Diversity Monologues explore how students find freedom

by Jeremy Randrup | Staff Writer

The Cowles Auditorium nearly reached capacity during the Diversity Monologues showcase on Mar 12. This event, the fourth annual one of its kind at Whitworth, prompted students to think about how they come to know freedom through their life. Each monologue, uniquely crafted and delivered by students of different backgrounds, gave different messages on their journey to realizing freedom. For Junior Ishan Gauli of Nepal, his idea of freedom came through his progression of education.

“Nobody should feel like their story is not unique.” Gauli said, commenting on the encouragement of the monologues.

“The diversity monologues show that there is something special about everyone. It serves as a platform for that.”

Gauli’s monologue, “FRE-EDU-M,” detailed the time he went to a Catholic school in Darjeeling, India, where Gauli and other students were “stripped of our education because of political unrest.”

Now, coming to get a post-secondary education in the United States, Gauli felt that being able to go to school without the distractions of a dangerous political landscape was his epitome of freedom. Gauli felt gratified at the supportive Whitworth audience which was filled with his close peers and mentors.

“Starting off toward the stage, I was a little nervous. Once the attention was on me, I actually felt a little more at ease. I knew that the people in the cramped building were supporting me.”

For Freshman Ibrahim Diop, freedom was not found specifically through education, like Gauli.

“I came to know freedom through discipline, growth and different experiences. I wanted the audience to understand that.” he said.

Diop, from Harlem in New York City, delivered a monologue that had the idea of balancing freedom and discipline. Through his self-discipline, Diop explained that he was able to be the “true Ibrahim he was born to be.”

“Growing up, I felt like some things were holding me back. My monologue was a little bit about how I got to spread my wings and fly.”

Like Gauli, Diop expressed a little nervousness in the preparations leading up to walking out on stage on the day of the monologues. However, he had methods to deal with the anxiety.

“I felt a little nervous before walking on stage, but I meditated a little and did positive self talk.”

By the end of the event, different monologues showcased a spectrum of different paths to knowing freedom that encompassed family, friends, cultural upbringing, faith and many other ideas. A 2019 Diversity Monologues book was also printed for the event, containing every presentation by the students for this year.

Anyone looking to participate in the Diversity Monologues for next year is encouraged to contact the Intercultural Student Center in Hendrick Hall.