Boris Ozuna, the new director of Harrisonburg’s International Festival, studied peace and development at Eastern Mennonite University and came to the U.S. from Columbia, where he had similar experiences of war, famine, political/religious persecution as many area expatriates. He coordinates many events highlighting the history, culture, and issues of the area’s immigrants.
Boris spoke to the Steering Committee about the primary issues and concerns he sees in the minority and immigrant communities in the Harrisonburg area. He encouraged CAAV members to seek to better understand the needs of our fellow residents, many of whom have come from vastly different backgrounds as our own. He emphasized that only by first grasping the worries, major concerns and problems, perceived threats, and experiences of others and assisting them in their actions to address their issues, can we hope for their focus on the many real issues we all face with climate change.
His hour-long remarks included extensive dialogue with Steering Committee members. He offered his view that Harrisonburg needs a coalition of the various groups that focus on disparate community-related matters to work cooperatively in addressing our mutual concerns.
– Joy Loving for the CAAV Coalition Building Committee
Each month, the CAAV Coalition Building Committee invites a community member or group to present to the CAAV steering committee about projects with which they are involved. We are grateful to be working with so many other groups and individuals passionate about creating a more resilient, healthy and just world.