EWU Supports Unity in the Community

August 15, 2023

A team of volunteers from Eastern Washington University was on the front lines of greeting several thousand children and their families and friends at the Unity in the Community festival, held on Aug.12 at Riverfront Park.

The festival, which turns 30 next year, gives community members the opportunity to have fun while exploring the traditions of other cultures. The day-long event features diverse entertainment, cultural village displays, games, arts and food for children and adults, along with a job/career fair, health screenings and other activities.

This year, EWU expanded its festival sponsorship to include the Cultural Village. The Cultural Village features booths, storytelling and performances provided by immigrants and descendants of countries with communities represented in Spokane. Children and teens learned about life in the Philippines, France, Guatemala and other far-reaching places.

Members of the university community worked hard to ensure that EWU’s booth at the festival was well-equipped to greet visitors. In addition to transportation and setup, EWU volunteers staffed the booth, located at the entrance to the Cultural Village, distributing EWU promotional materials along with event ‘passports’ for schoolchildren in grades K-8.

EWU's booth at Unity in the Community saw a steady flow of visitors throughout the day.

Children who visited every cultural booth, and collected all of the stamps, received a free backpack filled with school supplies. By the end of the event, more than 1,000 young students had received pencils, pens, notebooks and other staples to start the new school year.

President Shari McMahan, who attended the festival with Lea Jarnagin, EWU’s new vice president of student affairs, was on-hand to meet community members and accept a plaque in appreciation of the university’s ongoing support of the festival. Lance Kissler, associate vice president of university relations at EWU and local human rights advocate, was interviewed by KHQ.

Thank you to everyone who pitched in to make EWU’s booth at Unity in the Community a success!