The Palm Springs Unified School District will host a multicultural festival from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The event will include food for sale, music, entertainment and activities for kids. Admission is free, and families from across the Coachella Valley are invited to attend.
The festival is presented by the district and several cultural committees, including the African American, Native American and Latino parent advisory councils, the Junior Black Achievers and the PSUSD Anti-Racism Coalition.
Junior Black Achievers is an opportunity for students across PSUSD to “connect with their Black peers, Black parents and Black community members to develop a rich understanding of their culture and history as well as improve their college and career readiness.”
The PSUSD Anti-Racism Coalition was formed in response to the murder of George Floyd, and is intended to help the district hold itself accountable to supporting and encouraging African-American students.
More: PSUSD’s Junior Black Achievers launching second year
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“The festival represents not only our cultures, but our community and the diversity within the school district,” said Nicole Crawford, district coordinator of diversity and racial equity.
District leaders also hope it’s a time for parents and students to re-engage in the community as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes endemic.
“COVID put such a damper on our community for a while, and I think that some people had fears of how to come together and what that would look like,” said Jarvis Williams, diversity and racial equity specialist. “So, I think it’s awesome that our district is saying let’s come back together because we’re stronger together.”
Randy Avila helped organize the event through the Native American Parent Advisory Council.
“It’s all about community,” he said. “You need to know your people, your neighborhood, your coaches, your teachers. It’s great that we’re able to have this.”
Crawford emphasized that advisory councils are open to all parents, including allies and anyone who wants to be involved to support the community.
But never before had they worked together and with the district to host a multicultural event, she said.
Bryan Revis, a parent on the African American PAC, stressed why that matters.
“The event just gives people a place to be comfortable and to be vulnerable,” he said. “It’s about togetherness. Once we all eat food together, once we dance, you just break the ice, it makes you laugh, it brings you joy. It just makes everybody human.”
Later this fall, the district will also host a diversity and racial equity conference from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
Jonathan Horwitz covers education for The Desert Sun. Reach him at email@example.com or @Writes_Jonathan.
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