Up With People performance headlines annual Centenary College Diversity Week

The 2019 Up With People cast will arrive in Shreveport on September 23.

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College’s annual Diversity Week celebration will have an international flair this year, culminating in a high-energy, upbeat, family-friendly public concert by the multi-national touring group Up With People (UWP) at the Centenary Gold Dome on Saturday, September 28, at 7:00 p.m.

Up With People has toured the world for more than 50 years, performing for millions of people in more than 70 countries and appearing in four Super Bowl halftime shows. Through a unique blend of music, social action, and international travel, UWP empowers young people to be positive agents of change in their communities and the world. The five month 2019 world tour includes stops in Canada, Europe, and the United States and features a cast of 100 participants representing 14 countries. The current show, Live On Tour, combines familiar pop music, international dances, and original UWP songs.

“It has been more than 20 years since the last time Up With People came to the Shreveport-Bossier area, but I still meet people who remember the previous cast visits and start singing the theme song after I mention Up With People, even after all these years!,” says Centenary dean of student Mark Miller, who is also an UWP alumnus. “A lot of Centenary students have volunteered to host Up With People cast members on campus, so they will have opportunities to make international friends and the cast will get to experience a slice of college life in the United States.”

The UWP cast will be in Shreveport from September 23 through 30. In addition to the public performance on Saturday evening, the cast will present a special performance for 3,000 local elementary and high school students in collaboration with Caddo Parish Public Schools, participate in community service projects, and join Centenary students for an international fair showcasing their diverse home cultures through traditional dress, music, games, and more.

The International Fair is one of several events presented as part of Centenary’s Diversity Week, an annual collaboration between several campus organizations to highlight the College’s diverse student body and create a forum for discussion and dialogue about issues of diversity.

"Diversity Week is an avenue through which the Centenary community can explore and celebrate the beautiful diversity of our students, faculty, staff, and administration,” says Ari Murphy, a Centenary senior serving as a Diversity Intern this year. “So many different identities and experiences inform who we are and everyone should have the opportunity to both express their own identities and learn about the identities of others. This year, we emphasize the need to not only accept and acknowledge but celebrate those identities and differences that combine to create our rich community."

Other 2019 Diversity Week events include a “Diversity 101” workshop, a screening of the documentary The Supreme Price followed by dialogue, and a “Stand4Civility” workshop with the UWP cast. Up With People has partnered with the nonpartisan National Institute for Civil Discourse to create this interactive workshop on ways to promote and model civility. The civility workshop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26, in the Gold Dome. It is free and open to the public, and participants can register online at centenary.edu/diversityweek.

A full schedule for Diversity Week is available at centenary.edu/diversityweek. For more information about the Up With People concert on September 28 and to purchase tickets, visit upwithpeople.org/event/shreveport/.