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

Web_MCRP One Year Later

Project Update

Due to staffing shortages, the Multicultural Roots Project has been paused. 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

October 2022: Historical and Current Community Leader Spotlight

Malachi Morgan: The Journey is Everything   


Growing up, Malachi Morgan found himself facing adversity and hardships throughout his childhood, constantly being displaced while going from school to school. With frequent change and instability, it was hard for him to feel connected to his community or supported by his school. Ironically, it wasn’t until his placement in Sonoma County Juvenile Hall that Malachi would come to find the connection and support that he needed. READ MORE

August 2022: Historical and Current Community Leader Spotlight

Vicente Sosa: The Power of Having a Teacher Who Looks Like You 


Growing up Vicente never remembered seeing many teachers at his school that looked like him, let alone a teacher who took interest in him. We often notice the lack of things in our lives, wishing things were different or better. Instead of just accepting the lack of teachers of color, Vicente decided to help change that by being a solution to the problem itself. At a time when he felt lost with no real direction, Vicente found his passion and a path that allowed him to be what he needed as a child. READ MORE 

Laura Larque: Teaching to Inspire Curiosity, Inclusivity, and Engagement  


Professor Laura Larque has worked in higher education for over 20 years. The first and only in her family to go to college, Laura never imagined she would become a professor, yet she has had a successful career for decades, challenging and shaping young adults of Santa Rosa and beyond. Her journey to her current career wasn’t clear cut though. From travelling and settling in a new country, to having to learn a new language and overcome misinformation, Laura worked hard to become the well loved and respected professor she is today.  READ MORE 

Laurie Fong: The Battle for Equity in Education 


Laurie Fong has worked in education for the past 40 years in many different capacities: teacher, principal, Trustee for Santa Rosa City Schools, and more. Joining the educational field at the tail end of the Vietnam War when her two options as an Asian American woman were either cocktail waitress or a substitute teacher. Laurie found a passion for teaching and education was where she was meant to be. READ MORE

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

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