Inclusion was on the plate for those who attended the Stony Brook University Strawberry Festival and Diversity Day Celebration on May 1. The two-hour event, full of music and dance performances, creative arts and cultural trivia, was dedicated to experiencing different heritages and lifestyles in a day of togetherness.
As students circled outside of the Student Activities Center, they were met with several stations featuring various dishes such as honey chipotle chicken flautas, strawberry shortcake, strawberry lemonade, strawberry “root 2 stem” salad, strawberry grain salad and three sisters stew with cornbread.
“I came out today because I like strawberries and my friends brought me out,” said Valentina Restrepo, a freshman biology major. “My favorite recipe was the flautas and the strawberry shortcake dessert.”
The choice in recipes was not just a coincidence, but a focused representation of diversity — the flautas harkened to a Hispanic Heritage Month recipe shared this year, and the cornbread was from a Native American Heritage Month recipe used during that celebration.
“I came out to Strawberry Fest to enjoy some flavorful food that was fresh at the same time. Also, I loved how they represented culture through food,” said Erika Franco, a freshman political science major.
Looking back over their offerings for Heritage Month events, William Sheehan, Marketing Manager of CulinArt, said they worked hard to bring in diverse food, and that food seemed to be very popular among students.
“Strawberry Fest and Diversity Day was a huge hit!” Sheehan said. “It’s the little details that seem to have been noticed!”
As students ate their food during the celebration, their eyes met with colorful costumes from performances by cultural student organizations that were invited to perform at the Diversity Day Cultural Showcase, including the Diamond Wolfettes, Jubilee Dance Team, L’afrique Dance Team, Cadence Step Team, SBU Banghra and PUSO Modern.
“I loved seeing the students out and enjoying everything we had been planning for months,” Sheehan said.
— Maya Brown