Office Of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) was established in 2002 to support the College’s efforts to attract, recruit, and serve both students of color and international students. Our mission is to create and sustain an environment that encourages and embraces the contributions of people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Colombian Independence Day Marked By Recent Hostage Rescue

MIAMI -- The recent rescue of several hostages from rebels in Colombia made Sunday's celebration of Colombian Independence Day more poignant.

Colombian Independence Day celebrations in cities around the world Sunday were marked by thanksgiving for the July 2 rescue of 16 hostages from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Among the freed hostages was former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who was kidnapped in 2002. She celebrated Colombian independence on Sunday in Paris with singer Juanes.
In South Florida, revelers gathered at Tamiami Park to experience Colombian culture.

"It's a celebration of freedom. It's a celebration of culture. It's a celebration of being able to live in freedom and prosperity," said Rep. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Miami.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, was in Miami on Sunday to support presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain. Lieberman and McCain were in Colombia on the day the rescue took place.

"I think that operation says for the future of Colombia that the rule of law is on the way back, that democracy's on the way back, that economic opportunity is on the way back," Lieberman said.

"It's obviously always a great celebration but this year, it's a little more special," Diaz Balart said.

Lieberman and McCain planned to hold a town hall meeting at the Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside at 1 p.m. Monday.

The ALANA Network Blog is A Year Old!

Around this time last year the official ALANA Network & Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) blog, All In The Mix, was born. Although All In The Mix is still in its infant stages a lot has changed since the blog first started last July.

The idea to create a blog for the ALANA Network was inspired by the countless blogs dedicated to several topics, ranging from music to politics. These blogs, which are free to set up, attract a large number of readers on a daily basis. Readers range from site visitors to dedicated bloggers who occasionally post comments on quite a number of blog posts. Some of these blogs actually boast up to half a million hits (site visits) over the course of the blog’s existence. Although All In The Mix is yet to boast such large numbers of hits, frequent visitors are definitely expected to increase in the near future.

At its initial start All In The Mix did not have a lot of the features it currently boasts. For at least three months all that was featured on the site was a picture of the Director of Multicultural Affairs, Brenda Safford, and an invitation to attend our general meetings every Thursday in the Student Activities Resource Room below Hagan Campus Center.

Since that time last year a lot has changed. Recently, the blog layout has changed and some new features have also been added. The blog now has a message board where site visitors can and are encouraged to leave messages. The site also has links to the Reach Out Center as well as the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ home page on the college’s website. In addition, a new feature, added to the blog only last week, is a slideshow of photos from the ALANA network’s past events. At the moment, the slideshow is displaying photos from the “All in the Mix Fashion Show.”

This academic year will be the first year where All In The Mix will be fully functional with regular blog posts and updates, so be sure to bookmark the site and check back regularly for updates.

Happy Birthday All In The Mix!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Belated Bastille Day!

Yesterday, 14th of July, 2008 was France Independence Day, better known as Bastille Day. In celebration of the national holiday here is an article detailing how an international flavor was added to the French celebration of Bastille day:

"14 July is always hugely popular in France. In Paris, the traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées is meticulously prepared, and all over France there is dancing as well as firework displays.

This year, the parade has a special international flavor since France holds the six-month EU Presidency and, the previous day, will have hosted the first-ever meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean. EU and Mediterranean country Heads of State and Government have been invited to watch the parade with President Sarkozy.

The parade will start with a 10-minute choreographed display in front of the presidential stand with French flag bearers carrying the flags of the UN, EU and the 44 members of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Detachments of UN peacekeeping forces in the Mediterranean [UNIFIL (Lebanon), UNDOF (Syria/Israel) and UNFICP (Cyprus)] will be marching together.

EU Air forces will participate in a flypast


The storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 has been commemorated in France for more than a century.

Storming of the Bastille
During the early months of the French Revolution, feelings ran high on the streets of Paris. In spring 1789, the Estates General (consultative assembly of the three estates: clergy, nobility and commoners) refused to dissolve, transforming itself instead into a constituent National Assembly. In July, King Louis XVI sent more troops to Paris and dismissed his popular minister, Necker. On the morning of 14 July, the people of Paris seized weapons from the armory at Les Invalides and marched on the ancient royal fortress of the Bastille. After a bloody gun battle, they seized the fortress and released the handful of prisoners held there.

The storming of the Bastille was the first victory of the people of Paris against a symbol of the Ancien Régime (old regime). The Bastille itself was destroyed in the ensuing months.

The "Fête de la Fédération" (Feast of the Federation) on 14 July 1790, celebrated with great pomp the first anniversary of the insurrection. In Paris, Talleyrand said Mass at the "autel de la patrie" (altar of the motherland), on the Champ de Mars.

National Holiday
For some years after the first anniversary, the commemoration of 14 July was abandoned until the Third Republic’s leaders, especially Gambetta, sought ways to mark the founding of France as a Republic. Proposed by Benjamin Raspail, a Deputy for the Department of the Seine, an Act of Parliament was passed on 6 July 1880 making 14 July the Republic’s Fête Nationale.

From the outset, the emphasis was on the patriotic and military character of the event in order to highlight France’s recovery from the defeat of 1870. Each year every commune in France held its own celebration, beginning with a torchlight parade on the evening of 13 July, with, the next day, church bells or gun salutes announcing the military parades. The day ended with dancing and spectacular firework displays.

After the austerity of the 1914-1918 war, 14 July 1919 was a great victory celebration. Similarly, 14 July 1945 was preceded by three days of civic festivities.

Successive Presidents of the Fifth Republic have made slight changes to the day’s events. In order to reconnect with Paris’s revolutionary tradition, President Giscard d’Estaing re-routed the military parade, starting it at the Place de la Bastille and ending it at the Place de la République.

14 July 1989 was a high point in the celebration of the bicentenary of the French Revolution. In particular, many foreign heads of state attended La Marseillaise, a special parade organized by Jean-Paul Goude.

In 1994, the Champs-Elysées parade in Paris included German soldiers serving in the Eurocorps, symbolizing the reconciliation between Germany and France.

And to mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale in 2004 British armed forces took part in the parade."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

In celebration of Canada Day here is a little background of this national holiday:

On June 20, 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty's loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st.

The July 1 holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name Dominion Day.

There is no record of organized ceremonies after this first anniversary, except for the 50th anniversary of Confederation in 1917, at which time the new Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, under construction, was dedicated as a memorial to the Fathers of Confederation and to the valor of Canadians fighting in the First World War in Europe.

The next celebration was held in 1927 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. It was highlighted by the laying of the cornerstone by the Governor General of the Confederation Building on Wellington Street and the inauguration of the Carillon in the Peace Tower.

Since 1958, the government has arranged for an annual observance of Canada's national day with the Secretary of State of Canada in charge of the coordination. The format provided for a Trooping the Colours ceremony on the lawn of Parliament Hill in the afternoon, a sunset ceremony in the evening followed by a mass band concert and fireworks display.

Another highlight was Canada's Centennial in 1967 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attended the celebrations with Parliament Hill again being the backdrop for a large scale official ceremony.

The format changed in 1968 with the addition of multicultural and professional concerts held on Parliament Hill including a nationally televised show. Up until 1975, the focus of the celebrations, under the name "Festival Canada", was held in the National Capital Region during the whole month of July and involved numerous cultural, artistic and sport activities, as well as municipalities and voluntary organizations. The celebration was cancelled in 1976 but was reactivated in 1977.

A new formula was developed in 1980 whereby the National Committee (the federal government organization charged with planning Canada's Birthday celebrations) stressed and sponsored the development of local celebrations all across Canada. "Seed money" was distributed to promote popular and amateur activities organized by volunteer groups in hundreds of local communities. The same approach was also followed for the 1981 celebrations with the addition of fireworks displays in 15 major cities across the nation.

On October 27, 1982, July 1st which was known as "Dominion Day" became "Canada Day".
Since 1985, Canada Day Committees are established in each province and territory to plan, organize and coordinate the Canada Day celebrations locally. Grants are provided by the Department to those committees.
Creative Commons License ALANA Network Official Blog by Usen Esiet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at