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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Conversation between Kenyan Parliamentarians and the Spokane Community

September 10, 2021

Whitworth University is pleased to host the Kenyan National Cohesion and Integration Commission as it visits Spokane Sept. 12-17 as part of a national tour promoting unity and the elimination of all forms of ethnic discrimination. The commission will start and end its tour of Spokane at Whitworth. 

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) is a statutory body established under Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Act No. 12 of 2008 that was adopted in the wake of election violence. This visit is related to the commission’s 2020-25 strategic plan, which employs a participatory and inclusive approach. 

The group of 11 delegates, including members of the National Assembly, the Hon. Maina Kamanda, chairperson and leader of the delegation, and the Hon. Janet Wangabo Wanyama, will begin their tour Tuesday morning, Sept. 14, on Whitworth’s campus, where they will be welcomed by Whitworth Provost & Executive Vice President Gregor Thuswaldner and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Roberta Wilburn. The group will meet with students and staff before they depart in the afternoon for The Spokesman-Review. 

“Whitworth University prides itself in being a welcoming and inclusive campus,” says Roberta Wilburn, Whitworth’s interim chief diversity officer. “It is with great pride that we extend a warm Whitworth welcome to the delegation of 11 Kenyan parliamentarians and their staff as they seek to expand their knowledge of practices that foster diversity, equity and inclusion. It is an opportunity for the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to learn from us and for Whitworth University to learn from them. In doing so, we are modeling for our students the importance of cross-cultural collaboration as a method of facilitating the growth and development of both of our communities. We are also pleased to introduce our Kenyan dignitaries to our beautiful city of Spokane.”

Over the course of the week, the group will visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, where they will meet with a group of community leaders to discuss issues of discrimination, access to public services, and interaction with police and the criminal justice system. They will also visit the Native Project, Northern Quest Casino, World Relief and Spokane City Hall, where they will meet with Mayor Nadine Woodward. They will end their week on Friday at Whitworth for several presentations and final reflections. 

About Whitworth University:

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


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or