ECTC hosts inaugural multi-cultural fair | ECTC

ECTC hosts inaugural multi-cultural fair

Published on Apr 25, 2022

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College hosted its inaugural Lighting Our Way to Diversity event. Designed to celebrate diversity and promote cultural and environmental education, the event took place at ECTC’s James S. Owen Humanities building, and featured live music, cultural demonstrations, food selections from around the world and more. 

The event was made possible through a partnership between ECTC’s Office of Cultural Diversity, ECTC’s Culinary Arts Department, the Elizabethtown Police Department and Bellevue University. Admission was free and open to the public. 

“Through exposure is where students can most effectively gain empathy and understanding of others,” Jerisia Lamons, Director of Cultural Diversity at ECTC, said. “Part of our role as college mentors and ambassadors is to ensure that when our students go out and compete in the global workforce, that they have exposure to those who don’t look like them. Being aware of someone else’s cultural norms and idiosyncrasies will make you a better and more engaged worker and collaborator. Those are the kinds of students we want graduating from ECTC.”  

The event kicked off with a performance entitled “Toy Box Tales from Around the World” from ECTC’s Toy Box Theatre. The energetic production included traditional folktales from around the world. Following their performance, Lady G of Dangriga, Belize shared information about her culture and ECTC professor Kevin Parrett shared information about Study Abroad opportunities available through ECTC. 

The event also included performances from Louisville-based world music group Yapa and Vine Grove-based spiritual dance group Yahweh Dance. In addition, ECTC’s Culinary Department provided a variety of sweets from around the world and the Elizabethtown Police Department provided food from a diverse selection of local eateries. Attendees also could enjoy a variety of cultural games in the courtyard area. 

In recognition of Earth Day, the event also included an environmental education component. ECTC set up a booth, which focused on recycling and the cultural impact of climate change. The booth included information on ECTC's recycling program, tips on how to recycle and information from Hardin County’s recycling program. Reusable bags also were given away. 

“I felt the principle of sustainability was very important to include in this celebration of diversity,”  ECTC professor emeritus Martha Wolfe said. “Sustainability is definitely a global issue, and the issue of climate change impacts us all, no matter where we live.” 

Representatives from Candela Renewables also had a booth at the event to educate attendees on the use of solar energy. 

“We are here to support ECTC, share all the useful information that we can about renewable energy, and answer questions that people have about solar power,” Rick Ferrera, Senior Manager of Development for Candela, said. “But we’re also here to learn - we loved hearing about the exciting things going on at ECTC, like the solar tables and recycling programs. It’s a really impressive organization doing a lot of innovative things.” 

Other booths at the event included information on a wide variety of cultures, such as Garifuna, Seneca Nation, Japanese, Chinese and Appalachian cultures.