FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cindy Jones, Marketing Specialist
DIVERSITY IN CULTURE FESTIVAL AT VENTURA COLLEGE
(VENTURA, Calif.) March 28, 2018 – Ventura College announces the 3rd Annual Diversity in Culture Festival, Wednesday and Thursday, April 11-12, 2018, starting at 9:30 am. The Diversity in Culture Festival is a free, two-day public event that has been designated by the Ventura College Executive Team as, “Alternative Education Days.” The festival will feature a variety of educational opportunities including guest speakers, panel discussions, visual & performing arts, student organizations, food, and a market place.
“We are proud to support an alternative day of instruction and encourage faculty to permit their students to attend the events as part of their educational experience. We value cultural diversity on campus and look to inspire dialogue in the classroom following the festival,” says Ventura College President David Keebler.
The festival provides ample opportunities to highlight various cultural backgrounds, practices, and topics reflected in the campus and the local community. Annual highlights of the event will include a native Chumash ritual; local Danza Aztec groups; and a panel of community religious leaders will share their insights and perspectives, ranging from Islam to Sikhism to Judaism and Christianity. Faculty will present on their areas of expertise, from art history and uncovering the meanings of Maya Glyphs to Haiku writing workshops. Guest speakers will shed light on non-binary gender identity, and students will host a panel on LGBTQ issues. Various panels will shed light on topics such as autism, adoption, and deaf culture. Local story tellers Tracy Hudak and Rasika Mathur will lead volunteers in sharing stories from the recent Thomas Fire. Esteemed Chicano actor, Danny De La Paz, will recount his experiences in the film industry along with a viewing of his film, “Boulevard Night.” Additional cultural topics include flamenco dancing performance, Irish culture, student performances, and a student art display.
Student expression of diversity will be featured in our Poetry Slam on the main stage, Wednesday, April 11 from 11:30am – 1:30pm. This year’s theme is, “Breaking Silence”. The Diversity in Culture Task Force will also announce the student winner of the Poster Art Contest. The selection will be used in the 2019 Festival promotion. The 2018 Poster Art winner is Catherine Carrier.
Festival organizer Gigi Fiumerodo states, “Diversity is often defined in many ways. The goal of the festival is to provide opportunities for our students and community to experience all it can be and hopefully learn more about our world and each other. Usually the discovery lies in that we are all more similar than we are different. Additionally, we hope the festival provides an opportunity for gathering, connectivity, and healing for our community.”
The main Festival stage will be located adjacent the Learning Resource Center. The nearest parking is in the East Lot on the corner of Telegraph and Day Roads. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is $2 and permits can be purchased at designated kiosks. The full event schedule can be viewed at www.venturacollege.edu/diversityfest
About the Diversity in Culture Task Force
The task force is comprised of Ventura College volunteers including faculty, staff and students. The goals of the Diversity in Culture Task Force are to provide educational opportunities for greater awareness and understanding of diversity (both globally and locally), to foster connections and alliances with community services, to utilize various methods to promote diversity- events, presentations, displays, and to engage faculty, staff, and students to support and promote inclusion and representation of diverse populations.
About Ventura College
Started in 1925, Ventura College is an accredited two-year institution of higher education within the Ventura County Community College District. The 112-acre campus has an enrollment of 14,500 students. It serves a diverse student body through credit and non-credit offerings. The college offers associate’s degrees in 33 majors, certificates of achievement in 35 career and technical education fields and proficiency awards in 26 fields.