LTCC recognizes diversity in our community |

LTCC recognizes diversity in our community

Gary Kank

A colorful past rich in history, social issues affecting our lives today, and how the changing social climate will affect our children tomorrow are the compelling and timely themes that will be examined today through Friday during the eighth annual Multicultural Week, sponsored by Lake Tahoe Community College.

“There is a lot of diversity in this community,” said LTCC counselor Tom Greene, one of the primary organizers of the event. “LTCC believes diversity is a strength and we’re happy to celebrate it.”

The week’s events will be initiated today from 9 to 10 a.m. with a cultural exhibit reception in the art gallery just off the commons area at LTCC. The reception will display artifacts and exhibits from various cultures and time periods.

Tomorrow, issues of prejudice and discrimination are examined in the intensely challenging film, “The Color of Fear,” which will be showing from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the LTCC Theater. The film includes a series of engaging discussions dealing with this serious social issue.

“This film is very intense,” Greene said. “It really provides an opportunity for us to look at ourselves.”

The events continue on Wednesday with the programs Multi-Awareness Day where attendees are given an opportunity to challenge stereotypes and gain a greater awareness of self and others. The day will start with a discussion by a student panel giving their personal testimonies about what it’s like to live with a disability. They will reveal how they are perceived by others and the emotions and feelings that result.

Wednesday will also include discussions titled, “Living with Aids,” which will look into the daily lives of people living with the disease and “Stigmas and Stereotypes of Mental Illness,” which challenges preconceptions associated with people who suffer from mental illness.

Capping the day’s activities will be an open mic night, inviting anyone to share a poem, personal story, or song. Strange Brew Coffee House will be providing refreshments for the event.

“The open mic night event offers people the opportunity to have a safe place to express themselves,” Greene added.

The week’s festivities are highlighted on Thursday with a multi-cultural celebration involving no less than 23 performing arts and crafts demonstrations, including classical guitar, bagpipes, West African dancing, Tagalog singing, Al Tahoe Ballet Folklrico, and Japanese animation and calligraphy.

Thursday night will also host an engaging and thought-provoking lecture by keynote speaker, Dr. Carlos Cortes, Professor Emeritus of History at University of California Riverside. Dr. Cortes will talk about the major multicultural changes taking place in the 21st century and their implications for our community and nation as a whole. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the LTCC Theater. Tickets are $5 and will be on sale at 6 p.m. at the LTCC bookstore and theater box office.

The week will close on Friday with two films. A replay of “The Color of Fear,” will run at 11 a.m. and a showing of “Blossoms of Fire,” a highly acclaimed documentary examining the matriarchal society of Juchitan, Mexico will show at 7 p.m., both in the LTCC Theater.

In summing up the purpose of the week, Greene said, “There is a need for us to understand and appreciate one another. This week has a lot to do with increasing awareness of others as well as educating ourselves.”

Complete schedules of events are available through the college and are posted in public places throughout South Shore. For added information call LTCC at (530) 541-4660, ext. 231.

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