Although we are fast approaching the end of the 2021-2022 school year, there are still a number of events and opportunities in the last few days.
One of these events is the USG Culture Fair.
This Friday, April 29 from 3-6 p.m. on the Great Lawn behind Wilbur Cross, will be one of the most collaborative and synergistic events of the entire year. The Cultural Fair brings together not one, not two, not three, but seven of the cultural centers and programs that call UConn home.
In anticipation of this major event, The Daily Campus had the chance to speak with Josianne Hamilton, Director of Diversity for Undergraduate Student Government.
“The cultural fair was conceptualized very late,” Hamilton said. “I had the idea when I became CDO (only a few months ago) and Neha jumped at the idea of collaborating. We see this as a test for hopefully an ongoing initiative. To organize the event, we spoke to each cultural center individually and obtained their opinion on the type of food, trivial questions and prices that would best represent them. We then met with a small group of USG reps (Marissa, Aanya and Karen) and got to work.
Seven cultural centers and programs will be present: the Rainbow Center, the African American Cultural Center, the Native American Cultural Programs, the Middle Eastern Cultural Programs, the Puerto Rican/Latino American Cultural Center, the Asian American Cultural Center and the Women’s Center.
The Rainbow Center, under the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, works to build community and advocate for the queer and transgender community on our campus.
“The cultural fair was conceptualized very late. I had the idea when I became cdo (only a few months ago) and neha jumped at the idea of collaborating. we see this as a test for hopefully an ongoing initiative. To organize the event, we spoke to each cultural center individually and obtained their opinion on the type of food, the trivial questions and the prices that would best represent them. we then met with a small group of USG reps (Marissa, Aanya and karen) and got to work.
The oldest cultural center on campus is the African American Cultural Center, which was founded in 1968 and focuses on the cultural preservation and understanding of the heritage of African Americans and people of African descent.
Native American cultural programs are based on the preservation of Native American culture, including emphasizing the importance of acknowledging the land at events and gatherings, to highlight the eternal relationship between Native peoples and their territory.
Middle Eastern Cultural Programs is the youngest cultural program on campus, having been founded just over a year ago. MECP focuses on building relationships among students, promoting education about Middle Eastern cultures, and providing professional development opportunities for students.
The Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center, which grew out of the mid-20th century civil rights movement, focuses on promoting appreciation for the diversity of Latin American culture and Latin American individuals.
The Asian American Cultural Center, founded in December 1987 after eight Asian students were harassed, assists students in the Asian American community in service and outreach.
The mission of the Women’s Center is to advocate and support women’s equity on campus and in the surrounding community of the University of Connecticut.
All of these organizations host their own events and opportunities throughout the school year, but bringing them all together for one massive event? This is a rare opportunity.
At this cultural fair, students can expect “food, lots of food”, according to Hamilton, with prizes and music to create an incredible event to close out this school year.
The mission of this year’s Cultural Fair is unity through diversity. This event will bring together people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, but that doesn’t mean everyone isn’t united. With food, music, games, dancing and more, UConn’s cultural programs will feel more cohesive than ever.
To attend the Cultural Fair, go to the Grande Pelouse at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 29. To get involved in these cultural programs, visit their websites or their offices within the Student Union.