As part of Homecoming week, the Multicultural Festival was held on Monday, Mar. 3 at the University Student Union Ballrooms.
Dr. James Manseau Sauceda tried to keep his speech vibrant by getting the audience to participate with a few body movements.
Dr. Sauceda was kind enough to talk to me about the current state of minorities on campus and how much diversity we actually have on campus.
For those of you who don’t know who Dr. Sauceda is, he’s the current director and founder of the Multicultural Center. You can read his bio here: http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/grad_undergrad/mcc/about/director/
He emphasized the need to try and figure out ways to bring minorities to other departments, not just ethnic studies. In other words, minority faculty shouldn’t be pigeon holed to a single department just because of their last name.
He also said that faculty needs to be aware of the assisting programs available to students who may not be capable of keeping up with the load of classes.
Sometimes we forget that not all students receive the same quality of education. Dr. Sauceda suggested that faculty should be required to know about those services so that they can help their students succeed.
Guest speaker and Nigeria native Myrenna Ogbu explained the different assumptions that people have about Nigerians and the importance of understanding each other as human beings.
She gave examples of how foods in all countries are practically the same, except they are cooked slightly different. Some use more pepper than others, some use different oils.
Ogbu, who is a storyteller and a poet, was wearing a traditional ceremonial robe from Nigeria. When I met up with her outside the USU Ballrooms, she explained that she wore the buba (the shirt), lapa (the skirt), sha (the shawl), and the gale (the hat) as a way to show others that what she wears is no different from the things she wears in her country.
Ballet Folklorico Colibri and CSULB Bellies provided music and dancing for entertainment.
It was the CSULB Bellies who attracted the attentions of people who were just passing by the ballrooms. They did various renditions of belly dancing. From a tango infused dance to two popular songs by Shakira and hip-hop genius Timbaland.
Here's Shakira doing her own form of belly dancing.