Los Angeles, CA—On Sunday September13, 2009 the African diaspora living in Southern California will gather to celebrate the 3rd Annual “Celebration in Unity and Diversity” parade and the 8th annual street cultural festival in honor of the Ethiopian New Year. The family gathering will feature ethnic music, foods, and arts and crafts, and live elephants.
“Our goal is to promote a positive image of the African continent and its peoples, as well as bring business opportunity to the African communities and strengthen the economic base of Africans living in Los Angeles,” stated Nikki Legesse, president of the Ethiopian-American Chamber of Commerce and organizer.
There are close to half a million African immigrants residing within the Los Angeles and surrounding counties. Native Africans tend to be economically stable and actively contribute to the general community. It is estimated that 65,000 Ethiopians live in Southern California, one of the largest communities outside of Ethiopia. Africans take pride in their rich heritage. Through this event and many more the community can gain social, political and economic recognition.
Event organizers have made special efforts during the past few years to outreach to other ethnic groups living in the southland including Caribbeans, Koreans, and Latinos. This year, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the Korean Resource Center (KRCE), and the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) will join the celebration.
“In the past Africa has been recognized only by its limitations with the focus often on poverty and HIV/AIDS. Our festival is an opportunity for people to know that Africa offers rich culture, an array of business opportunities, hospitality, and lots of love. African immigrants living in the United States have the responsibility to portray a positive image of our continent and to work in harmony with other ethnicities,” stated Berhanu Asfaw, president of Little Ethiopia Small Business Association.
The Parade is scheduled to take place on September 13, 2009 at 1:p.m departing from Pico Blvd. at the corner with Fairfax. Colorful floats representing different African countries, Korean and Latin American communities, live elephants, African and Korean cultural dancers, church choirs, school marching bands, and a Caribbean marching group will be part of the parade.
The parade and cultural festival is organized in partnership with African Small Businesses Associations, African community organizations and student groups, the City of Los Angeles, and Little Ethiopia Business Association. For more information please see contacts above.