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Intercultural Affairs

Students on the ICA cultural immersion excursion 2018


Engage. Exchange. Enlighten.

Student in class.


Intercultural Affairs (ICA) works with all members of the University to provide a campus environment where students from different backgrounds and culture groups feel appreciated, respected and valued. Through educational, social, and leadership programs, ICA promotes inclusive values of social justice and human dignity while preparing students to thrive in a diverse and interconnected world.

Our goal is to engage the WCU community, foster the exchange of ideas between students, faculty and staff, and enlighten our campus community. Stop by our office to get acquainted with our amazing staff and to get involved in programming activities.


Student Organizations

Faculty & Staff




Students celebrating at a football game


We're here to support students like you during your time here at Western Carolina University.

Whether you're looking for a place to spend some down time between classes or a way to meet new friends, our events and programs throughout the year offer a variety of opportunities to enrich your college experience.

Explore all our programs below and we hope to see you on campus!

Cultural Immersion Excursion

Students in front of the capitol building, Washington DC, on the ICA cultural immersion excursion.


This annual experience is designed to expose students to persons or groups markedly different in culture (ethnicity, language, and socioeconomic status) from that of themselves and create awareness for the world around them.

Our Fall 2018 Excursion was: American Heritage Tour: The Counter-Narrative. 46 Students traveled to Virginia, Washington DC and New York City!

Drag Show

In this festive celebration of queer culture, performers dress in gendered costumes and serenade an appreciative and adoring audience. 

Hats off to Women

Women at a table during the Hats off to Women event


A biennial networking luncheon where young women can connect with experienced female leaders on campus and in the community to receive advice, words of wisdom and motivation to aid in their own academic and career journeys. The next Hats Off To Women will be March 24th, 2020.

ICA Graduation Celebration

Spring 2019 ICA Graduates


The Department of Intercultural Affairs developed this graduation celebration as a way to honor students from underrepresented populations and their contributions to the Western Carolina University community.  We wish to provide them with a tangible symbol to wear during WCU's graduation and keep with them after graduation as a reminder of their time at WCU and the support that they have available for their future endeavors. Any student who wishes to celebrate their graduation with ICA is welcomed to participate.

Intercultural Fusion

Students on-stage at intercultural fusion


A high energy platform for diverse student organizations to present themselves to the community in creative and innovative ways.

Join us in the UC Theatre the first week of the fall semester to learn about the Department of Intercultural Affairs. You'll have a chance to meet our staff, interact with students from NPHC organizations and Registered Student Organizations (RSO's). Plus, there's free food! Don't miss out.


Student spending time outside


Nothing says "welcome back to WCU" like a Caribbean festival. Join ICA every other year for an evening full of music, food, and traditional J'ouvert activities. And of course, you won't want to miss snagging your free t-shirt! The next J'ouvert will be Fall 2020.


MLK Jr. Commemoration Events

Student participating in the MLK Jr. march


A series of events meant to bring our collective attention to the many ways in which the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. paved the way for social justice for all people.

Hear what the 2019 Keynote Speaker had to say in this article in the Smoky Mountain News.

To see the full list of events that happened in 2019 go to our MLK Jr. webpage at

poverty simulation

Could you survivie a month of poverty? Deepen your understanding of what it means to live in poverty.

Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families. But unless you've experienced poverty, it's difficult to truly understand. The Poverty Simulation bridges that gap from misconception to understanding. This simulation is an interactive immersion experience. It sensitizes community participants to the realities of poverty.

These events will be DegreePlus and will be worth R&R credit.

Project Care

Students at Valley Ballyhoo


Project CARE aims to improve academic performance and the retention of underrepresented students at Western Carolina University. In an effort to apply theory to practice, Intercultural Affairs has designed this program as a proactive measure to address the academic challenges underrepresented students face at Predominately White Institutions (PWIs). This program pairs first year and transfer student participants with student leaders who serve as peer counselors who help them to adjust to college life academically, culturally, and socially.

The Project C.A.R.E. program is FULL for the 2019-2020 academic year.  If you would like to be put on a waiting list please REGISTER HERE

Red zone

Red flags on the campus lawn.


Western Carolina University is committed to the safety and security of our campus community. Through the Red Zone education campaign we educate students to bring awareness to and to prevent sexual misconduct and violence.

The 'Red Zone' is commonly known as the period of time for college students during which they are at higher risk of experiencing sexual violence, coercion, and/or manipulation. The 'Red Zone' is typically defined as the first six weeks of the semester but we will host Red Zone activities and programs throughout the year to foster an informed student body.


Safe zone

Safe Zone sign: an inverted triangle with rainbow colors displaying "Safe Zone: The person displaying this symbol has received training on and is sensitive to issues of gender and sexuality. This person will be understanding, supportive and trustworthy if anyone needs help, advice or just someone to talk to.


The Safe Zone program provides training to all students, faculty, staff, and community members who are interested in increasing awareness of and sensitivity to issues of gender and sexuality.  In order to receive Safe Zone certification, individuals must attend both a Part I and a Part II training.


learn more

Tunnel of Oppression

Tunnel of Oppression: February 19 and 20, DSA.WCU.EDU/Tunnel written on an image of an underground tunnel


An interactive program that allows students, faculty and staff to have an experience with oppression, discrimination, and injustice to heighten awareness and encourage a personal commitment to ending oppression in all forms. The program usually takes about 50 minutes and includes a facilitated group discussion led by CAPS trained volunteers.

Spring 2019 Tunnel was a success! Thank you to all the hard working students, staff and faculty that helped.

For more information go to DSA.WCU.EDU/TUNNEL



Student Organizations

Greek Life on Campus


Western Carolina University has over 170 registered student organizations many of which support students from a variety of cultures and diverse backgrounds.

Whether you're looking for an organization that supports LGBTQIA+ identified students and allies, or a group which promotes the cultural and educational benefits for the African American student body, or Hispanic and LatinX culture, or Native American culture, there is a group on campus for you.

Explore the organizations below through WCU Engage, an interactive platform for our student organizations to feature their groups and events.



Faculty and Staff

ICA Speaker Series


The Department of Intercultural Affairs is available to give Diversity Presentations to classes, student groups, departments, and other groups on campus. The purpose of these presentations is to cultivate a campus community that is accepting, knowledgeable and sensitive in diversity issues.

Request a Diversity Presentation


The Safe Zone program provides training to all faculty and staff members who are interested in increasing awareness of and sensitivity to issues of gender and sexuality. In order to receive Safe Zone certification, individuals must attend both a Part I and a Part II training.



Rainbow 101 Faculty/ Staff is a workshop designed for faculty & staff to better understand inclusive practices & how to be more supportive of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the classroom & community. Topics covered include basic terminology and concepts and examples of microaggressions against LGBTQIA+ people.


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