JAN 15, 2002
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

Peace and diversity celebrated

A day to celebrate peace and diversity is scheduled Friday, Jan. 18, at 9:30 a.m. in California State University, Bakersfield's Dore Theater.

The first Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Diversity Celebration will have more than 200 fourth through sixth graders attending from several local elementary schools. The students will hear discussions about people who have made a positive impact on society from different cultures, and watch video about American civil rights leaders and other figures who fought for civil rights in the United States.

At the end of the program, the students will participate in a "freedom march," marching from the Dore Theater to Runner Park.

CSUB's School of Education is hosting the event.

Keynote speaker will be Dee Slade, longtime Bakersfield businesswoman and activist. Also invited to attend are CSUB President Tomas Arciniega, CSUB Provost Jim George, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry Reider, and Bakersfield Councilwoman Irma Carson.

Hometown Buffet will present essay award winning students with gift certificates to Hometown Buffet restaurant. Rowdy Roadrunner will also be on hand to present contest prizes.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Diversity Celebration is the brainchild of two CSUB graduate students, Anita Madden and Davina Hoyt. Madden, a first year teacher at Casa Loma Elementary School in Bakersfield, is scheduled to receive her master of arts in curriculum and instruction at the end of the winter quarter quarter. Hoyt, the academic advisor of CSUB's Career Beginnings Program, is in the master of public administration program and expects to receive her diploma in June.

Madden said she got the idea after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. "A lot of people developed a stereotypical view of Arabs that troubled me," Madden said. To help combat that, she decided to launch an event to help children learn about different cultures and how American freedoms developed. She approached Hoyt, and together they created the event.

"It's important that our young people understand and value themselves as well as others," she said. "As an educator I felt it part of my responsibility to further the principals of freedom and education in our country. I wanted to help people learn about them, and show people positive role models, people who fought against society at the time, which in essence helped all citizens obtain even greater freedoms."

For more information about the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Diversity Celebration, please call Hoyt at 335-7574.

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