‘Multicultural Showcase’ is a new event at Wheaton that intends to celebrate diversity on campus. It will take place on March 4 in Balfour from 6 to 8:00 p.m. and feature an international fashion show, food from local restaurants and musical performances. Organizer Marielle Thete ’16 was inspired by a similar event that takes place on International Women’s Day in her hometown of Portland, Maine.
“Every year that I have attended, I’ve learnt about a new culture and am always impressed by the various traditional attire presented in the fashion show feature,” said Thete about the original event. She felt that replicating this at Wheaton would mesh well with the college’s efforts to celebrate the diversity of its community.
This event is primarily sponsored by the Center for Global Education and the Marshall Center. Thete began planning for the Multicultural Showcase with the blessings of Gretchen Young, Dean at the Center for Global Education and the guidance of Tai Feaster, the Multicultural Coordinator.
Various student clubs and organizations, such as Student Government Association (SGA), Intercultural Board, Student Activities Involvement and Leadership (SAIL), Emerson House, Feminists Association of Wheaton (FAW), Asian Student Association, Renaissance House and Distinguished Women of Color Collective (DWOCC), will also collaborate on this event.
The main feature of the showcase is an international fashion show where participants will share their cultural attire. The show is exclusive to student, staff and faculty women although other members of the community are invited to attend and wear their cultural attire. Thete said that 25-30 have already signed up to be a part of this fashion show.
The night will also feature several guest performances featuring TRYBE and Paraiso Dance Group. Keran Yang ’19 will also play a traditional instrument called Hulusi from the Dai people of China. There will also be an array of foods from various countries catered by students and local ethnic restaurants as well as international music playing throughout the night.
“Besides international students, there are countless first-generation American students and many students who are connected to other cultures. Multicultural students at Wheaton account for 30% of the student population,” said Thete, “I hope this event will bring everyone together to celebrate the diversity we have on this campus for such a small school and to bring awareness to what it has to offer us as a community.”