The Nineteenth Annual
2012-2013 Cultural Awareness Series
Over the past 19 years, the Cultural Awareness Series has grown more successful and has become highly anticipated thanks to your continued support. We invite you to join us for a new and exciting year. The speakers and performances scheduled for this year’s Cultural Awareness Series aim to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity in race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, and culture.
The James Farmer Multicultural Center strives to honor the late Dr. James L. Farmer and to keep his legacy alive. Dr. Farmer was a dynamic civil rights leader and advocate for social change, and we hope that the Cultural Awareness Series helps members of the Mary Washington family and surrounding community to appreciate all aspects of diversity.
The James Farmer Multicultural Center believes that one way of educating about culture is through the arts. Arts allow individuals to see culture through a fresh lens. Artist Abby Willowroot said it best; “Art speaks the soul of its culture.” By highlighting the distinctiveness of culture through such media as poetry, theater, music, food, literature, and dance, the James Farmer Multicultural Center hopes to help students grasp new and meaningful concepts about culture.
As the world becomes increasingly globalized, we hope that the programs in the Cultural Awareness Series open minds among all individuals to appreciate our differences and commonalities. We also hope that our programs will encourage dialogue about these topics. The programs in our series are collaborative partnerships. Thanks to the offices acknowledged in this brochure, we are able to sponsor this inspiring line-up of authors, performers, pioneers, and activists. We thank you in advance for considering this invitation to join us in celebrating diversity.
With best wishes and kind regards,
The James Farmer Multicultural Center Staff
Latino Identities Month Keynote Speaker: J. Walter Tejada
Thursday, Oct. 4 | 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
The Honorable J. Walter Tejada, first elected to the Arlington County Board on March 11, 2003, is a community advocate, distinguishing himself as a leader committed to enhancing the diversity of Arlington and the region’s community voice. Relentless in his commitment to promote and support civic participation and representation, Mr. Tejada has been an instrumental visionary in the establishment of various initiatives and programs.
GLBTTQQIAAP Cultural Celebration Keynote Performer: Ben Lerman
Thursday, Oct. 25 | 7 p.m. |
Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
**Location Change** Lee Hall 411
Ben Lerman performs across the country and is a popular guest on radio, TV, and podcast shows. Ben was nominated for an Excellence in Comedy in New York Award for Best Musical Comedy Act in 2011. Armed with his ukulele, powerful voice, and twisted point of view, Ben gets huge laughs because his songs have real emotion behind them, pointing to the humor in all of our lives and relationships, and in the world around us.
Asian Cultural Celebration Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Namiko Kunimoto
Tuesday, Oct. 30 | 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
Namiko Kunimoto, assistant professor of art at American University, focuses her research on gender and nation in 1950s Japanese art. She has been a recipient of the Japan Foundation Research Fellowship, The Japanese Art History Forum Essay Prize, and the Berkeley Chancellor’s Dissertation Award. Her recent publications include: “Traveler-as-Lama Photography and the Fantasy of Transformation in Tibet” in TransAsia Photography Review, “The Hero and Concrete Violence” and “Intimate Archives: Japanese-Canadian Family Photography” in the Journal of Art History.
Taste of Asia
Friday, Nov. 2 | 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
Co-sponsored by the Asian Student Association
Taste of Asia is an annual celebration of Asian culture. This event educates the community about different aspects of Asian cultures and lifestyles through a fashion show, dance performances, and a variety of ethnic foods.
Jewish Cultural Celebration Keynote Speaker: Mark Oppenheimer
Wednesday, Nov. 14 | 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
Mark Oppenheimer is one of our country’s leading writers and speakers about contemporary religion, faith, and ethics. Oppenheimer takes a special interest in how people make tough choices—whether adults working in business, medicine, or other professions, or young people from their teen years to their thirties. He has authored Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture.
Native American Cultural Keynote Performer: Piscataway Indian Nation Singers and Dancers
Thursday, Nov. 29 | 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
Famous for their internationally-recognized living history program, the Piscataway Indian Nation Singers & Dancers perform authentic American Indian Dance, Drum and Song. The Piscataway Indian Nation Singers & Dancers are frequent contributors to TV specials on both the History Channel and Discovery Channel. They welcome the opportunity to educate and entertain audiences who want to learn more about Native American history, culture and contemporary issues.
Tuesday, Dec. 4 | 6 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
Co-sponsored by the Black Student Association
As a means of unifying the African and African-American communities, Dr. Maulana Karenga established Kwanzaa, a non-religious holiday celebrating and honoring African culture and heritage throughout the world. A seven-day celebration, Kwanzaa features candle lighting, pouring of libations, and the culminating feast and gift giving. Please join us as we partake in the activities and rituals of Kwanzaa and enjoy a feast together.
The University of Mary Washington’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote Speaker:
Wednesday, Jan. 23| 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
Sponsored by the Office of the President
Steve Pemberton, named one of “the top 20 Chief Diversity Officers in corporate America,” serves as the Divisional VP and Chief Diversity Officer at Walgreens. A ward of the state for much of his childhood, Pemberton has made opportunity, access, and equality pillars of his personal and professional life. He has served on the boards of Big Brother Big Sister, Citi Performing Arts Center, Home for Little Wanderers, and National TRIO Alumni Association. He is the author of A Chance in the World: an Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home.
Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Dr. Nwando Achebe
Thursday, Feb. 7 | 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
An award-winning author and professor of history at Michigan State University, Nwando Achebe received her doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000 and has served as a Ford Foundation and Fulbright-Hays Scholar-in-Residence at The Institute of African Studies and History Department at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Dr. Achebe’s research interests involve the use of oral history in the study of women, gender, and sexuality in Nigeria. Her most recent publication is The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe.
Step Show Competition
Saturday, Feb. 23 | 7 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall
Stepping began in the early 1900s. Today, the dance form uses the entire body to resonate complex rhythmic beats and sounds. Join area high school teams for this high-energy, entertaining competition.
Women’s History Month Keynote Speaker: Camille Cooper
Tuesday, March 19 | 7 p.m. | Great Hall, Woodard Campus Center
Camille Cooper worked as a professional actress for more than 14 years, appearing in five motion pictures, more than 10 television series, and countless print and broadcast commercials. The current Director of Legislative Affairs for PROTECT, the most powerful child protection lobby in Washington, Cooper delivers an engaging and often hilarious account of our culture’s obsession with male and female beauty ideals.
Tuesday, March 26 | 6 p.m. | Faculty/Staff Dining Room, Seacobeck Hall
For cost please contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Student Association
Passover is the Jewish celebratory feast that honors the emancipation of Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Traditionally, Jewish families gather on the first few nights of Passover for dinner and the Seder ritual, in which a family or community retells the story of the liberation.
Islamic Cultural Celebration Banquet
Thursday, April 4 | 6 p.m. | Faculty/Staff Dining Room, Seacobeck Hall
Co-sponsored by the Islamic Student Association
The Islamic Cultural Banquet offers traditional foods, fellowship, and a keynote lecture from a prominent member of the Islamic community. Through this program, people will gain a greater awareness of the culture of Islam.
23rd Annual Multicultural Fair
April 13− rain or shine | 10 a.m. − 5 p.m. | UMW campus
Each year, the Multicultural Fair attracts thousands and exemplifies UMW’s commitment to multicultural awareness. The fair provides an entire day packed with entertainment, children’s activities, international and American food, and ethnic arts and crafts.