Mount Mercy celebrates diversity with Multicultural Fair

Mount Mercy University students from around the world are coming together to represent their nations during the annual Multicultural Fair. The fair will conclude with a keynote address by peace activists Joshua Casteel and retired Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton.

The Multicultural Fair will be held April 14, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., in Betty Cherry Heritage Hall. The fair showcases the rich histories of cultures represented in Mount Mercy's student body, as well as promoting peace as a counter-culture initiative.

Students will feature the foods, artifacts and cultures of their home-countries during the fair. Countries represented include: Benin/Ivory Coast, Brazil, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Germany, Ireland, Nepal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay and Wales.

The special keynote address by Casteel and Gumbleton is titled, "Seeds of a Culture of Peace: Non-violence as Counter-Culture." The speech will be held in Basile Hall's Flaherty Community Room at 7:30 p.m. The two speakers are actively engaged in pro-peace initiatives and will address the consequence of violence in culture and the importance of non-violence for our world.

A longtime national and international activist in the peace movement, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is a founding member of Pax Christi USA and an outspoken supporter of peace. A weekly column featuring his homilies is published in the National Catholic Reporter.

After graduating valedictorian at his high school, Joshua Casteel went on to West Point Military Academy and as a soldier, served as a military interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison. A graduate of The University of Iowa, Casteel will share his experiences at the prison and why he now works to spread the message of peace and non-violence.

Non-violence is a critical concern of the Sisters of Mercy, founders of Mount Mercy University.

"Peace is the foundation through which all cultures nourish the growth and development of their people," says Sr. Shari Sutherland, director of Mercy mission and identity. "We promote peace-making at all levels – in families, communities, businesses, nations, and among the countries and people of the world."

The fair and keynote address are free and open to the public; seating is limited.

The events are sponsored by Mount Mercy University Campus Ministry, with the help of the Mercy Ministry Grant from the Sisters of Mercy. 

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