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Whitworth Education Forum Nov. 21 to Feature Tribal Court Chief Judge Gloria Ochoa

November 18, 2013
Annual forum will also include a cultural presentation and four workshops

In honor of International Education Week Nov. 18-22, the Whitworth School of Education and Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute will sponsor an education forum on Thursday, Nov. 21, featuring Spokane Tribal Court Chief Judge Gloria Ochoa as the keynote speaker. Whitworth’s sixth annual forum will include Ochoa’s address, a cultural presentation, and four workshops.

The event is free and open to the public, and will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth. For more information, please call (509) 777-3228.

“Judge Ochoa’s cultural journey speaks to the challenges she has faced regarding education, race and gender, and the possibilities within each us to overcome adverse circumstances and achieve success,” says Roberta Wilburn, Whitworth associate dean for graduate studies in education and diversity.

In addition to Ochoa’s role with the Spokane Tribal Court, she chairs the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Her address will touch on the forum’s theme, “Enriching Our Cultural Journey through Shared Stories,” as she shares her personal story, which begins with her family’s migration from Mexico to the United States when she was an infant.

The forum will also feature a Native American cultural presentation and four concurrent workshops that will highlight multiple cultural perspectives to help provide a deeper understanding of international issues in education and to promote a greater appreciation for other cultures.

The workshops are: “Stories of School Experiences in Japan,” by students from Mukogawa Women’s University, Hyōgo, Japan; “The Native American Story,” featuring Wilma and Todd Bob of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe; “Stories from Diverse Cultural Perspectives,” by Whitworth’s Act Six scholars and international students; and “Stories of Newcomers in Spokane Public Schools,” by Victorya Rouse, coordinator of the English Language Development Program at Spokane Public Schools.

“The forum will be inspiring because the stories that will be shared will give a different perspective on how culture shapes identity, and will help participants to have a greater understanding of the value of diversity as it relates to being effective global citizens,” Wilburn says.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the initiative is to prepare Americans to be globally competent and successful international citizens.

“The world is enriched and we all win when everyone gets globally smarter,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “International Education Week 2013 is a fantastic opportunity for us to focus on how we can all work together to increase global competence.”

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


Cecily Musso, program assistant, School of Education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3228 or

Scott D’Amico, assistant director, Master in Teaching program, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3769 or