The Office of Intercultural Programs is committed to educating the campus community about issues of diversity. The office will promote the freedom of thought and opinion in the spirit of mutual respect. Moreover, our campus community will be enriched through programs, activities and interactions by celebrating differences, as well as similarities and commonalities.
Virginia Wesleyan College believes in cultural awareness and understanding, and for that reason the Intercultural Programs Coordinator is charged with the duty of giving the campus population and surrounding community plenty of opportunities to experience the joys of interacting with differing culturals. Speakers and musicians are called to campus on a regular basis. Nearly all major cultural heritage celebrations (From Kwanzaa to Los Posadas) are observed and promoted through the Office Of International and Intercultural Programs. Below is a list of these various cultural heritage events and accompanying short descriptions.
Asian/Pacific Heritage Month
Established by presidential proclamation to honor the contributions of people of Asian ancestry to American society, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is traditionally observed throughout the month of May. However, since the academic year ends after the first week of May at graduation, Virginia Wesleyan has chosen to observe Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week during the Fall semester, in order to enhance participation in the celebration of this culture.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Beginning in 1984, a presidential proclamation designated this a period for celebrating the contributions of Hispanic history and culture in the United States. VWC will be observing this period with a series of activities and events between September 17 and October 13.
Native American Heritage Month
The exact time and duration varies annually, but always occurs in November.
New Year's Day is the only secular holiday that the entire world observes regardless of race or religious beliefs. It is based on the solar calendar established by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and adopted by most countries. However, the Orthodox Eastern churches continue to use the earlier Julian calendar with the New Year falling on January 14. Some religious groups, including Jews, Chinese, Hindus, and Muslims, use a lunar calendar or some combination of a lunar and solar calendar. The date of the Chinese New Year may fall on any date between January 21 and February 19. for 1996, the Chinese New Year Occurred on February 19. The first day of the Jewish New Year begins on the first day of the month of Tishri, or September 14, 1996. Different cultures also count years from different starting points. For example, January 1 was year 1996 according to the Gregorian calendar, but in year 5755 according to the Jewish calendar and in year 1416 according to the Islamic calendar.
November International Education Week (IEW)
November International Education Week (IEW) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education. IEW is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This annual initiative aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange by encouraging the development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States.
Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), an African-American civil rights leader, gained national prominence during the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott of 1955-1956 and soon became the acknowledged national leader of the growing movement to obtain civil rights for African Americans. His commitment to nonviolence, his courage, and the moral power of his vision, eloquently expressed in masterful oratory and writings, won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Toward the end of his life King became convinced of the interrelatedness of all forms of social, economic, and military oppression, and broadened the sphere of his activism. He spoke out against U.S.involvement int he war in Vietnam and was preparing to lead a massive Poor People's March on Washington when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. His birthday, commemorated on the Monday in January closest to January 15, is a federal holiday.
African-American History Month
In 1926, Dr. Carter Woodson instituted a week-long celebration of the contributions of African Americans to history. He chose the week of Abraham Lincoln's birthday (February 12). In recent years the observance had expanded, and now the entire month of February is celebrated as African-American History Month. Because of the variation in terms used, this month is also known as Afro-American History or Black History and Black Experience Month.