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Forum 35 Announces Three Part Cultural Diversity Series


Forum 35 will host a three part cultural diversity series to address community relations, socioeconomics, and charting a path forward in order to promote productive conversation on the issues facing our community.


All three forums are free and open to the public and will be held at Capitol Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. They will be formatted as moderated panels followed by breakout discussions, with panelists and moderator to be announced. The three part series will be held on:


·        Postponed Tuesday, August 23 – Community Relations *WIll be rescheduled.

·         Tuesday, September 13 – Socioeconomic Landscape

·         Tuesday, October 11 – Charting a Path Forward


The road to progress presents many difficult challenges. It is our strong belief that true change requires peaceful action. It requires each of us to show up, to talk to one another, and to listen to one another with empathy. The work of Forum 35—centering around our core pillars of arts & culture, diversity, and leadership—is crucial to creating the community that we all want to live in.


"Diversity is one of Forum 35’s core pillars. It is the mission of Forum's Cultural Diversity Committee to create and facilitate dialogue, activities and events that promote diversity, inclusiveness, social awareness and advocacy,” stated Terrence Merkerson, previous Cultural Diversity chair. “We believe that it is crucially important to host a series of this nature, not only to discuss the recent string of events that have plagued our community, but also to understand the underlying factors responsible for creating the climate in which these kinds of incidents can occur. If we have a better understanding of what created this environment, we will have a much better chance of reconciliation so that together, we can build a better Baton Rouge."


About Cultural Diversity Committee: 


The purpose of the cultural diversity initiative is to help build a Forum 35 that represents the community we live in. This is done by promoting dialogue, discussion, and activities that expose our current membership to Baton Rouge's rich and diverse culture. With our enthusiasm and support we hope to also encourage those we meet to join us in our journey towards a Baton Rouge that embraces difference.


Blue Cross Blue Shield awarded the Cultural Diversity Committee with a grant to create and implement a bi-monthly conversations focused on diversity around Baton Rouge. Since its inception, we hosted several conversations ranging from "What Color is 3rd Street”, "One Latino’s Perspective”, "The Quality of Life of the LGBT Community” and many more. The committee has truly been inspired by the response of the community and look forward to developing new conversations centered focused on diversity.

The Cultural Diversity Project Committee has hosted and participated in several events including:

  • Dealing with Dis-ease, A discussion on HIV/AIDS Awareness
  • Southern University 2008 & 2009 Homecoming Parade
  • Sunday in the Park Music Series-Shaw Center of the Arts (Downtown) 
  • Brotherhood & Sisterhood Dinner 
  • Baton Rouge Blues Week 
  • 100 Black Men
  • Panels on timely issues such as human trafficking, public education and more

We look forward to partnering with others in the communities to foster diversity throughout the city of Baton Rouge. 


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