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Community Invited to Celebrate Africa Week

Willamette University will host its third annual celebration of Africa with a series of free events during the week of Feb. 18-22.

In previous years, Willamette hosted one day of Africa-related events, but with growing interest among students and faculty, the program was expanded to an entire week. All events are free and open to the public.

The film "Blood Diamond" will be shown at 9 p.m. Feb. 18 in Smith Auditorium. The film will be accompanied by a discussion of the historical forces that triggered the actual events depicted in the film and will contextualize the film within current geopolitics.

Jan Haaken, Portland State University psychology professor and author of "Speaking Out: Women, War, and the Global Economy," will lead a workshop at 1 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Hatfield Room of Hatfield Library. The workshop will explore why and how African countries are often mired in social unrest.

Willamette students and faculty will unveil Oregon's first mammoth puzzle map of Africa Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. in Cat Cavern. In addition to a puzzle competition and activities, students will display educational posters for each of Africa's 54 countries. Festivities will include African music and snacks.

That evening at 6 p.m. in Cat Cavern, attendees can watch "Africa Dreaming," four 25-minute short films produced by African filmmakers about love, family and relationships in Namibia, Tunisia, Mozambique and Senegal.

On Feb. 21, four Willamette students will show slides and share experiences from their time studying abroad in South Africa, Uganda and Ghana. This event is at 11:30 a.m. in Cone Chapel.

The week culminates Feb. 22 with an all-day African market in Putnam University Center and Goudy Commons. Come shop for jewelry, crafts, drums, clothing, baskets and artwork while supporting humanitarian projects in Africa and local entrepreneurs in Oregon.

African cuisine will be served throughout the week in Goudy Commons, Cat Cavern and the Bistro. Also that week is an exhibition of West African Yoruba sculpture on display at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

For more information about any of these events, contact Willamette's anthropology department at (503) 370-6615.

02-10-2008