“Wow!” and “Impressive” were the breathless exclamations from participants returning from a tour of the Plaza Roberto Maestas Building Project at El Centro de la Raza on Saturday, March 19. More than 40 attendees, representing at least 16 ethnic communities, several organizations and public offices, participated in the event sponsored by the Ethnic Heritage Council.
A very big thank you to Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza, for sharing the center’s history, present and future development projects, and to Stephen Deal, Capital Development Director, and Sandi Tovias, Project Manager, for leading an exciting tour.
Donning hard hats, participants walked through the construction site, viewing future classrooms for the child development program, retail spaces, affordable housing units, a community center and the surrounding neighborhood from the roof deck of the Plaza Roberto Maestas.
In the meeting room, participants were treated to an ethnic dessert smorgasbord brought by Bettie Luke, Yasemin San, My Tam Nyugen, Talia Antone and Elizabeth Moore, Stephen Deal, Tsering Yuthok, Teresa Davis, and John and Joann Nicon, plus coffee donated by Starbucks. The Bulgarian “delegation” brought traditional martinitsas (Grandma March), red and white yarn decorations that are worn to welcome spring.
Many who attended are in the process of planning their own ethnic centers or would be interested in sharing space with others who would like to collaborate in meeting the need for activity spaces.
If you would like to join the conversation on this subject and visit other centers, both developed and in the developing stage, please let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Judith Henchy, Anne Jenner, JoAnne Lee