Many students at UC Davis face a daily identity crisis in which they are forced to choose a single culture to identify with. In an effort to combat this, the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center (CCC) is hosting its seventh annual Mixed Heritage Week from Monday through May 6.
During the course of the week, the CCC will be holding a variety of events open to all students to promote the idea of mixed heritage as a single identity, as well as to encourage students to embrace multiple cultures outside their own. According to Crystal Charity, the coordinator of Mixed Heritage Week, every event throughout the week is designed to expose students to new and diverse ethnicities.
“It is made up of people who belong to different groups who aren’t always aware that there is a group of people that they can talk to about ethnicity issues,” Charity said.
Beginning Monday, the CCC has scheduled a wide range of events to promote cultural variety on campus, including programs to encourage people of different sexualities to embrace their preferences.
The first event on Monday is the Safe Zone Training, a program designed to encourage the formation of “safe zones” for those of different sexual preferences. It combines both the idea of mixed heritage and varying sexuality into a single event.
“We collaborate with the different culture weeks in recognition of how all of our communities are interconnected and how issues of social justice impact us all,” said Sara Farooqi, the office coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center, in an e-mail interview.
Other events during the week include art exhibits, performances, workshops and panels all centered around either ethnic or sexual diversity, namely the closing event, “Singing with the S.T.A.R.S.” (Students who are Talented and Ready for Stardom).
“The event is intra-cultural work that brings awareness to mixed identity and reach out to different audiences that normally wouldn’t take part in the week,” said Melissa Muganzo, the coordinator of the Singing with the S.T.A.R.S. event. “Mixed Heritage Week is excited for this event, as well as the rest of the week-long events!”
More information about Mixed Heritage Week can be found at http://ccc.ucdavis.edu/culture_weeks/mhw.html
CHARLOTTE YOUNG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.