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

Web_MCRP One Year Later

Check out the Multicultural Roots Project Exhibit at the Finley Community Center!

Our team has partnered with the Arts in Public Places Program to bring the Multicultural Roots Project out to the community. Come check out the exhibit which includes stories, photos, and historical items from Santa Rosa's BIPOC communities!

When: August 2 - September 25, 2022
Where: Finley Community Center, 2060 West College Avenue, Main Lobby

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

August 2022: Historical and Current Community Leader Spotlight

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

Web_LauraLarque

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 

Web_LaurieFong

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

July 2022: Community Leader Spotlight

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

Web_Dr.Dominguez

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 

Previously Featured Stories

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

    “I’ve always been the kind of person [to say]: I didn’t come this far not to do it.” — Laura Larque Professor Laura Larque has worked in higher education for over 20 years. The first and only in her family to go to...

  2. Laurie Fong: The Battle for Equity in Education

    “Teachers are heroes.” — Laurie Fong Laurie Fong has worked in education for the past 40 years in many different capacities: teacher, principal, mentor, Trustee for Santa Rosa City Schools, and more. She joined educational field at...

View All

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