For the past seven years, WCU has selected an interdisciplinary theme for campus conversations, curricular and co-curricular connections, and enrichment. This year, for the first time, faculty, staff and students voted on the theme and among the choices offered, Cherokee was the resounding favorite and became the theme for 2017-2018. The tribal and demographic context for the theme of "Cherokee" is largely in keeping with WCU's neighbors, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and the portion of their ancestral home that they still retain, the Qualla Boundary.
For the remainder of the 2017-18 academic year we celebrate WCU's Cherokee community as part of our Diversity Dialogues series. The series attempts to capture and share the unique experiences of students from diverse backgrounds, helping open all our eyes to different views of the world and bring us together through dialogue. We will share the stories of several Cherokee students at Western Carolina, and we invite you to share your own story as well.
We celebrate our campus theme, Cherokee, with a dialogue featuring WCU freshman Brittney Driver, graduate student in Cherokee Studies, Tovah Welch, and alumnus Sky Sampson who is also Director of the Cherokee Center on campus.
In a conversation moderated by Chief Diversity Officer Ricardo Nazario-Colon, Brittney, Tovah and Sky discuss their experiences as a Cherokee student at WCU, navigating their own self-identity as Americans who are part of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and much more. We invite you to watch the video here and to join the conversation by submitting your own story.
Hear from two Cherokee students, Shana Lambert and James Driver Blythe, who share their own unique perspectives on being a native at WCU. Then, read more student perspectives on our stories page. We'd love to hear and share your story as well. Share what you've learned about cultural differences, how you've been challenged, or what you want other students to know about walking in your shoes.
The experience of being a college student changes daily. Share your own daily experiences as a Cherokee student or as a student learning about diverse cultures through photos, videos and other posts on social media and use the hashtag #wheerespect and #campusthemecherokee.