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Student Attends White House Briefing

Columbia International University student Bridget Deline attended the

African American Faith Leader’s Briefing hosted in September by the

White House Office of Public Engagement.

Held at The White House, Deline heard from officials representing The

White House as well as the departments of Justice, Health and Human

Services, Labor, and the Small Business Administration.

Deline, who lives in Columbia, is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in

Intercultural Studies with a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign

Language (TEFL). She has also developed the Family Empowerment

Program, a faith-based non-profit organization designed to meet the

needs of single parents living in low-income housing in Columbia.

She says she was “ecstatic” to have been among faith leaders from

across the country invited to Washington to discuss ways to partner with

the White House to make a difference in American communities. She

says she is especially interested in President Barak Obama’s My Brother’s

Keeper (MBK) initiative.

“I asked for the Lord’s guidance and was led to partner with the

president’s initiative and local municipalities in the Columbia area to

meet the MBK Community Challenge,” Deline said. “In collaboration

with President Obama, I will help to ensure that all youth, particularly boys and young men of color, have opportunities to improve

their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success.”

Deline says she developed the idea for her Family Empowerment Program years ago, but it was “birthed” while conducting an

ethnographic study for her Understanding Culture and Worldviews course, taught by CIU Intercultural Studies professor Dr. David


In addition to the White House invitation, in October, Deline attended a Faith Leadership Breakfast with Vice President Joe Biden

in Columbia.

After graduation, Deline plans to “lovingly evangelize” international students in the United States as she continues building the

Family Empowerment Program.

Mockingbird: Relevant Message

The stage in Hoke Auditorium was transformed into a 1935 small Southern town as the CIU

Players performed Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” from April 17-19.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” tells the story of racial tensions in fictional Maycomb, Alabama.

While the CIU Players have stuck to more lighthearted plays and musicals in recent years,

junior Bethany Stewart and senior Jacob Calder, who co-directed the play, wanted to try a

production with more serious overtones.

“We felt that ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ carried a message that was still relevant today, both

within the culture and within the church,” Stewart said.

Courtroom scene as attorney Atticus Finch played by

junior Nik Ellison makes his case in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Bridget Deline



CIU Today