Spread hope

Week events help reach the world

Global Focus Week kicked off Monday, Feb. 8 at Liberty University and is in full swing across campus. Students now get the opportunity to familiarize themselves with countries from all over the world with culturally engaging events planned throughout the week.

The semi-annual conference, which is sponsored by Liberty’s Center for Global Engagement (CGE), is scheduled to run through Friday, Feb. 12. With it, Global Focus Week brings talks from professionals in global studies, cultural break sessions and a week-long exhibit showcasing 46 different global organizations.

“You don’t have to get on a plane and fly across an ocean to witness another culture,” CGE Coordinator of Special Projects Jonny Williams said. “All of our cultures are intermingled in our world, especially in the U.S., and (Global Focus Week) expresses that.”

Monday’s events included a number of Global Talks — miniature “Ted Talk”-style presentations in which viewers were given a look into the humanity of language from linguistics professor Dr. Jaeshil Kim — and a presentation of the cultural significance of henna art from guests Monica Waters and Sydney Egan.

Global Focus Week will continue with events designed as study breaks, called culture breaks, where students will have opportunities to experience other cultures through small stations that represent a variety of countries throughout the globe.

On Tuesday, for example, an international board game station will be hosted, where board games from places such as Korea, Italy and Africa will be brought for students to play. Wednesday brings with it a crêpe tasting, and a Japanese origami segment will be hosted Thursday. All culture breaks last from 2-4 p.m. and will be hosted in the Jerry Falwell Library.

Two separate events, one highlighting Western European culture and the other Israeli culture, are also scheduled to take place Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Each event has five components to it — food, language, geography, art and religion — and will take place in the Library Terrace Conference Room.

“We’ll have crêpes, gelato and British tea for examples of postmodern food and falafels, hummus and Israeli salad for examples of Israeli food,” Williams said. “For the art sections, a play from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” will be performed, and students will be given a lesson in krav maga.”

The conference also offers a Taste of Nations Food Festival Tuesday at 8 p.m., and global-minded speakers will be premiered during Liberty’s Convocation lineup throughout the week.

The purpose of Global Focus Week, according to Williams, is to highlight some of the best and most unique aspects of cultures from all over the world to spread awareness of multicultural diversity.

“We live in a globalized world, so we want to get students actively involved with real-time global needs,” Williams said. “Basically, the purpose of all this is to provide opportunities for students to be engaged globally in God’s work.”

In order to do so, Global Focus Week is also hosting an exhibit hall that will run throughout the week in the grand entrance of DeMoss Hall. The exhibit features international service organizations such as Wycliffe, Crossworld and WorldVenture that are looking for students to volunteer to help overseas.

Williams said he hopes the exhibit hall and the other similar events happening throughout Global Focus Week will create more interest in global work from students who never thought they might be interested before.

“We want students who have never interacted with anything like this before to experience an awakening of the heart toward God’s global work,” Williams said. “Every (student’s) life can serve for a global impact no matter who they are, whatever their passions are, and whatever the degree they’re striving to get.”

To find out more about Global Focus Week and to view the full schedule of events, visit liberty.edu/academics/globalengagement.

Young is a feature reporter.

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