First DiversiFEST to kick off Saturday

Cameron Gorman

Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host its first ever DiversiFEST this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Williamson House, to showcase the diverse cultural climate of the university.

Carmen Frank Roberts, a public administration graduate student and senior business manager at the DEI, said DiversiFEST was developed collectively by the students and staff of the division.

“The primary reasons behind DiversiFEST are we want to celebrate Kent State’s diversity and culture, and … do so by providing the community with a big, fun event,” Roberts said. “In years past, many of DEI’s departments participated in either the parade or held small tailgate get-togethers. But we felt the timing was right for DEI to have a grand celebration at homecoming (this year).”

The festival, which is free and open to the public, plans to become a recurring annual addition to Kent State’s homecoming festivities for families and students, Roberts said.

“We believe homecoming is the perfect day to celebrate (the university)’s diversity and culture, as this is a time when the greater Kent State community comes together to celebrate and rejoice in each other’s company,” Roberts said.

Those in attendance will be treated to a complimentary lunch, with catering from local restaurants including Bellaria, Laziza and Fresco. Entertainment for the event will include performances by Kent State’s Legacy Dance Team, and tours of the Williamson House, according to Roberts.

The event will feature kid-friendly activities such as face painting, cornhole and balloon animals, with prizes available for the winners.

According to the DEI website, festival-goers are also encouraged to bring blankets to take advantage of the house’s proximity to the homecoming parade, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 am.

Roberts said the goal of DiversiFEST is to provide the Kent community with an engaging and educational event.

“We want visitors to enjoy their time at the Williamson House, and to come away with a better understanding of the services and programs provided by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” Roberts said.

Those who are interested in the festival can RSVP for free on the DEI’s website by Friday at midnight.

Cameron Gorman is a diversity editor, contact her at [email protected]