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Monmouth College gets a little culture this week

April 8, 2011

For the fourth year in a row, Monmouth has kicked off April with Cultural Awareness Week. From Monday, April 4, to Sunday, April 10, the campus celebrates different cultural groups both on campus and around the world by hosting different events to promote cultural awareness in the Monmouth community.

“It is a week set aside to highlight issues related to race, ethnicity and multiculturalism on campus,” said Ruby Pentsil-Bukari, the coordinator of Cultural Awareness Week and Director of Intercultural Life. “It is about racial issues post-Obama’s election. Why can’t we all be the same? We don’t have to see color, but it is a part of who they are, and if we ignore it, we are negating their experiences.”

Many of the days in the week are themed.

“On Monday, we had the Latino experience, which we watched 9500 Liberty,” said Pentsil-Bukari. “It is a documentary about people who look brown and their struggles with immigration.”

Other events during the week include a lecture by Tim Wise called “Color Blind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equality,” which is about his book of the same name.

There was also a variety show on Wednesday April 6, in Dahl Chapel at 7 p.m., which Pentsil-Bukari said she believes students attending had a good time.

“The students will perform by singing, drumming and dancing,” said Pentsil-Bukari.

On Thursday April 7, there was a lecture by Shane Windmeyer in the Highlander Room titled, “What’s Your Gay Point Average and The Impact of Hate.”

The week will end with a “Gospel Celebration” in Dahl Chapel on Sunday April 10, at 2 p.m.

“The Gospel Celebration is basically to celebrate the style of African-American celebration,” said Pentsil-Bukari. “The choir is called, ‘Colored Voices of Praise.’”

According to Pentsil-Bukari, creating this week for the campus has been a challenge.

“My official role is to educate students who don’t know a lot about multiculturalism,” said Pentsil-Bukari. “A lot of work goes into putting this week on. There are the speakers, getting them scheduled and students spreading the word. It’s doable, but it’s a lot of work.”

Cultural Awareness Week is to help the students on campus broaden their knowledge.

“It’s for the students who don’t know much about this topic,” said Pentsil-Bukari. “The best thing you can do is to educate yourself.”

Contributing Writer

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