Volunteers sought for UI cultural diversity festival

University of Iowa alumni, faculty, staff, students, and members of the community are encouraged to mark their calendars to participate in the 22nd annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the UI Field House. The festival provides an opportunity to learn about diversity through food, games, dance, literature, storytelling, arts, and crafts.

The UI Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival planning committee also seeks volunteers for the festival, a major tradition at the UI, which was first held in 1990. The event draws 3,000 to 5,000 people each year, making it the second-largest, non-athletic event sponsored by the UI. The event aims to bring together people of different cultures to learn from each other. It offers under-represented students an opportunity to share aspects of their culture with the community. Community members are also given a chance to broaden their cultural horizons.

“By learning through direct experience, we create memories to treasure, ” says Georgina Dodge, UI chief diversity officer and associate vice president. “Everyone in the community should consider either volunteering or just attending the festival with family and friends for experiences to add to their mental, and actual, scrapbooks.”

Volunteers opportunities include:

–Friday, March 30, five to seven volunteers are needed in two-hour shifts to assist with set-up;
– Saturday, March 31, 70 volunteers are needed in assigned three-hour shifts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and five to seven volunteers are needed that evening in two-hour shifts to assist with event tear down.

Volunteers should sign up by 4 p.m. Friday, March 16. Opportunities include: assisting with program setup/cleanup; greeting and engaging guest and participants; driving a shuttle van; working with performers, vendors, children, and community members; and monitoring rooms and information tables. Individuals who can teach words from languages spoken in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East are encouraged to volunteer at the Kids World Passport Tables. Vendors and performers are also invited to participate.

For more information, visit ccdfestival.uiowa.edu/be-a-volunteer/ or contact jarvis-purnell@uiowa.edu or lindsay-jarratt@uiowa.edu. The UI Chief Diversity Office sponsors the festival with significant volunteer support. It is free and open to the public.

Visit ccdfestival.uiowa.edu/ or www.facebook.com/ccdfestival.uiowa.

To view a related story on the UI Chief Diversity Office and the new diversity resource coordinators, visit fyi.uiowa.edu/12/20/diversity-coordinators/.