Honoring differences and commonalities

Diversity unites, strengthens and educates. That’s why it’s worth celebrating!

On April 7, 2009, Appalachian invites the world to its doorstep with the 8th Annual Diversity Celebration. The festival cultivates an appreciation of cultural differences through performances and exhibits by local and regional artists, craft workshops, ethnic foods and more.

The free event – which will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union – encourages students, university employees and the community to explore more deeply cultures and traditions different from their own.

“Recognition of a common humanity is the first step in celebrating differences that inform our cultures, our values and our ways of being in the world,” said Susan King, director of education and outreach with Appalachian’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance. “Every year, people of all ages who attend the festival get the opportunity to savor a sampling of life in other lands, without leaving the mountain.”

Events highlights include:

  • TURBO PRO PROJECT, a hip fusion of electronic and banjo music
  • Critically acclaimed RED HERRING PUPPET THEATER’s presentation of Aesop’s Fables
  • Traditional Mexican Mariachi music by MEXICO MARIACHI 2000
  • CAPOEIRA, a Brazilian martial art
  • Appalachian folktales by ORVILLE HICKS
  • Native American drumming with DRY CREEK MEDICINE DRUM
  • The Blues with POP FERGUSON AND THE BLUES REVUE

Preceding the festival is Appalachian's 3rd Annual People of the Planet Soccer Tournament on Sunday, April 5 at Kidd Brewer Stadium – a “kick off” event featuring international teams of university and local players (some from the U.S.) who will celebrate diversity on the soccer field. From 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., there will be matches for adults as well as boys and girls ages 5-12.

The 8th Annual Diversity Celebration is funded in part by ASU’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance, Office of International Education and Development, Office of Multicultural Student Development, Black Student Association, Parents Association, Staff Council, Hubbard Center, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Student Government Association, Asian Student Association, and Watauga County Arts Council with Grassroots funds from the North Carolina Arts Council.