Performance artist Ilene Evans has always been about celebrating the one world we call homewhether shes entertaining school children in Davis, W.Va., or festival-goers in Edinburg, Scotland.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, shell help celebrateOneWVUas the keynote speaker at West Virginia Universitys 21st annual Women of Color Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms.

Walking in Beautyis the title of her program, which will weave music, poetry and monologues and more, as she talks about the act of achieving racial harmony, acceptance and toleranceone step at a timeat a timein Appalachia and elsewhere.

The luncheon is sponsored by WVU s Council for Womens Concerns and has long been a marquee event in the Universitys Diversity Week observances, a showcase of the international community on campus. Interim President C. Peter Magrath will also offer brief welcoming remarks at the luncheon.

This years Diversity Week theme isOneWVU( ), a tribute to the grassroots campaign of the same name founded by mens soccer coach Marlon LeBlanc and a handful of students. The OneWVU program affirms the Universitys commitment to a diverse yet unified campus.

Thats what makes Evansluncheon appearance all the more exciting, said Vickie Trickett, a College of Business and Economics administrator who is coordinating the event for the council.

Ilene Evans is very entertaining, and shes very inspiring,Trickett said.She uses her talents as a performer to get us all thinking about our history and how things should be in the present and the future.

Evans, who holds bachelors and masters degrees in philosophy and psychology, mixes academia and entertainment in her artistic mission to educate. She was a professional dancer in Chicago but decided shed try a new step by leaving urban climes of the Windy City for a slower paced life in the Mountain State.

Shes the co-founder of Voices of the Earth, a nonprofit arts organization in Thomas, W.Va., that relies on artists, actors, singers and musicians to tell West Virginias story and Americas story, especially through the eyes of black slaves and immigrants.

Evans might be best known for her one-woman portrayals of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, one of the leaders of the Underground Railroad, and Memphis Tennessee Garrison, vice president of the national board of the NAACP in the 1960s.Its not so muchactingas it is acknowledging our collective history, Evans said.

We are the stuff of which our stories our made,she said.Its a difficult thing to live in this world. Stories can keep the darkness at bay. Its how we forgive ourselves.

Admission is $12 for students and $25 for the general public. The registration deadline is Oct. 8. For details, visit the Council for Womens Concern online at or call Trickett at 304-293-7804.

The Council of Womens Concerns promotes equality of women on campus and in the community. Its made up of women and men and includes WVU faculty, staff and students, along with others from the greater Morgantown area.