Thursday events will be held in person. If weather is inclement, please check back here for any location changes.

Ventura College Map, Guthrie Hall next to BCS and EOPS. Festival Location held next to LRC and ASC buildings. Parking next to East Lot and WEC.

Join us for the 2024 Diversity in Culture Festival this April. All events are free and open to the public and parking is free during all events.

For information about the Diversity in Culture Festival, contact:
Ventura College: 

ASL interpreting will be available.

Please request additional disability accommodations for any event 72 hours in advance. Ventura College, Steve Turner 805-289-6415.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Ventura Education Partnership, Investing in children, enriching our community
ventura college foundation of making dreams come true
Wednesday April 10

 ASL interpreting will be available at all Virtual Events


Sacred Sites of the Comanche and Chumash Cultures with Pete Zavalla

Sacred Sites of the Comanche and Chumash Cultures with Pete Zavalla

8:30-9:45 – MCE 226 & Zoom – Pete Zavalla

Pete “Crow Heart” Zavalla is a Comanche Native, and through his 50-plus year affiliation with the Santa Ynez Reservation in Santa Barbara County, remains the Indigenous Liaison for Los Padres National Forest. With the late S’amala Chumash Elder Antonio Romero, Pete was one of the original members of the Chumash Dolphin Dancers. In this presentation, Pete will draw upon his experiences, and cultures to share about the importance of preserving local and regional sacred sites of which there are many that remain threatened. Crow Heart will also share his work and that of his children with the Santa Ynez Reservation and other organizations, regarding cultural preservation. Hosted by Professor Michael Ward.

ASL interpreting will be available.

HYFLEX: In person and on Zoom.

Join Pete Zavalla via Zoom


Writing about family, down syndrome and reaching for the stars, Suzanne Lezotte

Writing about Family, Down Syndrome and Reaching for the Stars

9:00-10:00- LRC 128 & Zoom-Suzanne Lezotte

As a first-time mother receiving the unexpected diagnosis of Down syndrome when her son was seven days old, Suzanne states she was “blindsided”. She writes that she had to come to terms with a new reality. In her book, “Raising Owen” she recounts her journey as she confronted fears, examined old beliefs, and embraced an uncertain, but truly wonderful life ahead.

Hosted by Steve Turner

HYFLEX: In person and on Zoom

Join Suzanne Lezotte via Zoom


Defining your identity. Understanding the ancient sunstone of the aztec calendar

“Defining Your Identity”: Understanding the Ancient Sun Stone of the Aztec Calendar

10:00-11:00 – MCE 226 & Zoom

Maestro Jaime Vega will discuss the Aztec sun stone calendar. Not many people realize the vital information that can be received from the sun stone calendar. When used properly, the sun stone can be used to help students realize their full potential in life and access their career possibilities. Participants will learn about the day they were born, also known as “TonaLi” and receive a handout.

Join Maestro Jaime Vega via Zoom


Modern Witchcraft with Griffin Ced

Modern Witchcraft with Griffin Ced

11:30-12:30 – Zoom

Griffin Ced, a modern day witch, will present much needed clarity in the practices and basic beliefs in what is today one of the most fast growing spiritual/religious movements in the western world, as well as shed some light on the contentious relationship between witches and most old-world religions. Hosted by Anthropology professor, Maria Teresa (Gigi) Fiumerodo.

Join Griffin Ced via Zoom


Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer- author of VC’s One Book One Campus selection “Braiding Sweetgrass”

1:00-2:00 – Webinar

ASL interpreting will be available.

Register for the Robin Wall Webinar

This talk explores the dominant themes of Braiding Sweetgrass which includes the cultivation of a reciprocal relationship with the living world. Listeners are invited to consider what we might learn if we understood plants as our teachers, from both a scientific and an indigenous perspective. The talk includes a look at the stories and experiences that shaped the author. Moderated by VC Librarian Peter H. Sezzi.


Mindfulness Creativity, and Identity, Tina Doley Carlson

Mindfulness, Creativity, and Identity with Tina Doley Carlson

1:00-2:00 – Zoom

Discover how mindfulness and creativity can loosen labels and ideas we may have of others and ourselves. Tina Doley Carlson is a certified mindfulness teacher who has worked regularly with UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. This workshop will address how both mindfulness and creativity can give us insights, a sense of appreciation, and a chance to explore how we navigate the world, with greater awareness of our senses, emotions, and thought patterns. We will observe our typical responses, recognize, and work with our inner critic, let go of expectations, see things in a new way, tap into creativity and flow, and connect with community. This session is hosted by the Ventura College Anthropology Club.

Join Tina Doley via Zoom


Ventura College Voices

Special performance by the VC Voices

1:00 -1:30 LRC Lobby

Enjoy our own Ventura College singers, led by music Professor Brent Wilson as they perform in the LRC Lobby.

Thursday April 11

Main Stage/ Festival Area

We will have ASL interpreting for Stage events.

Motivational Speaker and Performer, Sade champagne

Host for the Day: Musical artist, performer, mentor, speaker, published author and philanthropist, Sade Champagne!


Chumash Leader, Julie Tumamait-Stenslie

Julie Tumamait - Stenslie

8:30-9:00 – Main Stage

Opening of the 8th Annual Diversity in Culture festival with Chumash leader and local activist Julie Tumamait-Stenslie.

Hip Hop's Chuimalik

Hip Hop’s ChuiMalik with Sade Champagne

9:00-9:45 – Main Stage

ChuiMalik will perform and present the social impacts of Hip-Hop music and culture. Listen to some of the pioneers and radical trendsetters and learn how Hip-Hop has changed the world. This includes special guests and Mexican American Artist/rapper and 805 native, L.I.R.A. 


Ceramics Sale

Ceramics Sale & Demonstrations

9:00-2:00 – LRC East Entrance

All handmade ceramics are created by students from the Ventura College Ceramics Program. You can find unique functional wares like cups, bowls, vases, plates and more for your everyday use or as gift for your loved ones. Don’t miss this opportunity to support VC ceramics students and get some amazing handmade pieces of functional and decorative art.


Danza Azteca Xochipilli

Danza Azteca Xochipilli

10:00-10:45 – Main Stage

Traditional Aztec dance performance presenting the culture, color, spirit and rhythms of native MesoAmerican cultures.


Afro-Fusion Dance with Yaminah Legohn

Afro-Fusion Dance with Yaminah Legohn

11:00-11:45 – Main Stage

Performance and presentation that consists of cultural dances, including African, Hip Hop and Caribbean dance.


Ventura College, Jazza Ensemble

Ventura College Jazz Ensemble

12:00-12:45 – Main Stage

Come listen to our own Jazz Ensemble led by Professor Fundi Legohn.


2025 Diversity In Culture Festival Art Contest Winner

Announcement of Art Contest winner

12:45 – Main Stage

The VC Art Department will announce the art contest winner for the 2025 Diversity in Culture festival. The artwork will be featured on the poster for next year’s event .


Joaquin Zihuatanejo

Poetry Slam with special guest Joaquin Zihuatanejo

1:00-2:30- Main Stage

VC students will deliver their own poetry in a poetic competition for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash prizes, sponsored by the ASVC. This year’s theme is “Our Roots of Belonging.” Special performance by Nationally Acclaimed Poet and Spoken Word Artist, Joaquin Zihuatanejo, host for the Poetry Slam.



Peaceful Forest Project, Taiko Dummers

The Peaceful Forest Project- Taiko Drummers

2:30-3:00 – Main Stage

Takumi Kato, a taiko drummer and winner of the Odaiko Grand Prize, and his three sons (ages 12, 10, and 7) are performing with Peaceful Forest in all 50 states with the goal of performing 1,000 taiko performances. Peaceful Forest invites the audience to experience real, live taiko through the strong, gentle, and warm tones that are unique to taiko, connecting people to each other and to peace, and to spread Japanese culture throughout the world.


Classroom Presentations

The Gender Spectrum, Celia Daniels

The Gender Spectrum with Celia Daniels - *Cancelled*

10:00-11:00- MCE 226

Celia Sandhya Daniels will present on a cross-cultural interpretation of gender fluidity and Identity.


Special Guest Panel, Project R

Project R

10:00-11:00- ASC 150

Project “R” is a campaign discouraging the use of the “R-word” so that people with disabilities may be empowered and recognized as individuals with qualities and abilities who offer value and significance to our community. The focus of this presentation will be on inclusion, access and dignity; encouraging people to rethink and reconsider their use of the "R" word in their everyday dialect.

Hosts Marissa Rodriguez and Professor Steve Turner will welcome special guests to the panel.


Guerilla Gardening, Diego Magana

Guerilla Gardening with Diego J. Magaña from Mini Nature Reserve

12:00 - 12:45- ASC 130, then Outdoor Activity

This presentation will include a brief overview of the Oxnard based Mini Nature Reserve –Native Plant Conservation organization and the politics and history associated with “guerilla” gardening around the world. It will conclude by making seed balls with native wildflowers.


History of Viking Culture, Jaan Calderon

History of the Viking Culture with Jaan Calderon.

11:30-12:30-MCE 226

Jaan Calderon will present on the history and culture of the Vikings and provide an interactive experience.


Therapeutic Harpist, Masayo Hanjo

"YES AND…Delve into Your Own Creative Potential” with Therapeutic Harpist Masayo Hanjo

11:30-12:30-ASC 150

Embark on a transformative journey into your creative process with Masayo Honjo. From her career in science, marriage, raising a child, enduring the loss of her beloved husband, and currently dealing with the challenge of declining eyesight, Masayo shares her path to rediscovering creativity amidst life's challenges. In this interactive talk, Masayo will sing, recite poetry, and play harps, including her recently acquired lyre from Greece. Drawing inspiration from ancient Greek poems, you will explore prompts, stories, and exercises designed to inspire and energize. Embrace the philosophy of "YES AND..." as you delve into your own creative potential. Masayo holds a master’s degree in Biochemistry and is trained as an energy worker through the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. She is also certified as a therapeutic harpist and remains a devoted lifelong student of music.


Irish Culture and Music, Dennis Doyle

Irish Culture and Music with Dennis Doyle

10a.m. - 11a.m. and 11:30a.m. - 12:30a.m. in MCW 216

Dennis plays the Celtic harp beautifully while he sings and tells stories about Irish culture. More than just a harp concert, this presentation is an entertaining glimpse into Ireland’s history and people. Dennis is a tenured Glendale Community College professor of Humanities who teaches a course in Irish History and Literature. Hosted by Political Science professor, Dr. Robert Porter.


Folklorico Club

11:45 am-12:00 - ASC Amphitheatre

A performance of Danza Folklorico from the Ventura College Folklorico Club.


Guthrie Hall – Wellness Workshops


Danit Kaya MPH ET - Mindfulness and your Educational Journey

Danit Kaya MPH ET - Learning Mindfully: Embracing you Strengths and Struggles

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. - Guthrie Hall

In this workshop, Educational Therapist and certified mindfulness teacher, Danit Kaya, MPH, ET will be leading multi-sensory practices to reveal your diverse intelligences and bring newfound compassion to areas in which you struggle, especially as lifelong learners. No matter where you are in your learning journey, we will learn how to ride the waves of life with more clarity, intention, and connection.



Feldenkrais Healing, Sherry Cash

Sherry Cash- Feldenkrais Healing

10:00-11:00- Guthrie Hall

Sherry draws on her extensive experience in the healing arts of Aikido, Tai Chi, and Feldenkrais Healing practices. Learn the healing power of movement and how to use Essential Oils for healthy living!


Tai Chi, Qigong for body and mind and health, Maki Fujisaki Guelcher

Maki Fujisaki Guelcher-Tai Chi/Qigong for Body/Mind Health

11:30-12:30 – Guthrie Hall

Learn Tai Chi and mindfulness from Maki Fujisaki Guelcher, Certified Elements of Tai Chi Instructor, as well as a founder and owner of Studio Mazen Tai Chi in Ventura. Maki has been teaching Tai Chi and mindfulness for a decade at places like the Ventura Buddhist Center and Ventura Community Memorial Hospital. Tai Chi is often called "moving meditation," but those who practice it consistently often refer to it as "moving medication." A traditional Chinese martial art that has been practiced over centuries for self-development, Tai Chi is a great mindfulness exercise. Tai Chi comprises a sequence of slow movements that gracefully flow from one to another. These movements are low impact on your body, but continued practicing helps tone muscles and improve balance. Likewise, slow movements increase consciousness of your own breathing and body movements, which lead to relaxation and stress relief. Other great benefits include increased flexibility and improvement in posture, circulation, sleep quality, digestive system, hormonal balance, and blood pressure.


Architecture of Kindness, Gael Belden

The Architecture of Kindness with Gael Belden - *Cancelled*

1:00-2:00- Guthrie Hall

Gael Belden, MA, CMF is a mindfulness and compassion teacher. She was the Director of the Intensive Practice Program at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center for 12 years. She weaves in fairy tales and myths into her teaching.


Student art awards

Student Art Show and Awards

6:30-8:30 - New Media Gallery and Gallery 2

This annual exhibition honors the work of current and recent Ventura College students. The artworks are produced in various media including painting, drawing, ceramics, design, illustration, and photography. This juried exhibition offers many students the opportunity to have their work viewed outside of the classroom with awards of cash prizes, including Best in Show/President’s Award.