Close Menu

Whitworth to host Ninth International Education and Diversity Forum Nov. 17

November 15, 2016
The Whitworth School of Education presents its ninth annual International Education and Diversity Forum on Thursday, Nov. 17. The event is free and open to the public, and will take place from 6-9 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Hixson Union Building (HUB) at Whitworth University. For more information, please call (509) 777-3228.

For the last nine years, the Whitworth School of Education has celebrated international education and diversity by hearing from voices with a variety of backgrounds and by interacting with people from other cultures,” says Roberta Wilburn, associate dean for graduate studies in education and diversity initiatives. “The diversity in our keynote speakers and workshop leaders provides our students and community members with a greater understanding of issues related to educating underrepresented groups and how we can assist them in achieving greater equity and success within our schools. This year, our outstanding speakers will give us insight into what is like to be ‘the other,’ and will share stories and strategies for working more effectively with different groups. We invite everyone to come and be a part of this great cultural awareness event.”

The International Education & Diversity Forum seeks to build international and cultural understanding, to prepare individuals for life in a global environment, and to encourage conversations surrounding each year’s theme. This year, the evening schedule for Human Connections: Learning from our Multilayered Stories will include a keynote address, “The Power of Story,” presented by Whitworth Assistant Professor of Theatre Brooke Kiener and Assistant Dean for Student Diversity, Equity & Inclusion David H. Garcia. Kiener and Garcia will share a teaching model that uses and dramatizes the stories of students, both at Whitworth and in the Spokane Community; two students will perform their own stories to illustrate the power of this pedagogy.

The evening also includes four workshop presenters, and attendees will be able to select two of the four sessions. Each workshop will be presented two times during the night, at 7:20-8:05 p.m. and 8:15-9 p.m. The workshops are as follows:

“I Am More than My Label,” Kira Austin, Ph.D.

This session will explore how to use person-first language and take a strengths-based perspective when working with individuals with disabilities and mental health concerns. (HUB Multipurpose Room)

“In the Land of Circles: A Story about Being Different,” Sandra Williams, The Black Lens

A personal account of the challenges of growing up, trying to fit in, and coming to terms with having a different sexual orientation. (HUB ABC Room)

“Body Communication through Japanese Perspectives,” Dr. Yukari Sakiyama, Mukogawa Women’s University of Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan

Participants will experience popular Japanese children's playful movements. The presenter’s demonstration of how to develop these movements for communication is based upon the dance/movement therapy approach. (HUB Crow’s Nest)

“The Art of Kamishibai,” Ellen Sherriffs Hall and students from Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute 

Mukogawa students will demonstrate the traditional art of Japanese storytelling. (HUB Crow’s Nest)

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Jennifer Von Behren, program assistant for graduate studies in education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3228 or

Lauren Clark Hughes, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or