The public can enjoy a full week of interesting activities at Westminster College April 6-14 to commemorate Diversity Week.
Westminster College ranks fifth in the nation among liberal arts colleges for percentages of international students and first in Missouri. Almost 16 percent of Westminster's students come from 70 different countries.
Now in its 5th year, the program focuses on helping the community further its awareness of diversity and the importance of empathy. This year's theme is "In Other's Shoes."
"Through this series of events, we hope to challenge our students, faculty and staff to examine how a person's cultural and ethnic background, economic situation, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, gender and religion affect their world view," says Paola Protti Nunez, Westminster Fellow for Intercultural Engagement, who is in charge of the week of activities.
The first public event will be Lunafest Part I, a unique festival of short films of, for and about women, followed by a Q & A by Westminster English Professor Deb Brenegan. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds from Lunafest will go to the Breast Cancer Fund and Central Missouri Community Action.
On Tuesday, April 9, at noon in Hazel Room 311, some Westminster students will share their stories about what being "differently-abled" is and a presentation entitled "Ending Rape: Transforming a Rape Culture" will be held at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the Coulter Science Center that evening.
A diversity dinner will be held in the Backer Dining Hall on Wednesday, April10, from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at a cost of $7 per person and will include videos, slide shows, interactive displays, music and table decorations that celebrate cultural diversity, artistic performances that feature poetry, dance and singing and remarks by Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe and Faizan Syed, Executive Director of the St. Louis chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations).
Those attending a presentation by Syed on Thursday, April 11, at 11 a.m. in the Hermann Lounge will hear his personal experiences as an American Muslim. That evening at 7:30 p.m. a free Black Cultural Showcase will be held in the Mueller Student Center where those in attendance can enjoy artistic performances that showcase the richness of Black culture around the world. Diversity Week t-shirts for that event will be on sale for $3.
Those who want to learn about the history of the American Revolution from both the American and British points of view should attend the presentation by Westminster professors Dr. Cinnamon Brown and Dr. Mark Boulton at noon on Friday, April12, in Hazel112.
The final Diversity Week event is Lunafest Part II, a second showing of the films by, for and about women, which is taking place at 2 p.m.in the Coulter Lecture Hall on Sunday, April14. The cost is $10 and movie snacks will be sold as well to benefit Central Missouri Community Action.
Westminster sponsors for the week of activities include the Office of Intercultural Engagement, Office of Spiritual Life, Remley Women's Studies, Office of International Student Services, Black Student Association, Campus Activities Board, Interfaith Advisory Board, CAB Lectures and Diversity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, International Club, African Union and Learning Opportunities Center.