Music, food and fun kick off JSU International Week

IMG_5896Musical performances, international cuisine, cultural dance and addresses from Mayor Harvey Johnson, Interim Provost James C. Renick and others kicked off International Week Monday at Jackson State University.

This is the 23rd year JSU has held the event to celebrate the campus’ cultural diversity. Students from 67 countries are enrolled at JSU.   International Week is sponsored by JSU’s Division of International Studies to promote global and cultural awareness through educational and entertaining activities.

“Our hope and our dream is to continue to ensure Jackson State University provides an education that is competitive worldwide,” Renick said. “The diversity our students bring to JSU helps to elevate this campus. ”

Mayor Johnson commended JSU for its commitment to diversity and for being one of the few entities to annually sponsor such an event. Also giving remarks was Hinds County Supervisor Peggy Hobson-Calhoun, who spoke about the importance of cultural diversity. Their comments came in between performances by the Piney Woods School Cotton Blossom Singers.

Tarriq Drabi, a 20-year-old from Palestine, stood with other Middle Eastern friends to watch the opening ceremony, which included a banquet table filled with recipes from across the globe. Later, a group danced to African music. Drabi has attended JSU for two years, and he said he looks forward to International Week.

“It’s an opportunity for people to learn about me and my culture and for me to learn about others,” Drabi said.

Said Emad Nasser, a 20-year-old from Saudi Arabia: “It means a lot because once you know each other’s culture and customs, you have a better understanding of others.”

International dignitaries and renowned scholars in the international arena will participate in some of the activities scheduled for the rest of the week. They’ll represent countries including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, China, Brazil, Egypt, Japan, Mexico, Jamaica, Kenya, Germany, and many more.

The following is a schedule of activities:

International Week Film Festival, April 8-11, JSU Student Center, Theater. The event is free and open to the public.  All films will be shown at the JSU Student Center Theater.  For movie times and descriptions, visit http://www.jsums.edu/intweek/international-film-festival-event/. For movie trailers, visit http://youtu.be/TBT-DDnf6mQ.

Parade of Flags, 9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 10, Gibbs-Green Plaza. K-12 students from central Mississippi schools will march from the Lee. E. Williams Athletics & Assembly Center to Gibbs-Green Plaza to the beat of the percussion section of the JSU marching band.

International Bazaar, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 10, Gibbs-Green Plaza. K-12 students from central Mississippi schools will participate with the entire JSU community. Features include cultural exhibits, international games, door prizes, a fashion show, a talent contest and food.

International Sports, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Wednesday, April 10, John A. Peoples Building greenery and Walter Payton Center.  International sports will include Cricket and Table Tennis (Ping Pong).

International Night of Dance, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 11, Rose E. McCoy Auditorium. This event will feature dance groups from around the metro area.

International Peace Conference, April 9 –12.  Faculty, staff and students from JSU and other institutions will present papers throughout the week related to the theme of “Peace through Understanding.”

International Scholarship and Awards Banquet,6 p.m., Friday, April 12, JSU Student Center BallroomThe banquet will feature an awards ceremony for people who have supported the JSU Division of International Studies in a very special way. Scholarships will be awarded to American and international students.  

For more information about International Week events, visit www.jsums.edu/intweek or call Patricia Jernigan at 601-979-3796.