-293-8021.
Thursday, Oct. 18 WVU faculty can learn how to better accommodate students with disabilities during the Disabilities Services in Higher Education panel at 1 p.m. in the Mountainlairs Rhododendron Room. The panel includes Derek Fincham, a disabilities services counselor at WVU who served two years as the Mountaineer mascot despite a visual impairment.
Friday, Oct. 19 Join the inauguration of WVU s 22nd president, Mike Garrison, at 1 p.m. on Woodburn Circle. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the WVU Creative Arts Center. The inauguration is open to the public. Seating on Woodburn Circle is limited and will be reserved for ceremony participants. General seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. For more information, visithttp://inauguration.wvu.edu/.
Saturday, Oct. 20 Come see the exciting moves of WVU s black fraternities and sororities during theStep into the Mountains13th annual party walk competition from 7-9 p.m. at downtown Morgantowns landmark Metropolitan Theatre. Each organization will enter the stage with its own signature steps. This is a ticketed event; call 202-288-2131 for details.
Sunday, Oct. 21 Officials from the city of Morgantown, the Monongalia County Board of Education and WVU will convene at Blaney House, home of the WVU president, for a noon memorandum signing,Building an Inclusive Community.The document will further advance an already strong mission of providing opportunity and access for all citizens who have made the campus and region their home.
Visithttp://www.wvu.edu/~socjust/Diversity/diversity_week_2007.htmfor a complete schedule of Diversity Week events.