The event at the Greenfield Intercultural Center featured assorted foods and music. Sunshine, salsa music and a variety of ethnic foods greeted about 20 students, faculty and West Philadelphia community members at the Greenfield Intercultural Center's Open House on Friday afternoon. The event was designed to acquaint minority and other students with the services available and activities offered at the GIC. According to GIC Director Valerie DeCruz, the center's goal is to "support and highlight the rich traditions at Penn and give students an opportunity to come together across communities, which doesn't happen much on campus." This year, the center will "focus on raising [its] visibility on campus" and facilitate intermingling among different ethnic and cultural groups, DeCruz added. The atmosphere was one of fun and lightheartedness as the salsa band "The Supercombo" livened up the well-fed crowd with their second set, and a small group danced on the patio while shaking maracas. "It's good they're trying to promote Latin culture," said College senior Zadith Pino, president of the Latin dance group Onda Latina. And the program celebrated a variety of cultures, in particular through the food offered, which ranged in ethnicity from homemade Puerto Rican food to catered specials from the local restaurants Beijing, Tandoor and Uhurus, a Jamaican venue. "It's important for us to support minority businesses in the area," GIC Associate Director Karlene Burrell-McRae said. The GIC, located at 3708 Chestnut Street, co-sponsors speakers and workshops with various ethnic and cultural groups to promote the needs and interests of students, faculty and staff of color at the University. Its facility contains a lobby, library, lounge, finished basement and outdoor patio which all can be reserved to accommodate various group sizes, and the video library features both documentaries and feature-length films. Tiffany Anderson-Purvy, the office coordinator for the center, emphasized the meeting spaces and video library in particular as resources that all students should utilize. One of the most prominent attendees, Vice Provost of University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, expressed her enthusiasm for the open house and the GIC. "It's wonderful to be in one of the spaces on Penn's campus which welcomes all kinds of folks," she said. "The GIC creates great communication between Penn and West Philadelphia and the world."Comments powered by Disqus
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