“Spokane Women Together: Portraits and Stories” displays diverse women in our community

“Spokane Women Together: Portraits and Stories” displays diverse women in our community

On April 4, Hilary Hart and Rick Singer debuted their exhibit entitled “Spokane Women Together: Portraits and Stories” in the Jundt Auditorium.

In total, there were 26 women who were photographed.

“What was so inspiring was how they did not once talk about their differences, but instead how they came together through food and creating communities,” said Jerri Sheperd, an associate professor who teaches intercultural competence.

The installation was first started when Hilary Hart moved to Spokane eight years ago and raised the question of why women choose to wear hijabs. Hart started connecting with the local mosque and gathered these women together to simply talk about their culture and ended up forming a community.

“I teach about cultural diversity and to be somewhere where so many women are covered was amazing,” Sheperd said after attending a few of these meetings.

While Hart learned ultimately learned the answer to her original question as to why these women wear hijabs, she went away with so much more. She grew to understand that the religion of these amazing and vibrant women was simply only one facet of them, finding that she shared more similarities with these women than differences.

Hart used the money gained from a Spokane Arts Grant Award to fund this project and showcase Spokane’s local diversity. There are interviews with not only Muslim women but also a Holocaust survivor, Bosnian women, Christians from Malawi, and a Chinese American Jew.

Many of the women have incredibly high-profile jobs and are highly educated.

The exhibit goes on to show just how similar these diverse women are to one and another and to everyone; how they love dancing and singing, cooking and skate boarding.

While these women have gone through so much it has not ruined their outlook on life, they still love their lives, their careers, Spokane, and America.

Read more on The Gonzaga Bulletin’s website.