By Lucas Johnson
Tennessee State University’s Office of International Affairs will join students and faculty at Margaret Allen Middle Prep on Friday, Jan. 27, as sponsors of the school’s annual International Day.
The celebration emphasizes the advantages of learning about diverse cultures, study abroad opportunities and the exchange of experiences. This is the first year TSU is partnering with Margaret Allen.
“Throughout the year, we work with middle and high schools to establish a pipeline to post-secondary education,” said Dr. Jewell F. Winn, senior International Affairs officer and deputy chief diversity officer at Tennessee State. “This year we are looking at going to different international days and will set-up displays and show off the different cultures represented at TSU.”
Several of TSU’s international student clubs will lead discussions with approximately 250 7th and 8th graders on food, the arts, clothing, music and other cultural aspects from their diverse countries. Workshops will be facilitated by TSU students with Saudi Arabian, African and Kurdish heritage.
“We are excited to have an African drummer who will join us and do an interactive drum session with the student and teach them about African beats,” Winn said. “In addition, our students who have participated in study abroad opportunities will make poster presentations and share those experiences.”
Andy Mizell, a member of Margaret Allen’s International Day Committee, said the school has hosted an International Day celebration for more than a decade. With a diverse group of about 500 students, 21 different languages are spoken within the school walls.
“It [International Day] has always been amazing to see the diverse population of students come together and give special performances, as well as share in some of the cuisines from their cultures,” Mizell said. “This year will be the best, having TSU as a partner and adding college level performances and workshops for our students, will greatly heighten the International Day experience for them. They are surely never going to forget this one!”