CAMEO’s decade of promoting diversity worth celebrating

The Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Organization (CAMEO) marks 10 years of existence this year, which is good news for the community.

CAMEO was born from Columbus’ efforts to be more diverse and welcoming, and specifically grew from the results of a 2004 Welcoming Community Survey by the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. The survey measured how how the community could be more welcoming to people of varying races, cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. That’s important considering that the city has a United Nations feel to it with various Asian and European companies having operations here.

The survey also asked about how to promote diversity education.

CAMEO is composed of 10 ethnic associations, such as the Columbus Chinese Association and the Indian Association of Columbus. The latest addition is the French Association.

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CAMEO has provided a way for newcomers to the Columbus community get connected and feel at home more quickly, and its associations have brought greater understanding of those cultures to the community through various events they host, and their participation in community festivals such as Ethnic Expo.

For example, the Chinese Association has organized a Chinese New Year Gala and helped put together a public session about immigration. And the Indian Association of Columbus has presented an annual cultural event, Diwali. For its part, CAMEO annually organizes the Columbus Got Talent event, intended to promote diversity.

CAMEO will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a celebration event Wednesday evening at The Commons. It’s a time to take pride in what has been achieved over a decade, and how else it can serve the community for what we hope is decades to come.