CULLOWHEE—Western Carolina University’s Diversity Week kicks off Thursday, Sept. 16, with a reception for Cherokee artist Shan Goshorn and continues with events ranging from a program about unintentional racism to a concert by an African-American bluegrass group.
The theme of WCU’s 11th annual Diversity Week, which is coordinated by the Department of Intercultural Affairs and concludes with Mountain Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 25, is “One Campus, Many Voices: Paving the Path for an Inclusive Community.”
“We hope students will take away skills and insights that help them navigate and appreciate the diverse communities in their classrooms, their residence halls and the world around them,” said Yolany Gonell, associate director of intercultural affairs.
The Sept. 16 reception for Goshorn and the opening of an exhibit titled “Shan Goshorn: Reclaiming Cultural Ownership – Challenging Indian Stereotypes” will be held at the Fine Art Museum in the Fine and Performing Arts Center from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibit explores “unlearning” stereotypes and fostering native pride, and will be at the museum through Sunday, Oct. 24.
Then, on Sunday, Sept. 19, the annual Allie Picnic will be held at the WCU picnic pavilion from 4 to 7: 30 p.m.
On Monday, Sept. 20, a session titled “Exploring Unintentional Racism,” will be held at 3 p.m. in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. Participants will examine how they can become more culturally competent and aware of seemingly small, fleeting interactions that could be creating divides between people.
On Tuesday, Sept. 21, those who attend “When Inspiration Becomes Discrimination,” at 12:15 p.m. in club Illusions at the University Center will participate in an interactive experience designed to reveal the ramifications of viewing people with disabilities as exceptional or inspirational. Later that evening, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American bluegrass musical group, will perform a concert sponsored by the Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series at WCU in the Fine and Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the concert, a session titled “Truth Be Told: The Banjo from Africa to Appalchia” will be held at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, in FAPAC Room 130 to explore the artwork that links Africa to Appalachia. Also on Wednesday, “Latinos: The Exploration of a Diverse Community” will be hosted in club Illusions at the UC at 7 p.m.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, Davy Arch, a master artist and Cherokee storyteller, will present “The Evolution of Cherokee Art” and share artifacts, textiles and tools at 3 p.m. in club Illusions at the UC. The presentation will be followed at 6 p.m. by “Connecting Back to Tradition,” an exploration of how various Asian communities sustain traditions and identities as they expand into new communities and cultures.
Other Diversity Week events include a Center for Student Involvement open house at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24; the Mountain Heritage Day festival on Saturday, Sept. 25; and a variety of service projects and student life activities.
All events are free of charge except the Carolina Chocolate Drops concert. Tickets for the concert are $5 for students and $10 for all others.
For more information, contact Gonell at email@example.com or 828-227-2615.