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Celebrating Diversity & Culture

Celebrating Diversity through Education, Culture and Food on Cal State LA.

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Celebrating Diversity & Culture

Local performer doing traditional Chinese umbrella dance.

Local performer doing traditional Chinese umbrella dance.

Erron Franklin

Local performer doing traditional Chinese umbrella dance.

Erron Franklin

Erron Franklin

Local performer doing traditional Chinese umbrella dance.

Mary Pace, Contributor

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Last Tuesday, The College of Professional and Global Education (PaGE) continued to bring diverse and global educational experiences to the University through their International Student Dinner.

The event provided an opportunity for domestic and international students and scholars, including those returning from study abroad, to mingle, network and learn about each other’s culture.

Talking about this event, Amy Wong, the Director of the International Office, highlighted the opportunity to celebrate the diverse student population and cultures:

“We have about 1500 international students representing 21 countries on our campus,” Wong said. “That brings a different set of diversity, thought, and culture that we don’t normally see.”

PaGe integrates an innovative curriculum to life-changing experiences by helping students gain new perspectives, become more informed and ready for the challenges ahead.

“This event is an opportunity for our students to meet our international students and learn what the culture feels like; the food, the music, the dance and all!” said Wong.

Tasha Willis, an Assistant Professor for Social Work and Faculty Director for Internationalization, explained the event’s importance:

“This is a visible way for Cal State LA campus to welcome international students and help make them feel safe, comfortable, celebrated and welcomed.”

The program began with a celebration of food from different continents. Specifically, the dinner menu ranged from hummus and pita chips, chicken and beef kabob, Asian stir-fry, beef fajitas and lasagna.

Vegetarian and vegan options included: vegan fried rice, lentil penne pasta, Mexican rice, vegan ceviche, vegetable potstickers, egg rolls, blackened seared tofu, naan and tzatziki sauces.

The meal was followed with culturally enriching performances ranging from the Mariachi Academy of Carson to The Alohas performing dances from the Pacific Islands.

Their performances demonstrated unique instrumentations, methods, singing styles, and clothing varieties from across the world.

Students expressed excitement in learning about the diverse cultures on campus.

Tuong Tran, a graduate student studying Rehabilitation Counseling, looked forward to sharing his experiences with the University community:

“I am passionate about international student cultures,” Tran said. “I’m expecting to have a good time, learn about different cultures and enjoy the food!”

Medrik Minassian, a graduate student in marketing and international business, attended the event to promote a new student club on campus:

“I am the President of the International Students Organization, which aims to bring professional and academic networking among international and domestic students while learning about their fields of interest in an international spectrum.”

Willis highlighted the key idea of celebrating Cal State LA’s unique and diverse cultural communities:

“I would say that this event is really important in these times given the cultural shift that’s happening in our country. I think most people in the United States will be willing and eager to celebrate our global communities, and this is Cal State LA making a stand to welcome our international students.”

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