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Whitworth’s Heritage Month 2013 to explore African-American cultural experience

January 17, 2013
Events marking university’s 123rd anniversary to include gospel concert, film festival, and lecture on “The Spirituality of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement”

Each February, Whitworth commemorates its founding, on Feb. 20, 1890, with a month-long celebration. Heritage Month 2013 will kick off Thursday, Feb. 7, with the Founder’s Day Convocation, when students, faculty and staff gather to bring Whitworth’s history to life and dedicate themselves to building upon that legacy in the coming year. Heritage Month 2013 will focus on Whitworth and the African-American cultural experience during Black History Month.

Other focal points of Heritage Month 2013 will include the fifth annual Leonard A. Oakland Film Festival, a “Gospel Explosion” performance and lectures by former CBS news correspondent Lawrence Pintak; creator of Green Dot Violence-Prevention Strategy Dorothy Edwards; Martin Luther King Jr. scholar Lewis Baldwin; and University of Colorado professor of history Paul Harvey.

Members of the Spokane community are invited to join Whitworth students, faculty, staff and alumni for all Heritage Month events. Admission is free unless otherwise noted. Following is more information (for complete details, visit or call 777-4250). To hear podcasts of lectures from Heritage Month events, please visit

  • Thursday, Feb. 7
    Founder’s Day Convocation
    11 a.m., Cowles Auditorium

    Each semester begins with Opening Convocation, which features music and worship, faculty in academic regalia, and an opportunity to honor top students. President Beck A. Taylor and Professor of History Dale Soden will speak.

    Great Decisions Lecture: Lawrence Pintak, “The U.S. and the Muslim World”
    7:30 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre, Weyerhaeuser Hall

    Pintak is the founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. A former CBS News Middle East correspondent, he has been called the foremost chronicler of the interaction between Arab and Western media. His books and articles focus on America’s relationship with the Muslim world, the role of the media in shaping perceptions and policy, and the future of journalism.

  • Friday, Feb. 8
    Gospel Explosion
    7 p.m., Cowles Auditorium

    Join Whitworth students and choirs from all over Spokane for this annual campus celebration of Black History Month – a night of praise and worship featuring both Whitworth students and members of our community. This event – the 16th annual Gospel Explosion! – is presented by Whitworth’s Black Student Union.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 13
    Green Dot Lecture: Dorothy Edwards, “Ending Violence One Green Dot at a Time"
    7 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre

    Dorothy Edwards is creator of the Green Dot Violence-Prevention Strategy. Green Dot is an initiative to involve bystanders safely when power-based personal violence, including bullying, stalking, partner violence and sexual assault, takes place. Edwards holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from Texas Woman’s University. Her message is clear: Each of us can make a difference.

  • Thursday, Feb. 14
    Simpson-Duvall Lecture: Lewis Baldwin, “The Spirituality of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement: An Enduring Legacy”
    7 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre

    Baldwin, a professor of religious studies at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tenn., is the author of several books, among which are “Invisible” Strands in African Methodism: A History of the African Union Methodist Protestant and Union American Methodist Episcopal Churches, 1805-1980 (1983), an American Theological Library Association Award winner.

  • Thursday, Feb. 15
    English Endowed Reading: Matthew Burns
    7 p.m., Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room

    Burns is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Heritage University, in Toppenish, Wash. His poem "Rhubarb" won the 2010 James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review, and other poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Folk Art, Ragazine, Cold Mountain Review, The Georgetown Review and others. Contact Annie Stillar at or 509.777.3253 for more information.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 19
    Art Exhibit: A Pathetic Adventure
    New works by Zack Bent

    Reception: 5-6 p.m.; Lecture by the artist at 6 p.m.
    Bryan Oliver Gallery, Lied Center for the Visual Arts
    Bent, a Seattle artist, creates sculptures, photographs and videos. The exhibit runs through April 6.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 20
    Celebrate Whitworth’s Birthday
    Noon, Lied Square, Hixson Union Building

    Join Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor for a slice of birthday cake commemorating the 123rd anniversary of Whitworth’s founding. On Feb. 20, 1890, Whitworth College was founded in Sumner, Wash., to encourage its students to pursue “the learning and culture of mind and heart that make the finished scholar,” opening its doors to “all lovers of truth and learning.”  Today, Whitworth gives thanks for the faithfulness God has shown as the university has carried forth the noble mission of preparing graduates to “honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.”

  • Thursday, Feb. 21
    Leonard A. Oakland Film Festival
    7 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre

    Film No. 1: Footnote
    Director: Joseph Cedar, 2011

    An Israeli professor and his son enter into a heated competition when their roles are reversed. The son has relied on recognition to fuel his sense of self-worth, while his father has shunned the spotlight. But a prestigious honor reveals the father’s vanity, and the son’s intense jealousy drives him to consider the unthinkable.
  • Friday, Feb. 22
    Leonard A. Oakland Film Festival (continued)
    7 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre

    Film No. 2: Get Low
    Director: Aaron Schneider, rated PG-13, 2009

    A recluse (Robert Duvall) emerges from the Tennessee woods after 40 years; he is the topic of much town gossip – including rumors that he’s a cold-hearted killer. He walks into a funeral parlor, announces plans to throw himself an epic party before his impending death, and surprises everyone at the much-anticipated gathering by revealing why he shunned society for life in the woods.

    The program opens with winners of the 2013 student-made short-film contest.

    Late Night Movie No. 1: Jackie Brown
    10 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre
    Director: Quentin Tarantino, rated R, 1997

    A flight attendant gets caught smuggling gun money and has to choose whether to rat out her murderous boss or keep quiet and do time. She meets a burned-out older guy whose marriage has fallen apart, and he becomes instrumental in both her life and her plan to stay out of jail and cop a million-dollar payoff.

  • Saturday, Feb. 23
    Leonard A. Oakland Film Festival (continued)
    7 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre

    Film No. 3: 4 Little Girls
    Director: Spike Lee, rated NR, 2001

    In 1963, four girls, ages 11-14, were killed in an infamous church bombing in Birmingham, Ala. This movie, Lee’s first feature-length documentary, examines not only the crime, its aftermath, and its pivotal place in civil-rights history, but the lives of the four girls as their family and friends remember them.

    This program opens with the 2007 documentary Act Six Leadership Development Program by North by Northwest Productions.

    Late Night Movie No. 2: Bill Cosby: Himself
    10 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre

    In this concert movie from the zenith of Cosby’s on-stage comedic career, the Cos holds court on subjects ranging from childbirth to substance abuse. While his subjects can be serious, his perspectives are usually hilarious and always entertaining.

  • Thursday, Feb. 28
    Heritage Month Lecture: Paul Harvey, “Jesus in Red, White and Black”
    7 p.m., Robinson Teaching Theatre

    Harvey is a professor of history and chair of the history department at the University of Colorado. He is an author and editor of eight books, including, most recently, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. After receiving his doctorate, Harvey became a Lilly fellow at Valparaiso University (with Whitworth Professor of English Pamela Corpron Parker, ’81).

  • Sunday, March 3
    George F. Whitworth Honors Banquet
    5 p.m., Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St., Spokane

    Please join us for the annual George F. Whitworth Honors Banquet and program, featuring student musicians and others, as we celebrate Whitworth's enduring mission and those who have nurtured and continue to sustain it. Cost: $35 per person (President's Club members and lifetime donors will be guests of the university). RSVP to Nancy Kessler at 509.777.3449 or

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Nancy Rau, associate director of donor relations, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4250 or

Andrea Idso, interim public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or