Speaking with a Southern Accent:
Culture and Unity
We spent this year thinking about globalization and diversity. We may have had it
wrong in this theme year. Instead of pondering globalization and diversity, perhaps we
should have been reflecting on the opposite idea—globalization and unity. Human unity
and solidarity may provide the basis upon which we can build a global foundation more
secure than mere toleration or acceptance. Pro Humanitate is an ethical imperative.
The culture toward which we labor in common is a world culture. This next world is
a world made safe for human and creature habitation, a world where differences are
resolved through negotiation based on mutual respect—a world where the needs of the
least among us are met by the efforts of all.
Thomas K. Hearn Jr., May 17, 1999;
Charge to the Graduates, Wake Forest University Commencement
he third theme year, “The Year of Globalization and Diversity: Conflict or Har-
mony?” both questioned and celebrated the world’s increasing intercommuni-
and diversity. On September 17, Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of
Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, spoke at the opening convocation. An Eth-
nic Heritage Faire on October 17 offered glimpses into African, Asian, Greek, Indian,
Italian, Latin American, Native American, and Spanish cultures through exhibits and
foods. The Middle Eastern dance troupe Magic Carpet, the steel band Shadz, and the
mariachi band Los Viajeros performed. Student groups, such as Islam Awareness, set
up booths and exhibits. Later in the year, the Chilean folk music group Inti-­illimani
performed, and a panel discussed the media’s influence on cultural perceptions.
Nigerian poet, playwright, and political activist Wole Soyinka, who received the
1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, spoke at Founders’ Day Convocation on February 2.
The year also featured a foreign film festival. Candyce Leonard (Humanities) compiled
and edited a companion guide that detailed the events.
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