About Us

Bridges to Cultural Understanding is a grassroots organization created to provide a means of bringing multi-cultural individuals together across social boundaries in order to give us all an opportunity to share our individual stories and to dialogue with one another. All Bridges to Cultural Understanding meetings are open to the community at no charge. Our meetings offer a great opportunity for an inter-generational, multi-cultural exchange of information, questions, answers and new perspectives.

Our Objectives

• To share the reality and depth of the personal stories of our cultures.

• To promote understanding of each culture's history, contributions, special holidays and celebrations, religion, challenges (both historic and present,) current pressing issues and dreams for the future.

• To build intra-cultural friendships and alliances committed to reducing misconceptions, healing racism and uniting together to identify and change attitudes, structures and laws that perpetuate disparities.

Programs and Events

2018 BTCU Programs

The mission statement of the 2018 Multicultural Celebration is to collaborate, uplift and promote all of the multicultural programs and opportunities being offered to our Battle Creek Community this summer.

Our goal is to not conflict with any of the dates listed below, and to ideally try to allow 3-4 days between any other scheduled event as listed.

Juneteenth, Friday, June 15: 1) Softball game on Friday begins at 6 p.m. and is open to all interested, celebrity players will be on hand to enjoy the game with our community! Reach out to Bobby Holley if interested, he's organizing players for the game. 2) The movie in the park has changed to Black Panther, bring your lawn chair and enjoy this free record breaking movie with your family, it will begin after dusk. Free popcorn provided. Concession snacks and beverages will be available for sale during the softball game and movie. In case of rain, the movie will be shown at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 636 W. Van Buren Ave., Battle Creek, MI 49037 at 8:00 p.m.

Juneteenth, Saturday, June 16: The "African American Spirituals Sing Along" program that was rained out the day of the Cereal Festival has been rescheduled thanks to the Juneteenth Committee. They have graciously given us permission to do our program at their Juneteenth Family Day Celebration at Claude Evans Park on Saturday, June 16th from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m., just prior to their Opening Ceremonies. Vivian Ritter will give the welcome, and history of the legendary individuals represented at the Sojourner Truth Monument and the Underground Railroad Monument, and Carolyn Ballard and Count Laws will lead the singing. Bring your lawn chair. 1) Free hot dog, chips and red pop will be served starting at 11 a.m. and will be available while supplies last. 2) Basketball Exhibition games will be played throughout the day, come out and enjoy! 3) Kids Korner is available 12:30-4:30 p.m. 4) Bring your lawn chair and enjoy entertainment from the main stage 12:30-6:00 p.m. during which time our headline bands Stacked and EarthPhish featuring Angela McKinney will be performing. 5) JUST ADDED: A salute to African American fathers. African American fathers and their children are encouraged to come to Juneteenth Family Day. At a time announced during the opening program (which begins at 11:30 a.m.) come to the stage with your children (whether they are present or not) for a ceremony that salutes our fathers just in time for Father's Day! 6) Youth in grades 3rd - 12th are encouraged to apply for our essay contest by midnight on June 10th, winners receive an Amazon 8GB Tablet! Writing workshop will be hosted on June 4th at 4:30 p.m. at the Southwestern Michigan Urban League.

Annual NHBPI Pow Wow, Saturday, June 23: NHBPI Pow Wow at Pine Creek Recreation Fields, 1485 Mno- Bmadzewen Way, Fulton, MI. Sunrise Ceremony at 11 a.m., Pine Creek Parade of Cheers at 1 p.m., PowWow Grand Entry at 2 p.m., 50/50 Drawing and FireKeepers Casino Hotel Raffle at 2:15 p.m., Tiny Tots Dancers: Sponsored by Waseyabek Development Company, LLC.at 2:30 p.m., Contests: Adult Team Dance and Adult Old Style Woodland at 4 p.m., 50/50 Drawing and Special Features at 6 p.m., Contests: Youth Hand Drum and Youth Potato Dance; Nottawaseppi Rave: Sponsored by NHBP Veterans Committee at 7 p.m., 50/50 Drawing and FireKeepers Casino Hotel Raffle at 10 p.m., Community Quiet Time.

*** Please stand and remove your hats during Pow Wow Grand Entry.
*** Pow Wow Rules: No drinking, drugs or pets of any species allowed.
*** Modest clothing is required. Limited camping is available.
*** For vendor or general information, please contact Robyn Burlingham at 269-704-8373.

Annual NHBPI Pow Wow, Sunday, June 24: Sunrise Ceremony at noon, Pow Wow Grand Entry at 2 p.m., Contests: Youth Team Dance and Youth Old Style Woodland at 2:30 p.m., Tiny Tots Dancers: Sponsored by Waseyabek Development Company, LLC at 3 p.m. Contests: Adult Hand Drum and Adult Potato dance att 3:30 p.m. 50/50 Drawing and FireKeepers Casino Hotel Raffle att 4 p.m., Gifts and Giveaways. Voces Family Day, Saturday, June 30th at Riverside Park from 12 noon until 4 p.m. Latin food, activities for kids, sports, Zumba, garage sale and lots of fun!

Sat., July 14...Beat In The Creek, Leila Arboretum, contact Reba Harrington for details. Multicultural musicians

Tues., July 17, Wed. 18, and Thursday, July 19....Art Center Summer Camp, 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. Three days around the world for 6-12 year olds. .

Sat., July 21.......Battle Creek Caribbean Festival, Reggae Band..at Market Square.

Tues., August 7, Viewing of the documentary, "The Canary Effect," the truth about the Native American Indian Schools.starts at 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, to be held in the Sanctuary, discussion moderated by Scott Durham, history teacher at Lakeview High School. Refreshments afterwards in the atrium

International SummerFest, Saturday, August 18. From 11 noon until 5 p.m. At Anybodies Playground at 1392 Capital Ave.., N.E., Battle Creek. Celebrating cultures from around the world. Promoting cultural and ethnic exchange, this fun event features international cuisine, entertainment and vendors, all celebrating the diverse cultures and history in our community

Tues., August 14, Viewing of Spike Lee's documentary,"Four Little Girls." A look at white racism held at 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, shown in the the 2nd floor Cinema Room. Discussion afterwards moderated by Scott Durham, history teacher at Lakeview High School. Refreshments immediately afterwards in the Harmony Room, 2nd floor.

Wed. August 15....Korean Independence Day at HAN - MEE Korean American Presbyterian Church on Helmer Rd.

In addition to continuing to write to our congressmen and senators in support of the Supreme Court's overturn of President Trump"s order to end DACA, thereby offering our Dreamers renewed hope for an assured future here in the United States, we have an additional opportunity to uplift them by donating financial support to help pay the $495 cost of each required DACA renewal application. Donations of any size are welcome in defraying the cost of each renewal and can be made through Battle Creek Voces office via their website: www.vocesbc.org

For additional information please contact:
Nina LaGrand at 269-964-4921 or email ninalagrand@icloud.com
Barb Shambach at 928-821-3788 or email bjshambach@aol.com

Video Links of Interest

A Girl Like Me
Color is more than skin deep for young African-American women struggling to define themselves
Reza Aslan
Unity in Diversity

An internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, tells his own story of growing up as an Iranian-born emigre and explores the common narrative of what it means to be an American
One Drop Rule
"Insights and implications regarding the "One Drop Rule."
The Rev. Eric Law of the Kaleidoscope Institute
Talks about assumptions that we might make when we meet another person?