Nontombi Naomi Tutu, award-winning international human relations scholar and daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will be the keynote speaker of this year’s International Education Week at Washington State University.
Tutu’s speech is entitled “Breaking Down Barriers Between Cultures: International and Domestic Race Relations,” and will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. Admission is free and open to the public.
Tutu grew up during the times of apartheid and has dedicated her life to speaking about racial, gender and economic violence in South Africa and the world at large. Her work, which is rooted from her teaching and consulting background, highlights education and self-growth, particularly to South African refugees and women.
Tutu is the third daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, one of the most prominent opponents of apartheid. Following in her father’s footsteps, she grew up to become an activist, advocate and leader of peace and human rights.
She is also founder and chairperson of Tutu Foundation, which helped South African refugees in Africa to further their education. She has received several awards and honors in recognition of her work, such as those from the California State Legislature, the Kentucky State Branches of the NAACP, the Boston City Council, Outstanding Youth Women of America, Who’s Who of Africans in America, and Dollars and Sense magazine.
A variety of events are organized throughout the week to foster awareness, promote and celebrate cultural diversity within the university and the community at large. Admission to all events is free:
– “Coffee Hour.” 3-4 p.m. Sept. 21, at the International Center located in Smith Gym Room 214. The executives of the International Students’ Council will be presenting IEW. In addition, the Japan club will have a workshop session for the traditional Japanese drum, Taiko.
– “Party in the Park,” starting at 12 p.m. in Reaney Park. The event will feature a variety of live music performers including Tumbao (Latin), Ashe (West African drums and dance) and the Celtic Nots. Henna Tattoos, an inflatable castle for children and dance demonstrations will also be available in addition to cultural foods and refreshments.
– “Movie Festival” Sept. 23. The first film is the critically acclaimed “Namesake,” which portrays the struggles and conflicts that arise within an immigrant Indian family in search of their identity as they settle in America. It is scheduled to play 1-3 p.m. “The Lizard” is a satirical comedy that makes serious points about the clergy and religion in Iran, and life in general. It will play 3-5 p.m.
– “International Center Open House,” 2-3:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in Smith Gym Room 214. Provost Robert Bates, Mayor Glenn Johnson and ISC President Toru Onari will share their views on IEW beginning at 2:30 p.m. Light refreshments, coffee and tea will be provided.
– Student Panel, 4-5 p.m. Sept. 25 in Smith Gym Room 214. A group of international students will be discussing how they deal with everyday life in the U.S. and will share their biggest challenges and achievements as a minority population on campus.
– “International Culture and Education Fair,” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at Terrell Mall, Each international registered student organization will be displaying cultural items, artifacts and other visual aids.
– “Library Night,” 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Neill Public Library. An opportunity for local children to enjoy and participate in IEW through foreign folk songs and activities. Folktales will be read in different languages and children will take pictures with students dressed in traditional costumes.
– “International Up All Night,” 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sept. 28 in Smith Gym, The event includes a variety of entertaining programs directed by students, such as a traditional costume fashion show and traditional dances and musical performances. The student groups will be displaying tables of cultural items. Mexican, Italian and Asian fusion dishes will be provided for free.
IEW is organized by the WSU’s International Students’ Council in collaboration with WSU’s International Programs. The keynote speaker presentation is made possible by the sponsorship of International Programs, ASWSU and the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.