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International Week 2015 to celebrate OHIO’s global family

As seen in Compass and The Athens Messenger:

International Week 2015 to celebrate OHIO’s global family
Events planned for April 12-19
Apr 8, 2015
By McKenzie Powell

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]hio University will kick off its annual International Week this coming weekend and is planning a week of activities all centered around the theme, “Our Global Family Celebration.”

One of the most highly-anticipated celebrations of spring semester, International Week kicks off Sunday, April 12, and runs through Sunday, April 19, with globally focused events and activities planned throughout the Athens Campus and in the city of Athens. All events are open to the public.

“International Week is about celebrating all the different cultures here on campus,” explained Krista McCallum Beatty, director of OHIO’s International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS), one of several University offices sponsoring this year’s festivities. “It’s also about increasing awareness and having distinct conversations that change perspectives.”

Celebrated as early as 1969, OHIO’s International Week became an annual, weeklong affair in 1979 and has evolved into a rich tradition of engaging and facilitating international awareness and diversity among Bobcat Nation and the surrounding community.

This year’s festivities will include some standard favorites from past International Weeks, some international themes woven into traditional weekly events held on campus, as well as some new features.

One of the highlights of this year’s International Week will be a keynote speech from Derreck Kayango, who was named a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2011. Kayango founded the non-profit Global Soap Project, which repurposes soap from hotels to produce 30,000 bars of soap per week and donates them to people in more than 20 countries. Kayango’s family fled civil war in Uganda in 1979 when he was 10 years old, and his keynote speech, which will be delivered at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, will focus on empowerment, social entrepreneurship and our international community.

OHIO students have an extra incentive for attending the keynote speech, courtesy of Ohio University Residential Housing.

According to Ellie Koewler, an ISFS student worker who helped plan International Week, students who attend the keynote address will be eligible for a chance to win placement in a suite in the new residence halls that will open in August across from the Ping Center on the Athens Campus. The student who wins that placement will be able to bring along up to three friends to live with them in that suite – one as a roommate, the other two as suitemates in the adjoining room. The contest is offering placement only in the residence halls; housing fees will still apply.

Another highlight of the week will be the screening of “The Missing Picture,” a 2013 documentary that tells the story of the Khmer Rouge occupation of Cambodia. The film, which will be shown at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at the Athena Cinema, commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge occupation and will be followed by commentary from award-winning journalist and author Elizabeth Becker, who wrote about the occupation in her novel, “When the War was Over.”

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