Diveristy Fest bids adieu

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For the last 25 years, Iowa City has received a tour around the world without having to travel very far.
Food, music, crafts, and educational stations brought to life traditions of the many cultures thriving in the community.

Oct. 4 will mark the final cultural shebang coordinated by the University of Iowa Diversity Office. The annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival will bid farewell fromnoon to 5 p.m. in Hubbard Park.

“I think it’s bittersweet,” said Kendra Malone, a UI diversity-resources coordinator. “It’s important for us to look at the legacy and to honor those who came before us in making this festival such a success. But I think it’s also important for us to recognize that everything changes.”

One major change has been the influx of student organizations and community partners that have taken on the challenge of promoting diversity and inclusion through their festivals and celebrations. This, in turn, influenced stakeholders in the Diversity Office to end the festival this year. The Diversity Office chose to re-focus its energy on other ways to promote inclusion.

In September, the Diversity Resources Team, a unit of the Diversity Office, launched the BUILD initiative, which stands for Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity. Malone said the initiative is “a series of courses that faculty and staff can take so that they can continue strengthening their skills around creating diverse and inclusive environments here on campus.”

As for the goodbye to the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival, attendees can expect similar events of past festivals.

Approximately 30 vendors and student organizations representing a variety of cultures will have food, drinks, clothing, jewelry, art, and more for sale. The stage will host musical performances from dance, singing, and a cappella groups and individuals.

The festival’s family center will help kids increase their culture awareness through games and crafts.

More than 100 volunteers will contribute to the final event. Admission is free, but tickets can be purchased, with cash only, to buy items for sale.

FESTIVAL
Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival
Where: Hubbard Park
When: Noon-5 p.m. Oct. 4
Admission: Free

 

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