?Tracing Our Roots, Sharing Our Stories, Celebrating Unity:? 12th Annual Unity Luncheon to be Held Jan. 30

?Tracing Our Roots, Sharing Our Stories, Celebrating Unity:? 12th Annual Unity Luncheon to be Held Jan. 30
James Bell will receive this year's Diversity Leadership Award.

Faculty, staff and students will gather for the 12th annual Unity Luncheon: ?Tracing Our Roots, Sharing Our Stories, Celebrating Unity,? on Thursday, Jan. 30, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Kellogg West. The luncheon serves to promote unity throughout Cal Poly Pomona?s diverse campus community.

Jose Zapata Calderon, an associate professor in sociology and Chicano studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, will serve as keynote speaker at the luncheon. Calderon is known for connecting his academic work with service learning, community organizing and multi-ethnic coalition building. Recently, he developed a partnership between Pitzer College and the city of Pomona in developing a day labor center. As an ethnographer, he has published numerous articles and studies based on his community experiences and observations of human cultures.

The luncheon will also include the second presentation of the Diversity Leadership Award, created to recognize individuals who are advocates and leaders in the area of diversity both on and off campus. Last year?s award recipient was President Bob H. Suzuki.

This year?s Diversity Leadership Award will be presented to James Bell, former vice president for Student Affairs at Cal Poly Pomona, who broke many racial barriers during his career.

In 1968, Bell was hired as a professor and coach in health, physical education and recreation, becoming Cal Poly Pomona?s second black faculty member. A year later, he was named associate dean of the School of Arts and director of the newly created Black Studies program, becoming the first black to hold a dean?s position for the California State University system. In 1972, Bell became the first black to hold a vice president?s position in the CSU when he was named vice president of Student Affairs. He ascended to his highest position of authority on a campus when he became president pro tem for a brief time in 1987.

Bell holds a master?s degree and doctorate in health, physical education and recreation from Columbia University.

Bell serves as an inspiration for social consciousness and community involvement. Some of his past and current affiliations and involvement include the Board of Directors for the Voluntary Action Center in Pomona; Los Angeles Urban League; Pomona Valley YMCA; Pomona Athletic League; Mt. Baldy Region United Way; and President of the Pomona Unified School District?s Board of Education.

He has also been involved with the city of Ontario?s Committee for Multi-Racial Projects; Grandma/Grandpa Reading Program at Upland Elementary School; and the Board of Directors for the House of Ruth, a domestic violence center helping battered women and their children.

Scheduled to perform at the Unity Luncheon is Cal Poly Pomona?s Yanet Garcia, an analyst in the Office of Admissions. Garcia is a two-time winner on the ?Cuanto Cuesta el Show? and has done several back-up singing performances including the Carlos Ponce concert at the Universal Amphitheatre.

The Unity Luncheon is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Faculty, Staff & Student Association; the Black Faculty & Staff Association; the Latino Faculty, Staff & Student Association; the Native American Outreach Committee; and Pride Alliance (LGBT F/S Association).

For more information about the luncheon, contact Steve Quintero in Student Affairs at (909) 869-4430.