West Virginia University is celebrating spring with dancing, tea and games from around the world.

WVU’s Spring Diversity Days, sponsored by the President’s Office for Social Justice, will be held Wednesday (April 6) to Saturday (April 9).

“The richness of diversity at WVU merits extensive celebration,” said Jennifer McIntosh, WVU’s executive officer of social justice. “This richness is grounded in both institutional commitment and the leadership of so many people here at WVU. Our event provides a reminder of the many individuals and partners combining their energies to create a warm and caring environment. I’m proud to be a part of such events.”

The days will kick off with “Games Night Out” at 5 p.m. on April 6 in the Rhododendron Room of the Mountainlair. Student organizations representing different areas of the world will share games native to their country. Refreshments will be served. The event is co-sponsored by Student Organizations Services.

At 6 p.m. on April 6, author and journalist Daleen Berry will discuss her book “Sister of Silence” in the Gold Ballroom of the Mountainlair. The book details Berry’s secret life as a victim of domestic violence. The book is available for purchase at the WVU Bookstore. The event is co-sponsored by WELL WVU.

The WVU community is invited to sample teas and taste desserts from across the globe on Thursday (April 7). Visitors can try Masela Chai from India, Earl Grey from Great Britain, Bubble Tea from China, Lemongrass Tea from Mexico, Mango Tea from Sri Lanka and Turkish Black Tea from Turkey. The tea is open to the public, and will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms. WVU’s Council for Women’s Concerns, Office of International Students and Scholars, and Center for Women’s Studies is co-sponsoring this event.

Four individuals and one group that have worked to promote cultural understanding in the community will be recognized at the event with Diversi-Tea Leadership Awards.

They are: sociology Professor Daniel Brewster, the faculty advisor for the student organization “Student Advocates of Invisible Children” at WVU ; student Erin Clemens, who has provided free English as a second language and basic adult reading education in Morgantown; Coordinator of the Native American Studies Program Bonnie M. Brown, who has trained teachers on how to incorporate Native American material into their classroom; Multicultural Specialist at the WELL WVU Carruth Center for Counseling and Psychological and Psychiatric Services Shelley Savage, who secured grant funding to sponsor a conference to support students from diverse backgrounds as they adjust to the university setting; and the WVU Intensive English Program for its HOME project, which was implemented to get students from around the world into the community to volunteer.

Also at the tea, Founder and Artistic Director of M.T. Pockets Theatre Toni Morris, who is also a WVU professor, will be doing a portrayal of Letitia Baldrige, social secretary under First-Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Baldrige is known for writing several books on manners and protocol.

On April 9, the WVU community can experience African dancing and other entertainment with Africa Night from 5-9 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms. Tickets are $15 or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available in the President’s Office for Social Justice, room B11 of Stewart Hall. For more information on Africa Week events, visit http://www.asa.studentorgs.wvu.edu/events . This event is co-sponsored by Student Affairs, the Center for Black Culture and Research, Office of International Students and Scholars, Multicultural Programs, Student Government Association, African Students’ Association, University Relations and the Vice-President for Administration and Finance.

Also in the evening of April 9, community members are invited to participate in a dessert tasting competition and silent auction. Sweets for the Sweet will be held at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Morgantown. Entertainment will be provided by “Dreams of Hope.” Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. The event is sponsored by the WVU Council on Sexual Orientation and Caritas House.

For more information, visit http://socialjustice.wvu.edu/news_and_events/spring_diversity_days .



CONTACT: Sharon Mallow, President’s Office for Social Justice
304-293-5496, ext. 4572, Sharon.Mallow@mail.wvu.edu