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Girl Scout promotes diversity

Posted: November 1, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: November 1, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Halau Hula O Kanoelani, a Polynesian dance troupe, perform during a cultural awareness event on Oct. 14 at the Boys & Girls Club in Newhall.

 


Lindsey Estrada has been in situations in which friends and acquaintances have made remarks or joked about different ethnic groups. As the product of two distinct ethnicities herself, Cuban and Korean, such comments were particularly troublesome. 

So when the time came for Estrada, 16, a junior at Hart High School, to work on her Girl Scout Gold Award, a 65-hour community-service project, she thought of organizing an event that would promote understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity. 

“I wanted young people to better understand the importance of embracing and celebrating diversity,” she said. “Our community is diverse, and getting even more so, but the off-color jokes and stereotypical comments about different ethnic groups continue. Through my project, I’m hoping to increase sensitivity and awareness.”

Her “Celebrating Cultural Diversity” event was held Oct. 14 at the Boys & Girls Club in Newhall and featured community speakers discussing the importance of cultural diversity and awareness.

The event also included multicultural performances by local performing groups and a “mini” international food-tasting fair, in which students sampled different ethnic foods donated by Estrada’s friends and local restaurants, including Margarita’s and Pei Wei.

“The response to my project has been great,” Estrada said. “I’m grateful that speakers and performers would take time from their busy schedules to help me, and friends and restaurants would be willing to donate food.  When they heard it was for a Girl Scout project, everyone wanted to participate.”

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