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Fostering Understanding in Our Community:
Promoting Diversity Through the Arts

Please join us on Zoom for an evening of "Diversity and the Arts" as part of our Fostering Understanding in Our Community Outreach.



January 6, 2021 at 6:00pm

Josh Whitaker - Josh ‘Bicaso’ Whitaker is a visual artist , musician and cultural creative. Raised on the central coast and based out of Oakland for the last 20+ years , he currently finds home in Freedom, Ca (Santa Cruz county). His artwork tells a story of an organic Black experience and champions the beautiful struggle that is Black folks magnificent contribution to an original American legacy of arts, music and culture. It is with a humble and proud spirit that he offers his personal creations and service to the world and leads with a simple slogan; “Thank you ArtGod”.   His goal is to continue in the tradition and add to the vibrant fabric that is an ever evolving artistic community.  

Fanshen Cox - Award-winning playwright, actor, producer, and educator, Fanshen Cox is currently touring her one-woman show, One Drop of Love, across the country, including performances for the senior high school students of Lucia Mar and San Luis Coastal school districts. As Head of Strategic Outreach at Pearl Street Films, owned by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Fanshen works to achieve inclusive representation in the entertainment industry, and co-authored the Inclusion Rider (referred to by Frances McDormand in her 2018 Oscar acceptance speech). She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, and holds a BA in Spanish and Education, an MA in TESOL, and an MFA in Acting and Performance. She serves on the boards of Mixed Roots Stories, The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Project Greenlight Digital Studios.

Craig Russell - Cal Poly professor-emeritus Craig Russell is steeped in the music of Spain and the Hispano-American world, having published over 100 juried articles on eighteenth-century Hispanic studies, Mexican cathedral music, the California missions, and American popular culture. He authored 26 articles for the newest edition of The New Grove Dictionary and collaborated with Chanticleer on a DVD film and four compact disks, two of which received Gramophone award nominations. His scholarship (including four major books) has been published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Macmillan, Prentice Hall, the University of Illinois Press, and several universities and publishing houses in Spain and Mexico.  In July, 2009, Oxford University Press released his highly-acclaimed book, From Serra to Sancho: Music and Pageantry in the California Missions.  As a specialist in Spanish-American music of the eighteenth century, he frequently lectures and serves as a guest artist at international conferences and universities in Latin America, North America, and Europe.  Craig Russell’s compositions are released on Naxos as part of the American Classics series and have been widely performed in Europe, Australia, and the USA—including concerts dedicated to his orchestral compositions in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Sydney Opera House, and Disney Hall in Los Angeles. 

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Our Mission

The Coalition provides educational programs and resources to facilitate and advance the efforts of our affiliated organizations in order to promote and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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