Multicultural Roots Project: Stories from Santa Rosa's Black, Indigenous, People of Color

Engage with the Multicultural Roots Project

Help us expand this rich and important historical record of our community! Do you have ideas for past or current BIPOC community leaders that we should highlight? Would you like to share your own story with us? We'd love to hear from you. Check out our interactive Multicultural Roots Project site where you can share your stories, ideas and even use an interactive map to highlight places in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County that are important to our communities of color. VISIT INTERACTIVE SITE

Project Update

Due to staffing shortages and other unforeseen circumstances, the Multicultural Roots Project will take a break in July and return in August 2022. We are currently working hard on researching, interviewing and creating stories for when we return. In the meantime, there are several things our readers can do:

  • Nominate someone you want featured in an upcoming article while we take a break - NOMINATE HERE
  • Check out the Multicultural Roots Project Exhibit at the Finley Community Center starting August 1, 2022

June is Pride Month!

Taking Pride in Oneself: The Origins of Pride Month 

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LGBTQ+ Pride month is more than just a time of celebration, but also a time for education, empowerment, and most of all, having PRIDE in who you are! This is one of the most fundamental aspects of the month: instead of feeling shame, take pride in yourself and all you are. From Pride parades to political protests, and projects such as the It Gets Better Project, there are many opportunities for people to learn, engage, and connect, whether you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally. All of these events are created in hopes of fostering greater acceptance, acknowledgment, and support for the LGTBQ+ community and all they do. READ MORE

June 2022: Historical and Current Community Leader Spotlight

Dr. Daniela Domínguez: Finding Oneself While On the Margins of Society 

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Dr. Daniela “Danny” Domínguez (she/her/ella) says she never questioned who she was, she says, “It wasn’t that I was ever confused, I knew exactly who I was, it was just a matter of its not safe for me to be who I am [here]. I was never like, ‘am I [queer], am I not?’ no, clearly from the very beginning I knew.” Dr. Dominguez is an Assistant Professor in Counseling Psychology at the University of San Francisco, Founder and CEO of On the Margins, and Co-Founder of ¡DALE! (Development, Advocacy, Leadership and Engagement). For Dr. Dominguez, her work is about producing and sharing spaces of belonging, curiosity, and liberation. READ MORE 

Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom and Independence from Slavery in the U.S.

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Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, is observed and celebrated across the United States each year on June 19. For over 50 years, community members in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County have observed and celebrated Juneteenth through the annual MLK Juneteenth Community Festival. This year, in keeping the spirit of Juneteenth alive, the 52nd Annual MLK Juneteenth Community Festival: Our History is Our Strength will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in the South Park neighborhood. READ MORE

Previously Featured Stories

  1. Dr. Daniela Domínguez: Finding Oneself While On the Margins of Society

    “When you come out of the closet your entire family does too.” — Dr. Daniela Domínguez Dr. Daniela “Danny” Domínguez (she/her/ella) says she never questioned who she was. “It wasn’t that I was...

  2. Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom and Independence from Slavery in the U.S.

    Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, is observed and celebrated across the United States each year on June 19. Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863...

  3. Taking Pride in Oneself: The Origins of Pride Month

    “No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.” — Marsha P. Johnson Happy Pride Month from the Multicultural Roots Project Team! June is an entire month dedicated to the celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,...

  4. Henry Kaku: Connecting Communities Through Teaching

    “That’s my philosophy: the more knowledge you have the more confident you will feel.”— Henry Kaku Having had the pleasure of getting to know Henry Kaku, it is safe to say that he was born to be a teacher, and not just in the...

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What is the Multicultural Roots Project?

"This project is important to me because I grew up thinking my community was diverse only because of the people I saw. I didn't know the history was so rich and included leaders and social justice pioneers from BIPOC communities." - Monse Salas, AmeriCorp VISTA and Youth Intern at Latino Service Providers

The Multicultural Roots Project was created to increase visibility for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in Sonoma County, with a particular focus on Santa Rosa; and to recognize, through historical stories from BIPOC, contributions and impacts that have shaped Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. Working with local historians and community partners, Community Engagement staff gather stories and facts about local BIPOC leaders, as well as historical events and places that have shaped Santa Rosa and Sonoma County into what it is today. Each month, we will share five of these stories with the public through multiple communication channels, including the City’s website, social media and this newsletter.

Project Advisory Team

  • Ariana Diaz de León, Community Member
  • David Escobar, Sonoma County Lowrider Council 
  • Kristi Gray, Community Member
  • Felecia Ford, Community Member 
  • Evette Minor, Community Member
  • Guadalupe Navarro, Latino Service Providers
  • Shawntel Reece, Community Member
  • Alicia Sanchez, Community Member

Celebrating the Multicultural Roots Project One Year Anniversary! 

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As we look back on the past year, it is exciting to see how far the Multicultural Roots Project has come in such a short time. Despite being established in the midst of a global pandemic in November 2020, the Project has flourished. Over the last year, the MCRP has produced 73 stories that highlight the successes, contributions, and histories of Black, Indigenous, People of Color in our community. By sharing the stories and rich cultural wealth of our community, both past and present, we have been able to create space for connection and uplift our diverse communities within Santa Rosa and the greater Sonoma County area. READ MORE