Zhong Yi Kung Fu Lion Dancers on stage

Zhong Yi Kung Fu Lion Dancers

The 3rd Annual Global Fair was held Sunday, February 11th at Wayland Academy with over 400 students, staff, and community members in attendance! There were student cultural booths as well as community booths, which gave cultural information and food samples. Moraine Park’s booth included Korean candy, Puerto Rican Coquito and a snack, as well as Fair Trade information and free samples of chocolates.

man and woman stand behind booth

Anne Lemke, Experiential Learning Coordinator, who participated at the MPTC booth, said, “I was so excited to participate in the Global Fair on behalf of MPTC Fair Trade College. Moraine Park was named the first Fair Trade technical college in the U.S in May 2015! Fair trade supports farmers and artisans in developing countries. These producers lack economic opportunity and often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.  Fair Trade is about making a tremendous impact on artisans and farmers around the globe while offering delicious and beautiful products. The Global Fair was a great opportunity to network and share Fair Trade education with students and community members in attendance.”

anne lemke sits at global fair table

Anne Lemke

Wayland Academy has students from around the world. They proudly show this through 20+ student cultural booths such as China, East and West Africa, Cuba, and many other countries. The community booths included organizations such as the Beaver Dam Community Library, Friendship International, and Building Cambodia. Entertainment included the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Lion Dancers and Santa Katharine Drexel Dancers which both had wonderful performances. Laurice Snyder, our Diversity Relations Manager, who attended the Global Fair, said, “This was an awesome opportunity to engage with Wayland Academy and the Beaver Dam Community. It was inspiring to see how many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds are represented in a small community and how proud folks were to share how their rich history has made us what we are today. I am proud that Moraine Park could be part of such an affirming event.”

Anne Lemke, Steve Pepper, Kevin Rodriguez take a selfie

Anne Lemke, Steve Pepper, Kevin Rodriguez

Several MPTC staff enjoyed the experience of the Global Fair. Steve Pepper, Student Veterans Specialist, attended and helped with the MPTC booth. “The global fair was an awesome opportunity for the community to come together under one roof and learn about many of the cultures and nationalities represented on the Wayland campus. It was a great experience and the event was busy right from the start. Both students and exhibitors, Moraine Park included, seemed pleased to be able to educate the community and in many cases provide a sample of the food and beverages from their culture.”

Esra, Mine, and Jennifer Elliott take a selfie together

Esra, Mine, and Jennifer Elliott

Jennifer Elliott, ELL Instructor, said, “It was a very enjoyable and delicious event. As a newcomer to Beaver Dam, it was great to meet so many people from the Beaver Dam community and from around the world. How great to have such a diverse group of people brought together over a love of food and culture. Many thanks to the staff and students at Wayland Academy for welcoming us and bringing us together for warmth, conversation, and snacks.”

Moraine Park has more than 20 cultures represented in their ELL classes. Two of those students, Mine and Esra, are from Turkey. They both have sons that attend Wayland Academy and they both helped with the Turkey booth. Both have come to the United States recently, Mine in 2016 and Esra in 2017. They enjoyed seeing the different cultures represented and the traditional clothing students wore during the Global Fair.  From the short time they have been here, they both say that being here is a different experience from living in Turkey.  Mine was a teacher while Esra was a Doctor in Turkey.   Both woman decided to come with their children while they attended school here; while their husbands are back in Turkey.  Mine and Esra also enjoyed seeing their children represent their culture and having an event like this bring people together.

two woman smile together at global fair

Anita stands near Zhong Yi Lion Dancers

Anita and Zhong Yi Lion Dancers

“The Global Fair in Dodge County was conceived to celebrate and share the cultures in the county — from the recent immigrants from the former Soviet republics to the second- generation Mexican immigrants to the Americans who had grandparents and great- grandparents who immigrated generations ago,” said organizer Anita Streich, “Everyone

has cultural heritage, and the Global Fair helps us understand the cultures in our community in a warm, peace-loving environment,”

We all have diverse backgrounds and letting others know who we are and where we came from is a step in the right direction of building a diverse community.

2018 Global Fair Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/32364852@N05/sets/72157665928636988

For more information on Wayland Academy, visit: https://wayland.org/

For more information on the Beaver Dam Community Library,

visit: http://www.cityofbeaverdam.com/department/index.php?structureid=13

For more information on MPTC as a Fair Trade College,

visit: https://www.morainepark.edu/about-mptc/fair-trade-college/

Written by Kevin Rodriguez