Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

November 8, 2007

Whitworth Cultural Awareness Week Nov. 9-16 to Celebrate Diversity

Events include a discussion on stereotypes, a Hawaiian cooking demonstration, a celebration of the enduring spirit of women, and the 22nd annual International Banquet


Whitworth University is sponsoring Cultural Awareness Week, "What's Your Flavor?" Nov. 9-16, featuring Whitworth clubs and community groups representing traditions, cultures, beliefs and lifestyles of different cultures. The event will promote learning and understanding of the various cultures at Whitworth, in the surrounding community, and throughout the world.

"We want to expose people to other cultures, but we also want them to reflect on their own culture," says Michelle Bess, cultural events coordinator for the Associated Students of Whitworth University and chair of the Multicultural Advocacy Council. "It is important to recognize that we all have unique experiences that shape who we are and that make up our own individual culture."

Following is information about Cultural Awareness Week events (events are free unless otherwise noted):

  • Throughout the week, a HAPA Project gallery will be displayed in the Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room. The gallery will feature photos of students along with statements of how they identify themselves when asked "What are you?"  "The idea of the display is to reveal that although we may identify a person in a particular way, we could be wrong," Bess says. "Identity is personal and is not something decided by others." Students who would like to participate in the gallery may contact Bess at 777-4790 or mbess09@whitworth.edu.

  • Friday, Nov. 9: Whitworth's Black Student Union will return to the Harlem Renaissance with live entertainment and Southern cuisine during the Soul Food Dinner at 6 p.m. in the Hixson Union Building. General admission is $12/ student admission is $10. 
  • Monday, Nov. 12: The Hawaiian Club will present a cooking demonstration of Hawaiian food in the Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room at 6:30 p.m. This is an open event and all are encouraged to stop by to watch the demonstration and sample the food.

Monday, Nov. 12: Women in Society Everywhere will celebrate the diverse and enduring spirit of women with a coffeehouse in the Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room at 8 p.m., complete with poetry, music and art. Students and members of the Whitworth community will share their talents and stories to recognize the experience of what it means to be a woman in all its forms.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 13: The Latin America Club will display arts and crafts in the Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 13: Act Six students will host "Secret Stereotypes" in the Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room at 7 p.m. as part of "PostSecret," an ongoing community art project in which people write/draw their secrets anonymously. The goal of the project is to enhance awareness and stimulate conversation. Student-made postcards with personal stereotypes written on them will be displayed; the event will also include a media presentation and a discussion with students and faculty about the secret stereotypes we hold.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 14: Four Directions Native Club and the Seeking Shalom Theme House will host "Up in Smoke: Understanding Native Tobacco" at 6 p.m. The groups will prepare a dinner of seasonal Native American food and a video will be presented about traditional pipe makers. The differences between native and commercial tobacco will be discussed and craft activity will take place.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15: The Black Student Union will host the "I AM…" Project in the Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room at 8 p.m. During this exploration of identities, differences and similarities, participants will craft mini-stories that convey what makes individuals unique.
  • Friday, Nov. 16: International Banquet, "Celebrate the Song of our Humanity: Embracing the Rhythms of Every Life," sponsored by the Whitworth International Club. A buffet dinner will be served at 6 p.m. in the Whitworth University Dining Hall. The dinner will feature an array of specialty foods from India, Korea, Syria, Portugal, Sudan, Cambodia and South America.

An international fashion show and entertainment program will take place at 7 p.m. that will feature Whitworth students and groups from the Spokane community. The performances will include Hawaiian dancing, steel drumming, Chilean dancing, Irish singing, Vietnamese dancing and the Whitworth Gospel Choir. Tickets for the banquet are $10 general admission, $8 for students, and $6 for children 12 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 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Michelle Bess, ASWU Cultural Events Coordinator and MAC Chair, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4790 or mbess09@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle , public information officer , Whitworth University, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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