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Whitworth Cultural Awareness Week to encourage exploration of diverse perspectives

November 11, 2009
Whitworth University is sponsoring Cultural Awareness Week, "Open your Mind: LIVE...LOVE...LEARN...." Nov. 16-20, featuring Whitworth clubs and community groups representing traditions, beliefs and lifestyles of different cultures. The event will promote learning and understanding of various cultures at Whitworth, in the surrounding community and throughout the world.

"We are a multicultural society, and cultural competence is vital in today's world," says Jaquette Easterlin, cultural events coordinator for the Associated Students of Whitworth University. "I hope people walk away from this week with a newfound understanding of something or someone different from themselves."

In conjunction with Cultural Awareness Week, Whitworth will also hold an event in honor of Native American Awareness Month, which occurs in November. The Four Directions Native Club will host an Alaska Native Night, featuring a traditional Alaskan dinner and arts and crafts, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. in the Hixson Union Building's Multipurpose Room.

Following is information about Cultural Awareness Week events (events are free unless otherwise noted):
  • Monday, Nov. 16: Whitworth's Hawaiian Club will make Spam musabis, which are similar to sushi, at 11:30 a.m. in the HUB Multipurpose Room.

    Monday, Nov. 16: The Black Student Union will host a "Bag of Hope" kickoff event at 12 p.m. in the HUB Lied Square. Bag of Hope is a fund-raising event, which will take place at 5 p.m., to assist an alumna from Whitworth who teaches in New Orleans. Her students need new supplies and snacks.

    Monday, Nov. 16: Slam poets Shihan and Martin Boston will perform at 7 p.m. in the HUB Multipurpose Room.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 18: A film, "Born into Brothels," will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall.

  • Thursday, Nov. 19: The Open Conversation: Gay-Straight Association club will present
    a screening of the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So at 7 the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. For the Bible Tells Me So explores the intersection of homosexuality and Christianity in the U.S., and presents various interpretations of how the Bible addresses homosexuality. It also includes interviews with Christian parents who have raised gay and lesbian children and interviews with those adult children.

    Thursday, Nov. 19: A gospel workshop, "The Birth of Gospel," will explore gospel music at 6 p.m. in the ASWU Chambers in the HUB.

  • Friday, Nov. 20: International Banquet, sponsored by the Whitworth International Club. A buffet dinner will be served at 5 p.m. in the Whitworth University Dining Hall. The dinner will feature an array of specialty foods from countries around the world.

    An international fashion show and entertainment program will start at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Whitworth students and groups from the Spokane community. Performances will include a guest speech by Whitworth Professor of Sociology Raja Tanas, as well as Hawaiian dancing, steel drumming, French singing, African dancing, spoken word, and the Whitworth Exceptional Praise Gospel Choir. Tickets for the banquet are $15 general admission, $12 for students and children, and free for children five and under. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by calling the Whitworth University Information Desk in the HUB at (509) 777-3796. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Jaquette Easterlin, ASWU Cultural Events Coordinator and MAC Chair, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4790 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or