THE SAN DIEGO PARTICIPANT OBSERVER Participant Observation is the Process of Learning by Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
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Coming Soon...
Ongoing/Extended Events
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Friday, May 7
12:00 PM iCafé – Your Passport to Culture!
7:00 PM Sierra Club Sierra Talks: Indigenous Heritage in SoCal
Wednesday, May 12
4:00 PM Book Talk: Things We Lost to the Water
Thursday, May 13
4:00 PM Talk: the Fall and Rise of U.S.-China Policy Uncertainty
6:30 PM Talk: India in South Asia: Fraught Regional Relationships
Friday, May 14
12:00 PM iCafé – Your Passport to Culture!
8:00 PM Film: Moulin Rouge!
Sunday, May 16
4:00 PM Haydn Voyages: Music at the Maritime, Paths Converge

< Wednesday, February 24, 2021 >

10:00 AM Discussion: Building a Plan for Social Equity The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce (CSDBCC) and The San Diego Union-Tribune is honoring Black History Month with a virtual discussion, â€"Building a Plan for Social Equity.”

Donna Deberry, president and CEO of the CSDBC, will moderate the panel discussion focused on the persistent gaps in generational wealth and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on San Diego’s black-owned business community. Immediately following will be a presentation of four awards for outstanding work in the community.


Nathan Fletcher - County of San Diego Supervisor, District 4
Pedro Villegas - Director of Communication, SDG&E
Janice Brown - Principal, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson APC


Donna Deberry - President and CEO of the CSDBCC

Admission/Cost: FREE

Online streaming event
Link: Register

Wednesday, February 24 - 10:00 AM
4:00 PM Film: Minari A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

Minari is available for a limited virtual engagement. Presented by the A24 Screening Room.

You have 4 hours to access the film.

If you use the Media Arts Center's affiliate link below, they will receive a portion of the proceeds!

Admission/Cost: $20

Online streaming event

Remaining screenings:
Monday, February 22 - 4:00 PM
Tuesday, February 23 - 4:00 PM
Wednesday, February 24 - 4:00 PM
Thursday, February 25 - 4:00 PM
5:30 PM A Conversation With Poet Kevin Young A Geisel Library 50th Anniversary Signature Event: A Conversation With Kevin Young

Kevin Young, whom The Washington Post calls â€"one of the most important poets of his generation,” is a poet, essayist, editor, and curator. He is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, recently named a National Historic Landmark, and poetry editor of The New Yorker, where he hosts the poetry podcast.

Young is the author of 13 books of poetry and prose, most recently "Brown" (2018). He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets for "Book of Hours"; an American Book Award for "Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels"; the Paterson Poetry Prize for "Jelly Roll: a blues"; and the National Poetry Series and the Zacharis First Book Award for "Most Way Home." His books have been finalists for the National Book Award, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Young’s nonfiction work has also received critical acclaim. His two nonfiction books, "The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness" and "Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News" were both named a New York Times Notable Book and were finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His newest book, "African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song," is scheduled to be released in September 2020.

Admission/Cost: FREE

Wednesday, February 24 - 5:30 PM
7:00 PM Africa World Documentary Film Festival The Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF) is sponsored by the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University.

The Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF) is sponsored by the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University, San Diego, California. USA.

The AWDFF has as its objective the promotion of knowledge and culture of the people of Africa, in a Pan-African context.

In promotion of the Pan African context, public viewings of submission accepted by AWDFF shall also occur in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Though the AWDFF is non-competitive, prizes of $1,000 and $500 shall be awarded to two documentaries in Full-length and Short categories, respectively judged by the AWDFF committee as furthering understanding and contributing significantly to knowledge of the African World.

Admission/Cost: $10

Online streaming event
Link: Register

Wednesday, February 24 - 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
7:00 PM Virtual Art Show: Icelandic Painter Frida Freyja About Frida's remarkable work: Widely revered for her ability to convey light and magic, Frida transforms oil and canvas into literal downloads of cosmic intelligence. To stand before one of Frida's paintings is to be lifted into a state of high frequency. Your host, entrepreneur of sound and light, Shelly Reef, will lead you through a transformational experience with the paintings, and an inspiring interview with the artist herself. At the conclusion of the decades-long series â€"Downloading the Light,” and the birth of the series, â€"New Earth,” we celebrate the artist and her extraordinary life. The paintings shown at the Encinitas gallery mark the first time Frida's work has been made available outside of Iceland. This is a free event. Zoom login details are included on the confirmation email.

Admission/Cost: FREE

Online streaming event
Link: Please Register to receive link instructions.

Wednesday, February 24 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
7:00 PM  Book Discussion: Caste - The Origins of Our Discontents In recognition of Black History Month, the San Diego Diplomacy Council is proud to offer a powerful reflection of Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Join us online on Wednesday, February 24th at 7 PM PST to discuss the harsh realities of a menacing Caste system that exists and may sometimes thrive in our developed world. Wilkerson offers an unparalleled synthesis of the American way of life by conflating notions of race and caste. Rather than arguing they are synonymic, she writes they often coexist and reinforce each other in a society: â€"Race, in the United States, is the visible agent of the unseen force of caste. Caste is the bones, race is the skin”.

Our co-hosts for this event are the two expert scholars Fern P. Nelson, M.D. and Bashker â€"Bob” Biswas, Ph.D.

Dr. Nelson, an African American woman native to Detroit, Michigan, has also lived in numerous cities throughout the United States, including Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, and currently San Diego. Nelson spent the bulk of her career teaching dermatology residents and students, in addition to running her own private practice. She now serves as a member of the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, the Balboa Park Conservancy, AND on our very own advisory board. She will share her experiences and reflections in light of the caste system here in America.

Dr. Biswas has an extensive and accredited career working as a professor at just shy of ten universities, including Santa Clara University and the Zain International Graduate Academy. Bashkaralso has first-hand International Business knowledge serving as a Consultant and an International Executive in all continents of the world, covering over 30 different countries. In her novel, Wilkerson draws upsetting parallels between India’s treatment of its untouchables, Dalits, Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews, and America’s treatment of African-Americans. She notes, each country â€"relied on stigmatizing those deemed inferior to justify the dehumanization necessary to keep the lowest-ranked people at the bottom and to rationalize the protocols of enforcement.” Due to his experience as both an Indian man and an incredibly accomplished businessman, Dr. Biswas offers the global context needed to comment on such a comparison.

The San Diego Diplomacy Council is honored to provide a platform for these two bright minds to share their expertise and analysis.

Admission/Cost: FREE

Online streaming event
Link: Registration is required.

Wednesday, February 24 - 7:00 PM
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