The Multicultural Festival at UMass Amherst

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One of the most rewarding parts of our work on campus is bringing together students of different backgrounds and cultures. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, David Project interns decided to bring the campus community together for such an occasion. In partnership with a number of diverse organizations on campus, these amazing students created a multicultural festival, where students learned about the values and traditions of each community. The organizations involved included Student Government, Student Alliance for Israel, Mishelanu, UMass Belly Dance, Asian American Student Association, Cape Verdean Student Association, UMass Irish Dance, Indian Classical Arts Society, Italian Student Association, Latinos Unidos, Japanese Student Association, Polish Student Association, and The Asian Student Center for Choreography.

Stephanie Margolis, a David Project intern at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, saw this event as an important first step towards developing genuine connections with other communities. "It was important to partner with these organizations because it brought together many cultural groups who were able to share what they bring to campus." Stephanie said. 

 The Israel community hosted a table at the Multicultural Festival that highlighted Israel's positive contributions to peace, and the different initiatives they offer on campus. 

The Israel community hosted a table at the Multicultural Festival that highlighted Israel's positive contributions to peace, and the different initiatives they offer on campus. 

Part of the success of the event, was finding a way to provide value both for the Israel community and Student Government. As an important ally on campus, Stephanie believes that the Multicultural festival provided an avenue to support the goals of Student Government as well. "The main focus of this event was to give (Student Government) a connection to groups on campus and to show the diversity on campus. The event was the first of its exact nature and we hope to potentially plan something like this again."

 Organizations that participated in the Multicultural Festival had the opportunity to showcase elements of their cultures to those in attendance. 

Organizations that participated in the Multicultural Festival had the opportunity to showcase elements of their cultures to those in attendance. 

The Multicultural Festival provided a great opportunity to work with these communities in the future. Not only are these communities better acquainted with each other, but also our interns who look to strengthen these newly fostered relationships going forward. As Stephanie said, "the event created connections to groups that will be able to grow and become stronger, so that events like this can continue to happen in the future." 

 

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