CultureFest 2018 brought different cultures from around the world to downtown Springfield Saturday.

Springfield speaker series to open with nod to CultureFest

Think of it as a preview of the upcoming CultureFest event as the Global Education Speaker Series welcomes several event participants during the first program of the 2019-2020 season.

“Cultural Stories of CultureFest” will bring together a mix of vendors, performers and other participants when the series debuts its 18th season at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 in room 105 at Shouvlin Center on the Wittenberg University campus.

Admission is free.

The program and CultureFest speak directly to the new season’s theme, “Sharing our Roots - Growing Springfield Together - My Story, Your Story, Our Story.” CultureFest will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at Springfield City Hall Plaza.

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“It will be like an overview of our whole year,” said Samina Ahmed, one of the series’ coordinators. “This year we’re going to see how our roots connect with one another. This community is so diverse yet so put together.”

Program participants include Patty Young, a booth presenter with Sisters United for a Cure, who will explain her work in building support for cancer research and Samina’s daughter, Sana Ahmed, a representative of the Miami Valley Islamic Association, a sponsor and participant at CultureFest, who will discuss her background growing up Muslim in Springfield, attending Wittenberg and now teaching in the community.

CultureFest co-chair Dr. Surender Neravetla will discuss the plans for CultureFest as well as the Hindu community’s upcoming Diwali celebration. Punjab Indian dancers Ravjot Singh and Manisha Nezhad will dance, and rounding out the speakers will be a representative of radio station WYSO who will discuss the Community Voices project and plans to involve the Global Education and Peace Network in telling their stories in the coming year.

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Attendees are invited to interact by sharing their CultureFest and culture stories during a moderated table discussion. They will also get a copy of the Global Education calendar, listing several important local events.

Calendars are also available on the second floor of Springfield City Hall in Community Development.

The Global Education Speaker Series will present programs monthly and finish in June at its annual Interfaith Peace Walk. All programs are free and the community is always invited to attend.

“We’re going to keep doing it. I walk away feeling happy, it’s a beautiful thing we have in Springfield,” said Ahmed. “If we can educate just one person then we’re successful.”

For more information on the series, go to https://springfieldohio.gov/global-education/.

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