Diversity Fair Celebrates International Culture

November 23, 2016

Clover Park Technical College celebrated International Education Week with its third annual Diversity & International Fair, highlighting various cultures from around the world on Nov. 15 in the McGavick Conference Center.

The event last two hours and featured information booths, ethnic food samplings, vendors and prizes, as well as special presentations by local international groups and performers. A partnership with Associated Student Government provided 150 students with a free food voucher.

“We would like to offer the campus community an opportunity to discover and appreciate the cultural diversity on our campus, and we hope this will help combat cultural and ethnic stereotypes and prepare our students for a global workforce,” CPTC international education program specialist Yuko Chartraw said.

CPTC began the event two years ago, timing it to coincide with the US State Department and Department of Education’s designation of the third week of November as International Education Week. Chartraw said that the first two events followed a bit of trial and error, leading to some changes in layout this year. A new feature included a global poster board created by CPTC’s English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education and international students.

“We had the poster boards for 12 countries,” Chartraw said. “This is a good way to have our students get involved in this event.”

Attendance has gone up each year of the event, beginning with around 180 in 2014 and reaching nearly 250 last week, including two performing groups and several local vendors. As this event becomes an annual tradition, Chartraw hopes to see it continue to grow.

“Our goal is to have more students get involved in this event and to present performances from even more countries and cultures,” Chartraw said.

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