Cultural Awareness Series

The 24th Annual
2017-2018 Cultural Awareness Series

Over the past 24 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


The 24th Annual
2017-2018 Cultural Awareness Series

Latino Identities Month Keynote Performer:  Ernie G.
Friday, October 6 | 7 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

Gender and Sexual Minorities and Allies (GSMA) Cultural Celebration Keynote Speaker: Faisal Alam
Wednesday, October 25 | 7 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

Taste of Asia
Sunday, October 29 | 4 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center
For cost, please contact the James Farmer Multicultural 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.

Asian Cultural Celebration Keynote Performer: Mana Polynesia Dance Group
Thursday, November 2 | 7 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center

 Jewish Cultural Celebration Keynote Performer: Machaya Klezmer Band
Thursday, November 9 | 7 p.m. | The Underground, Lee Hall

Native American Cultural Keynote Performer: Rose Powhatan, Native American Storyteller
Thursday, November 16 | 7:00 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center

Thursday, November 30 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center
Co-sponsored by the Black Student Association

The University of Mary Washington Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote Speaker: April Ryan
Wednesday, January 24 | 7 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center
Sponsored by the Office of the President

Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Cherrell Brown
Wednesday, February 7 | 7 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

Step Show Competition
Saturday, February 24 | 7 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall
Cost: $7 general admission, $5 UMW students, faculty, and staff.

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: The Honorable Megan L. Clark
Monday, March 19 | 7 p.m. | Lee Hall, room 411

Tuesday, April 3 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center
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 12 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center
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.

 28th Annual Multicultural Fair
Saturday, April 14 – rain or shine | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | UMW Fredericksburg 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.



Suggested Readings

Diane Ackerman

The Zookeeper’s Wife.  W. W. Norton & Company, 2008.

James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time.  Vintage, Republished 1992.

Tim Crothers

The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion.  Scribner, 2016.

James Farmer **

Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement. Penguin, 2013.

David France

How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS.  Knopf, 2016.

Cleve Jones

When We Rise: My Life in the Movement.  Hachette Books, 2016.

Neda Maghbouleh

The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race.  Stanford University Press, 2017.

Charles W. Mills

The Racial Contract.  Cornell University Press, 1999.

April Ryan *

The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White.  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016

Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures. William Morrow and Company, 2016

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Reading African American Experiences in the Obama Era: Theory, Advocacy, Activism.  Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers, 2012.

Katherine Zoepf

Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World.  Penguin Press, 2016.

* Cultural Awareness Speaker or Performer

**Late or current faculty member at the University of Mary Washington

Special Thanks

African Student Union, Alter Egos, Asian Student Association, Black Student Association, Black History Month Committee, Brothers of a New Direction, Center for Honor, Leadership, & Service, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Athletics, Design Services, Diversity and Unity Coordinating Committee of the SGA, Eagle Bhangra, Facility Services, Feminists United, Framar International Living Community, Inter-Club Association, Islamic Student Association, Jewish Student Association, Latino Student Association, Multimedia Services, Native American Student Association, Office of the President, Office of Public Safety, Office of University Publications, People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities, Simpson Library, Office of Student Activities and Engagement, Student Affairs, Students Educating and Empowering for Diversity, Office of Student Involvement, Student Life, UMW Praise Dance Team, University Bookstore, University Police Department, University Relations, Voices of Praise, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Women’s History Month Committee, Women of Color.