Student Voice

Campus celebrates diversity in 28th annual Multicultural Day

Joel+Mankey+%28left%29%2C+Risa+Isogawa%2C+Ric+Alviso%2C+Scott+Murphy%2C+and+Alex+Smith+perform+their+traditional+Zimbabwean+music+for+the+attendees+of+Multicultural+Day+on+April+10%2C+2018.+The+band%2C+Masanga+Marimba%2C+has+been+praticing+and+performing+traditional+African+together+since+2000.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
Joel Mankey (left), Risa Isogawa, Ric Alviso, Scott Murphy, and Alex Smith perform their traditional Zimbabwean music for the attendees of Multicultural Day on April 10, 2018. The band, Masanga Marimba, has been praticing and performing traditional African together since 2000. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Joel Mankey (left), Risa Isogawa, Ric Alviso, Scott Murphy, and Alex Smith perform their traditional Zimbabwean music for the attendees of Multicultural Day on April 10, 2018. The band, Masanga Marimba, has been praticing and performing traditional African together since 2000. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Joel Mankey (left), Risa Isogawa, Ric Alviso, Scott Murphy, and Alex Smith perform their traditional Zimbabwean music for the attendees of Multicultural Day on April 10, 2018. The band, Masanga Marimba, has been praticing and performing traditional African together since 2000. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Kaylee Cornwall

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Cultural diversity wove its way through Moorpark College on Tuesday as Multicultural Day kicked off with presentations, delicacies, performances and more.

Themed “Deliberative Dialogues on Diversity,” the campus-wide event featured ties to its main topic with lectures such as “Intersectional Feminism as a Lens for Understanding Diversity,” “When One Box is Not Enough: Exploring Bicultural Identity Development,” “Creating Gender-Inclusive Schools” and “Raising Gun Awareness: An Opportunity to Silently Listen and Share.” Nenagh Brown, President of the Academic Senate, explained two of the main things participants should take out of the day.

“The first topic it emphasizes is that we need to live, breathe and embrace diversity,” said Brown. “It should be the epidemy of what we do. The second is our commitment to equality and that we meet each and every student that walks into Moorpark College with the assistance they need to succeed.”

The event also encompassed a variety of workshops, from activities such as origami and Japanese calligraphy to tie-dying shirts and even spray-painting cultural art along Raider Walk, available to students, faculty and visitors. The spring weather created a perfect blend of a beautiful day and community coming together, according to President Luis Sanchez.

“It’s honestly one of the most joyful and significant days here,” said Sanchez. “You can just feel it in the air. All around us is this celebration that truly reflects the philosophy and respect of individual cultures.”

In addition, performances commenced with a traditional Bollywood dance in the Quad, while Scottish bagpipers casually strolled along the campus playing songs and making students smile on their way to class. On the ladder half of the day, a live jazz band performed “Green Monk,” and Hawaiian dancers entertained the campus with “Island Rhythms.”

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Katrina McElroy (left), 2-D Design professor, assists her art student, Kori Lucero, in creating her stencil art with chalk spray during Mulicultural Day at Moorpark College on April, 10, 2018, in Moorpark, Calif. Each student in McElroy's class created a stencil based on the theme of "Deliberative Dialogues in Diversity." Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Dynamic cuisine was also available, with a variety of unique choices. Ranging from Middle-Eastern dishes to Escabeche bistro, food trucks lined the campus to offer everything students may want to try.

“Honestly, this mint-lime drink from the Mediterranean truck is incredible,” said Eli Rogers, a student taking advantage of the limited-time food options. “I want ten more.”

As an alternative day of teaching, professors strongly encouraged their students to attend. Rather than coming to campus for a designated course, students had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a mixture of cultures for the day.

“It’s a really great opportunity to encounter different types of people from diverse backgrounds, and to become more aware of the differences in culture both on campus and in the community,” said Jorge Gomez, a criminal justice major who participated in the festivities.

Although the topic can be seen as sensitive, Steven Pfeffer, a political science professor at Moorpark College, weighed in on the ongoing fight against racism.

“This is just one small part,” said Pfeffer. “But we hope you’ll join us in our everyday battle to fight both ignorance and stupidity.”

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Bill Boetticher faces his bagpiping partener, Wally Boggess, as they play their music for the passersby during Multicultural Day at Moorpark College, on April 10, 2018, in Moorpark Calif. Both players represent their group, Gold Coast Pipes and Drums, and the diversity that is found in music from around the world. (©Evan Reinhardt 2018)

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