Multi-Cultural Programs Abound in Coral Springs and Parkland
By David Volz / September 1, 2014
Coral Springs celebrates its diverse cultures and religions with many multicultural events.
"Our strength is in diversity. We are aware of our differences," says Joyce Campos, community relations manager for Coral Springs, who is a native of India and the staff liaison for Coral Springs' Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee.
"When I came here from India, I had to make an adjustment, but I love it here," she says. "Coral Springs is my home now. There is a closeness here that I like. It is a very warm, family oriented community. Having worked for the City for the past 39 years, I have grown with the City," she said.
The Coral Springs Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee offers a huge variety of programs and events designed to bring the diverse city together. One example is the National Day of Prayer event held at Coral Springs Charter School. Members of all the houses of worship are encouraged to come together for a celebration and candlelight service. Youth from the congregations offer a prayer.
The City's Unitown program is a youth leadership training program where high school students come together to learn the values of citizenship, leadership and racial harmony. Unity in the Community allows representatives of various ethnic groups in Coral Springs to meet to assess the cultural climate and take steps to ensure an inclusive and caring environment.
Coral Springs' WorldFest is an annual festival with international flavors showcasing cultural diversity, while the International Dinner Dance celebrates the City's multicultural month. CommuniTea is a multicultural tea party that encourages people from different communities to come together for a social event, and during the Holiday Parade, multi-cultural groups showcase their heritage.
Members of the community represent a wide variety of backgrounds. Cam Hoang of Camilla Day Spa in Coral Springs is from Vietnam and an active participant in the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee.
"I think Coral Springs is a wonderful city. I see that Coral Springs is a diverse city and it celebrates diversity at events like WorldFest," she says...
Hoang especially likes the fact that WorldFest offers lots of performances by the groups representing many different nations> "I think it is important that we present the fabric of our city. It is important that we learn about our neighbors and come together to make the City a better community. I enjoy events like the CommuiTea and the International Dinner Dance, where each year we select a country to celebrate," she said.
Raul Rios, a founding member of the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee and a native of Peru, says he believes in the importance of multi-cultural programs and events. He is also president of the Peru-Inca Cultural Association.
"The Multi-Cultural Committee is a great organization. At the beginning, everyone was a representative of their own culture. Now, we work to promote awareness of other cultures by having events lke the WorldFest and the International Dinner Dance," he says.
Rios adds that he especially loves seeing people get together to enjoy food and fellowship at the International Diner Dance.
"We celebrate different countries every year. I am happy that people from different cultures can work together. The Peru-Inca Cultural Association's goal is to promote the Inca and Peruvian culture including customs and music," he says.
Commissioner Claudette Bruck, the liaison from the Coral Springs Commission to the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee, says the events are very meaningful to the City.
"It brings the City together. It embraces our diversity and allows us to celebrate our differences," she says.
The Parkland Library offers a number of educational and cultural events. Each month, the library celebrates a unique culture, says Miles Amos, program specialist for the Parkland Library.
In February, the library celebrates Black History Month and in March, there are events for Women's History Month. In July, the library has programs for French-American month, and from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the library celebrates Hispanic culture and German culture. In June, the library celebrates Caribbean-American Heritage month. The goal of all of the programs is to encourage people to learn more about other cultures.
"We have an interactive education program, show movies, have food tastings and host cultural performances," Amos says. "We offer lots of fun ways to learn about other cultures."
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