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State University, Dominguez Hills
“Weaving Our Cultural Tapestry ”
CARSON, Calif. – The rich cultural and ethnic diversity of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and its surrounding communities will be celebrated during CommUNITY Fest 2004 on April 22 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With this year’s theme, “Weaving our Cultural Tapestry,” the annual celebration focuses and builds on the university’s distinction as one of the most diverse campuses in the nation by several news-oriented publications.
“CommUNITY Fest 2004 is a multicultural celebration that brings together various campus departments and student organizations in the spirit of unity, community and cross-cultural collaboration,” says Lui Amador, director of the University’s Multicultural Center, coordinator of the event. “Each year, the festival features live performances by dancers, musicians, storytellers and other artists. We also have folk artisans, carnival games, community organizations and an array of international foods and cultures.” Amador said children will be treated to a special hands-on experience in the arts and crafts center.
CommUNITY Fest 2004 differs from similar festivals held in prior years. Amador said university officials have taken special steps to involve the city of Carson and members of surrounding neighborhoods to make the celebration more community focused.
“I think the biggest difference from prior years is our heavy focus on reaching out to the local Carson community,” Amador said. “We’ve done a lot of direct outreach to the community. We have invited Carson Mayor Jim Dear for the opening ceremony; we have incorporated a ‘Community Fair’ that will have various non-profit companies and social service agencies on hand to promote their services and resources.” Amador said the festival’s name was changed from ‘Unity Fest’ to ‘CommUNITY Fest’ to better reflect and promote a richer and more welcoming message to the public that this celebration is truly a joint community effort.
Several local music groups will highlight CommUNITY Fest 2004. The groups include Latin music by David Correa & Cascada, Caribbean tunes by Upstream, Reggae selections by Higher Lion, Funk music by Lon-El and Polynesian melodies by One Foundation. Arte Flamenco will provide colorful Flamenco dancers.
Over the years, the festival has grown in popularity. The event was first sponsored by the university’s International Students Services and focused on the contributions of students from outside of the United States. Over time, the focus shifted to the diversity of the student body. Four years ago, the decision was made to add Saturday to the festival in order to reach out to the university’s surrounding community. At that time, the term, “Communiversity” was incorporated into the planning and focus of the event. Now, CSU Dominguez Hills is fully engaged in celebrating the diversity that distinguishes the university as a true microcosm of America.
CSU Dominguez Hills is home to more than 13,000 students representing 108 different countries.
The university’s diversity is illustrated in its student body profile. Currently Hispanic students comprise 35.5 percent of the student body. African Americans represent 30.9 percent; Caucasians are 22.7 percent of enrolled students while Asians and American Indians are 10.3 and 0.6 percent of the student body respectively.
CSU Dominguez Hills offers
a stimulating academic environment that challenges its students as they
pursue bachelor’s degrees in 43 undergraduate majors
and master’s degrees in 19 fields. For more information, visit the university’s
Web site at, http://www.csudh.edu
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California State University, Dominguez Hills • 1000 E. Victoria Street • Carson, California 90747 • (310) 243-3696
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Last updated Friday, April 9, 2004, 3:23 pm, by Stephanie Brown (sb)