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College Park Day History – How It All Started

Last month, College Park Day just had it’s successful 6th year anniversary. We started the first College Park Day back in 2010 and we’re all excited to see the event getting bigger over the years.

A few of us were intimately involved in organizing the first College Park Day back in 2010. We were discussing the idea of starting a small project to preserve the history of the College Park Day. We all hope the event will still be around 100 years from now and even though none of us will be around here in the city, this piece will be helpful for our next generation in College Park.

The content below consists of a collection of emails, which we exchanged among us to start the event. Two City residents (Joe Smith, and me), two senior staff and two Council members were involved in starting the event. I want to thank everyone involved for their efforts in making the event possible.

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From: Fazlul Kabir
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 2:18 PM
To: Peggy Higgins
Subject: Multi Culturalism Event

Hi Peggy,

In the past family summit, I think we talked about having an annual multiculturalism event in College Park. I know other cities, including our neighboring Greenbelt city does that every year. The event would showcase the heritage of different cultures and ethnic foods, off course of different ethnic residents living in our city.

I wonder if you have plan for organizing such event. I’ve contacts with quite a few ethnic groups, such as Latinos, Asian, Middle Eastern and African etc. Please let me know if you’re interested in organizing such an event? We can probably work together on organizing such an event in the coming spring or summer.

Yours truly,

Fazlul Kabir

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From: Peggy Higgins
Date: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Subject: RE: Multi Culturalism Event
To: Fazlul Kabir

Hi Fazlul –

Thanks for your interest in getting people together. The City has, in the past, conducted multicultural events but they are through the Public Services department. Bob Ryan is the Director. I’m not sure what the status is of those activities but I do know they have done something to promote multiculturalism several years in a row.

Peggy Higgins

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From: Fazlul Kabir
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 4:08 PM
To: Patrick Wojahn; Bob Ryan
Cc: Joe Smith
Subject: Fwd: Multi Culturalism Event

Patrick and Bob,

I contacted Peggy on the multiculturalism event that we discussed on Joe’s blog last week. Let’s see if we can move things together on this. I can help.

Fazlul

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On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Joe Smith wrote:
Folks,

I’m happy to help in whatever way I can….

– JS (Joseph M. Smith)

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From: Bob Ryan
Date: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:28 PM
Subject: RE: Multi Culturalism Event
To: Fazlul Kabir <faz.kabir@gmail.com>
Cc: Joe Smith, Patrick Wojahn, Peggy Higgins, Joe Nagro, Marrari
Hi Fazlul,

The City Recreation Board has sponsored an International Folk Festival a couple times in the past. It never quite drew a significant attendance. They have since used the fall event venue to sponsor a blues festival the past 2 years, with better attendance. It would be great to get a more diverse membership on the Recreation Board to help plan future events. There are currently vacancies for the City Council to appoint representatives from Districts 4,3, and 2 .

UM has ongoing multicultural events. Perhaps there are opportunities for the City to co-sponsor some of these and promote town/gown inclusiveness.

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On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:31 PM, Patrick Wojahn

Great! Thanks for everyone’s interest in doing this.

Bob – could you say what we’re doing now for multiculturalism events, and we can talk about when we would want to do something?

Maybe it would help for a group of us to meet sometime in the next few weeks to brainstorm what we could get together. What do people’s schedules look like between now and the holidays?

Patrick

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From: Fazlul Kabir

Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 10:44 AM
To: Patrick Wojahn
Cc: Joe Smith; Bob Ryan
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event

>> What do people’s schedules look like between now and the holidays?
So far, other than 8th, 9th and 10th this month I’m fine with any weekdays after 6:00pm. Thanks.

Fazlul

——————————————–

From: Bob Ryan

Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 11:13 AM
To: ‘Fazlul Kabir’; ‘Patrick Wojahn’
Cc: Joe Smith

Subject: RE: Multi Culturalism Event

I would prefer January if possible

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On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 11:14 AM, Joe Smith
I second that.

Joseph M. Smith

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From: Patrick Wojahn
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 3:46 PM
To: Joe Smith
Cc: Bob Ryan; Fazlul Kabir

Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event

Folks,
I think now might be a good time to work on organizing this event. Would all you be interested in getting together some evening, say the first week in February, to work on organizing this? I could also see if Councilmember Nagle might be interested in helping.

Patrick

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On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 10:18 AM, Joe Smith wrote:
Sure.

Joseph M. Smith

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On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 9:47 PM, Fazlul Kabir wrote:
Thanks Patrick. Please let me know when we’re meeting.

Fazlul

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From: Patrick Wojahn

Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:48 PM
To: Fazlul Kabir
Cc: Joe Smith; Bob Ryan; Chris Nagle

Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event

Can we meet at 7 pm on Wed. the 3rd, at City Hall?

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On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM, Joe Smith wrote:
I’m in.
Joseph M. Smith

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From: Patrick Wojahn
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 11:12 AM
To: Joe Smith
Cc: Fazlul Kabir; Bob Ryan; Chris Nagle
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event
Neither Bob nor Peggy Higgins can come this Wednesday, so how would next Tuesday before the Council meeting look? At this point, we don’t have anything scheduled before the Council meeting, so how would 6:30 at City Hall on the 9th work for you all? Thanks.

Patrick

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On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 1:45 PM, Joe Smith wrote:
Where are we on this? Is this meeting still on?

– JS

Joseph M. Smith

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From: Patrick Wojahn
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event
To: “Joe Smith”
Cc: “Fazlul Kabir”, Bob Ryan, “Chris Nagle”, “Peggy Higgins”
Date: Monday, February 8, 2010, 3:01 PM

Peggy has asked that we postpone again due to the impending snow tomorrow. Given that the forecasters are predicting another 6-10 inches (will it ever end?) I think that’s a wise idea.

How would Wednesday the 17th work for folks? Could we meet at 7 pm at Davis Hall?

Patrick

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On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 8:11 PM, Christine Nagel wrote:
How about the Tues the 16th 6:30 @City Hall?

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On Tue Feb 9 0:35 , Patrick Wojahn sent:
I was hoping to support the College Park swimming pool that night and go to their chili dinner before the Council meeting. How about Friday the 19th at 6:30?

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On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 6:07 AM, Peggy Higgins wrote:
Darn. I’m not available Friday, Feb 19th in the evening. I’m part of the Lakeland Youth Coalition which is hosting a job readiness event for adults and teens that evening. If it works for others, I’d be willing to do Saturday afternoon, Feb 20th.
Peggy Higgins

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On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 7:37 AM, Patrick Wojahn wrote:
I think I’ll be able to do the 20th. I’m planning a trip this weekend that may be postponed until next weekend, depending on the weather. If everyone else is available, let’s set it for next weekend and we can postpone again if we need to.

Patrick

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From: Patrick Wojahn
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event
To: Peggy Higgins
Cc: “Christine Nagel”, “Joe Smith”, “Fazlul Kabir”, “Bob Ryan”
Date: Friday, February 12, 2010, 6:15 PM

Folks – I’m available on the 20th, if everyone else is.

Patrick

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On Sat, Feb 13, 2010 at 8:50 AM, Christine Nagel wrote:
Saturday is not my preference
Also think it would be better to have Bob there if his department is going to be involved. So it would make sense to wait till he can attend.

But if you go forth with next Sat I do not have any firm commitments that will prevent my attendance
I haven’t seen anything about time or place – I would hope the plan is to do it in North College Park. I have not been following the schedule this year- sometimes there are basketball games on Sat that would make a trip downtown pretty painful
Christine

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From: Patrick Wojahn
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2010 11:33:09 -0500
To: Christine Nagel; Fazlul Kabir; Joe Smith
Cc: ; Bob Ryan
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event

How would Monday, March 1 work for folks?

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From: Bob Ryan
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event
To: “Patrick Wojahn”, “Christine Nagel”, “Fazlul Kabir” , “Joe Smith”
Cc: Peggy Higgins
Date: Monday, February 15, 2010, 12:08 PM
I think Peggy is taking staff lead on this. I will give her my input. I have Rec Bd on first Mondays

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On Mon Feb 15 15:01 , Christine Nagel sent:
Okay with me.

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On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 4:26 PM, Peggy Higgins wrote:
I have a call into Delegate Frush’s office. I believe that March 1st is their 21st Delegation Reception in Annapolis. If that is the case, then I already committed to attending that event.
Peggy

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From: Patrick Wojahn
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event
To: Peggy Higgins
Cc: “Fazlul Kabir”, “Joe Smith”, Bob Ryan, “Christine Nagel”
Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 12:07 PM
Okay. How about the 4th?

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From: Christine Nagel
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:03 PM
To: Peggy Higgins; Patrick Wojahn
Cc: Fazlul Kabir; Joe Smith; Bob Ryan
Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event

4th is fine w me.

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From: Joe Smith
Subject: RE: Multi Culturalism Event
To: “Christine Nagel”, Peggy Higgins”, “Patrick Wojahn”
Cc: “‘Fazlul Kabir”, “Bob Ryan”
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 1:26 PM
Yup.

Although I’m tempted to say no just to see how long we can keep this going….

Joseph M. Smith

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From: Christine Nagel
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:51 PM
To: ‘Peggy Higgins’; ‘Patrick Wojahn’; Joe Smith
Cc: ‘Fazlul Kabir’; Bob Ryan

Subject: RE: Multi Culturalism Event

I don’t think we have heard from Peggy yet, so we may still go another round

On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 2:47 PM, Peggy Higgins wrote:
I’m in. March 4th is fine with me. Who believes this?

Peggy

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From: Patrick Wojahn
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 5:51 PM
To: Peggy Higgins
Cc: Christine Nagel; Joe Smith; Fazlul Kabir; Bob Ryan

Subject: Re: Multi Culturalism Event

Great!!! March 4th it is. Can we do 7 pm at Davis Hall? Peggy, can you check if it’s available? Thanks.

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From: Peggy Higgins
Date: Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 5:31 PM
Subject: RE: Multi Culturalism Event
To: Patrick Wojahn
Cc: Christine Nagel, Joe Smith, Fazlul Kabir, Bob Ryan

I just submitted a request to the City Clerk’s office for the room. They are pretty quick with a response and should get back to me tomorrow.

Peggy

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On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 7:51 AM, Peggy Higgins wrote:

Hi –

I have reserved Davis Hall at 7 pm on March 4th for the Multi-Cultural Event meeting.

See you there.

Peggy Higgins,

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From: Fazlul Kabir
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 10:05 PM
To: Peggy Higgins
Cc: Patrick Wojahn; Christine Nagel; Joe Smith; Bob Ryan

Subject: Multi Culturalism Event – Ideas

Hi All,

May be I’m too excited, or may be too ambitious; I spent some time thinking on the ideas of the events. I’m sure there could be more, and we may not decide everything what I’ve listed below. To the least, the list below will probably help us in getting started.

(1) Ethnic foods – Hmm, think about dishes from different parts of the world – Latinos, South Asian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and off course American.

(2) Dresses / Jewelries – Booths selling / showcasing dresses and jewelries from different parts of the world

(3) Poster: Our community is rich with many generations of residents. Many of these residents have old pictures of our neighborhood dating back 50 years or even earlier. How about having a display of posters with these pictures? This should show the evolution of our neighborhood and also will preserve its historical heritage. We can also include culture – related pictures from the recent immigrants / newer generation of residents.

(4) Book Sales / Display: The books in different languages from different countries – for sale and display.

(5) Essay Competition: Get local students involved in this. Challenge them with topics related to improving cultural bridges. Award them with prizes.

(6) Open Forum on multi-ethnic issues: Our neighborhood is changing. New generation of people are moving in and so is widening the gaps between the residents. Let’s have residents talk in an open forum on ideas on how to improve inter-ethnic relationships.

Yours,

Fazlul Kabir

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On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 12:31 PM, Joe Smith <SmithJ@safnet.org> wrote:

Boy, you are excited….

Joseph M. Smith

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Fazlul Kabir 3/3/10, 1:24 PM

Joe,

I thought you’re too.

Fazlul

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From: Patrick Wojahn

Date: Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 8:37 AM
Subject: CP Day
To: Fazlul Kabir, Joe Smith

Fazlul and Joe,
I was wondering if you two would be willing to work together to lead the College Park day efforts. I’ve been thinking that we need someone to steer this effort, and I figured you two – whose idea it originally was to get this going – would be best to head it up. It seems like we have a lot of volunteers who are interested in making this happen and helping out in any number of ways, but we just need one or two people to make sure that it moves forward and coordinate everyone’s efforts.

I appreciate your efforts and work in putting this forward. Let me know if you have any questions!

Patrick

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1 Comment to “College Park Day History – How It All Started”

  1. By Lisa Ealley, October 12, 2015 @ 9:12 am

    While I was unable to attend this year, I understand that it was a wonderful event and every year it is better and better. Thanks so much Fazlul and Joe for beginning this showcase of how great this City is!