Multicultural Centers: The transformative path to inclusion and equity for all

by Tamil Maldonado Vega

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Courtesy One Earth Future Foundation

Multicultural and multiuse centers are the foundation to empower just, inclusive and equitable cities. Barrio E’ fosters Latino arts and culture in the state of Colorado since 2012. They were leaders in opening the first community and multicultural center called Barrio E’ CENTRO in Boulder County operating from September 2015-October 2016. Its mission was to foster civic engagement, artist support and the promotion of education of all cultures. It developed programs and created collaborations with community members, service and cultural organizations with the goal of bringing awareness of diversity, and generating a safe space for all to create, gather, share and celebrate their heritage and humanity.

It is vital to continue being a catalyst, nurturing an accessible thriving venue for expression and fair distribution of opportunities with a year-round cultural programming. Cultural equity is critical to the long-term viability of society, including the underrepresented sectors, to produce an inclusive and vibrant city. Everyone deserves equal access to a full, exciting, creative life, essential to a healthy and democratic society. There are many inequities in our society to address; a multicultural center can be the starting point to make a difference.

Barrio E’ is advocating for Multicultural Centers in downtowns in Boulder County and looking for endorsements from organizations, individuals, commissions and the City to push this initiative forward. Barrio E’ is developing The Multicultural Project (TMCP), a two-year movement focused on continued conversations and events to expose the need for such venues to support and embrace everyone in the community. Connect with the movement at themulticulturalproject.com, or on Facebook or admin@barrioe.org.

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.