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International Week at Southern Wesleyan University

    11.21.17 | Student Life Spiritual Life Inventive learning

    Anita Singleton-Prather, a native of the Sea Islands in Beaufort County, led in a lively, interactive program “Gullah...Genesis of African American History” as Aunt Pearlie Sue. Prather has appeared in the Hollywood film Forrest Gump and on Christmas Across America on the Food Network. She came to Southern Wesleyan University Nov. 14.

    Southern Wesleyan University’s Central campus was filled with the sights, sounds and tastes of diverse cultures during International Week Nov. 13 - 17.

    Dr. Michelle Loyd-Paige of Calvin College spoke in chapel and conducted workshops Nov. 13 about diversity and why it matters – urging her audience to embrace and better understand the many cultures present in American society. Loyd-Paige is professor of sociology and executive associate to the president for diversity and inclusion (EAPDI) at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. She also currently serves as the chair of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ (CCCU) Commission for Diversity and Inclusion and is the associate pastor of Angel Community Church in Muskegon, Mich.

    Southern Wesleyan’s cafeteria took on the atmosphere of the Lowcountry’s Sea Islands Nov. 14 as Anita Singleton-Prather, also known as Aunt Pearlie Sue, gave an engaging, interactive program of Gullah-flavored folk tales and music, with some help from university students and Dr. Raymond Attawia, assistant professor of business; and Dr. Justin Carter, associate vice president for student engagement. Prather is an educator, singer, actress and historian, and is the founder and a member of the musical performance group the Gullah Kinfolk. As a storyteller and singer, Prather has performed at many festivals, including Spoleto USA in Charleston. She has also appeared in the now-classic film Forrest Gump and on Christmas Across America, aired on the Food Network.

    A Nov. 15 chapel was devoted to a panel and open discussion as three Southern Wesleyan international students answered questions on topics including different societal customs, food, and adjusting to life in the U.S. Led by Southern Wesleyan student Kira Williams, the panel consisted of Tadala Kandulu of Malawi, Jemimah Opini of Ghana, and Sergio Tapia of Chile.

    Students sampled a variety of dishes from around the world, including Korean, African, Latin American and Soul Food – courtesy of Pioneer College Catering, the university’s dining service.

    Other activities included an update on Puerto Rico’s continuing recovery from Hurricane Maria’s devastation and the status of relief efforts, presented by Dr. Franklin Aviles-Santa, assistant professor of business and a native of the island territory.

    International Week events were sponsored by SWU’s Multicultural Leadership Committee (MLC).

    Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. At the same time, it’s Southern Wesleyan’s desire to practice contagious generosity within the surrounding community. For details about degree programs, go online to

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