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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 31 May 2006

Concerns about diversity awareness at the Portland State University campus and a desire to celebrate multicultural roots are bringing together student organizations for the university'sfirst-ever ROOTS Festival.

The festival is a daylong celebration of diversity at PSU that will commemorate people's origins, cultures and commonalities, as well as respective differences. PSU students and members of the greater community are encouraged to attend.

The event, set for June 2, takes place in the university's Multicultural Center, 1825 S.W. Broadway, and in the South Park Blocks. The day will begin at 10 a.m. with a panel discussion on the importance of diversity in higher education; panelists will be Turiya Autry, Jack Straton, Peggy Ross and Jaye Sablan. A presentation by the Illumination Project, an interactive theater troupe, will follow.

Artists, vendors and music will fill the park blocks starting at 1 p.m. Musical guests include the groups Keegan Smith, Solidity, Luminous Fog and March Fourth.

"We put on this event so students would have a chance to explore their heritage and roots on a day with their fellow students," said Rudy Soto, coordinator of United Indian Students in Higher Education. "I think this is the type of event that can foster discussions about diversity and its role in our community."

Multiple student groups worked on the ROOTS Festival, including United Indian Students in Higher Education, the Pacific Islan-ders Club, the Filipino Student Association, Kaibigan, Las Mujeres, the Black Cultural Affairs Board, Associated Students of Portland State University, the Association of African Students, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, the Queer Resource Center and the Indian Student Association.

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