March 21, 2003

UNITY Fest: An Evening of Multi-Cultural Performances Promoting Hate-Free Communities

On April 4th 2003, at the Spreckels Theater, 6:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m., the Fair Housing Council of San Diego and the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission will present UNITY Fest 2003! In its third year hate prevention program is designed to combat hate and hate-incidents/crimes in housing and neighborhoods through the unifying forces of cultural awareness and appreciation.

As part of the Fair Housing Council of San Diego’s National Fair Housing month activities, UNITY Fest will showcase awesome, home-grown talent from various backgrounds and cultures in the San Diego region. Performers will express messages of tolerance, respect, and the value of diversity in our communities. 

Ashley Walker, Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission commented, “In these troubled times of conflict and mistrust, this event takes on special significance. When someone’s personal safety and economic prosperity are threatened, they look for a scapegoat. They turn the vague ‘enemy’ into someone that they can touch and blame; often a neighbor or co-worker. The more opportunities we have to interact, to increase our cultural understandings, the less desire we will have to translate ‘different from me’ into ‘less than me’.”

Mary Scott Knoll of the Fair Housing Council of San Diego added, “Everyone deserves to live in the housing and neighborhoods of their choice and for which they met the criteria, without fear of violence, intimidation and hate. This program is just what is needed at a time when tensions are running high and the world is focused upon issues of discord. As I recall from past performances, there is a great sense of pride and commonality that reverberates from the stage as the multi-cultural messages of love, peace, and anti-hate are delivered from tapping toes, dramatic moments and singing voices.”

The audience of youth, students, community based agencies, faith-based groups, real estate professionals, government, private industry and others in the community will be entertained by the spirited and dynamic featured performances of:

California Note Catchers

* Kahua: A Polynesian Legend

* UCSD Gospel Choir

* Contrastes: Contemporary Latin American Music-

* Susan Perkins: One Woman Dramatist

* Future Shock: Hip Hop Dance Fusion

* Marcos & Israel Band: Brazilian Samba & Funk

* O’Farrell School: Poetry & Step Dancers

* Sylvia L. McConico: Grand Mistress Storyteller, Multi-cultural Edutainment

* San Diego Ballet: Classical and Contemporary

* Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble: Yiddish, Eastern European Jewish Music

* Salomon and Sandra Rivera: USA Salsa Champions 2002

* Fusion Force: Hip Hop Dance Troupe

* The Tribe of Judah Anointed Reggae Band & Show

* The Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego

George Lipsitz, Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, San Diego, will make the opening comments.

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