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Community Focus: We Celebrate our City of Diversity

“Unity in Diversity” was the spirit of an event that showcased the talent and creativity within the membership of Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum (CECF).  Eddie Stadnik, CEO of CECF shares the highlights of this successful event expressing the breadth of cultures living in Cambridge…

On Sunday the 19th of November 2017 the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum held a cultural diversity day event, from 2pm-4pm, at the Netherhall School, in Cambridge. This was intended to highlight and showcase minority ethnic community acts and performances from around Cambridge. We publicised the event through our Facebook page, website and mailing list using a very attractive flyer designed by one of our volunteers, Peter McMillan.

Although it was free entry we also advertised on Eventbrite. The first time we had used this booking tool. This really helped. Giving us a clear idea of how many people might be coming, so was very handy for our advance planning of seating and refreshments. It was very encouraging to see a hundred per cent take up of the 320 available tickets.

The communities of Cambridge rose magnificently to the challenge and we managed to organise a programme full of variety, beautiful colour, talent and of some real artistic merit. This was even more notable for the fact that none of the performers were paid.

It was inspiring to see performances by children alongside more mature performers. By people who were very proud of their cultures but happy to perform alongside others who were different. All were happy to share to a wider audience without prejudice. The strap line of the Indian Cultural Society, who participated with some wonderful dance acts, summed it up very well “Unity in Diversity”.

The programme also included wonderful performances from the Cambridge Chinese Community Centre, Chinese ‘Family’s Together’, Cambridge Russian Academy, Cambridge Baha’i Community, Sanskruti School of Dance and Cambridge African Network. There were also some great individual performances from William Farjani Evans playing a classical piano piece and Abdulla Osama Mohammed playing Sudanese and Arabic melodies on a traditional musical instrument rather like a guitar but known as an ‘Oud’.

Mitesh Patel a former employee of the Forum, kindly volunteered his services as a compere and effectively introduced the acts throughout the afternoon. Leila Farjani a volunteer with the Forum did a great job of coordinating the acts and ensuring everything was kept moving along smoothly and in time. Behind the scenes, our event was supported by a very motivated crew of CECF staff, trustees and volunteers numbering about 15 in total.

At the interval we had a ‘Master Class on Wooden Spoons’ from the Cambridge Russian School. With community stalls from the Cambridge African Network & Woman’s Voices for Africa, The Cambridge University Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS) team and Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue ‘Blue Watch’.

A big thank you to all the participants, and to our supporters Cambridge City Council and Cambridge University MEITS project. Thank you also to those who contributed generously towards snacks and refreshments-Al Amin Grocery Store on Mill Road, Budgens, Dorringtons cakes and Les Ward Greengrocers at Arbury Court.

By Eddie Stadnik


About Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum:
Cambridge Community Ethnic Forum (CECF) is an umbrella organisation that provides race equality services to individuals and groups that promotes understanding between people from different ethnic groups, helping them be a natural part of Cambridge life.  CECF gives special social, cultural, moral and practical support to groups and develops particular projects where needed such as Cambridgeshire Human Rights and Equality Support Service

Join the dialogue - What actions have you or your organisation made to develop your engagement with more diverse audiences? If you’d like to contribute to this dialogue with your own example, please contact us.

Posted by CAN network on 1st February 2018.