Press "Enter" to skip to content

People. Places. Power. Why the ABC’s of Celebrating Multiculturalism — Acknowledge, Belong and Connect — are Important

Celebrating multiculturalism is much more than recognizing its existence.

By Thokozani Fuller

I represent the first generation of my family born and raised in America. This has created a mixture of cultures in my life. There is a stark difference between how my home functioned compared to the majority of homes around me. I grew up in Dallas, Texas, surrounded by American culture, but my family comes from Zomba and Blantyre, Malawi, a country in southeast Africa. Raised in America but deeply rooted in Malawian heritage, I often find myself torn between two worlds. This makes me a third-culture kid.

Oftentimes, people assume that because my family is foreign, we cannot be successful in American culture. I am proud to disprove this common assumption with the story of my parents. They immigrated to New York in the late 1980s and pursued their academic dreams, achieving master’s and Ph.D. degrees which led to successful careers. Their endeavors instilled a profound appreciation for the power of education and perseverance in me from a young age. In fact, according to the global multicultural magazine Culturs, it is common for people from multiple cultures to pursue graduate degrees.

Despite my parents’ proof of capabilities, my identity remains a source of introspection and struggle. Growing up, I grappled with a sense of not truly belonging. Within the African community, my American upbringing often led to doubts about my authenticity as an African. Among African Americans, I sometimes felt like an outsider due to the differing nature of my experiences and cultures. I even faced bullying for my African heritage, leading me to conceal my identity until after I graduated high school.

This ongoing struggle continues to influence how I perceive myself. However, I’ve come to embrace the complexities and cultural in-betweens of my identity, proudly identifying as a first-generation Malawian-American — an identity I could not have imagined claiming during my childhood.

My family’s journey shows no matter where you come from, you can succeed. As the first of my family born and raised in America, I carry their dreams with me as I forge my own path forward, hoping my story will inspire others to embrace their identities and pursue their dreams.

I am thankful for platforms like the Culturs magazine because they give people like me a chance to share our stories. By sharing, we help others understand and respect different backgrounds. The Culturs magazine leaves out the “E” in cultures to represent the sometimes hidden multicultural identities. 

In February and March, communication students at Oklahoma Christian initiated a campaign called Create Space to celebrate multiculturalism and promote the Culturs magazine. Their hope is this is not a temporary campaign, but the beginning of a long-term appreciation for multiculturalism, where Oklahoma Christian can finally say, “We see the E.”

The Oklahoma Christian student-run PR firm, Eagle PR, is emphasizing three important ways to honor and celebrate multiculturalism.

A- Acknowledge the less recognized cultural identities.

B- Reaffirm that they are warmly welcomed and Belong at Oklahoma Christian.

C- Connect with these individuals to educate the community about hidden diversity.

Learning about different cultures through magazines and platforms such as Culturs is like having a low maintenance pen pal. It is as if someone is writing to you and keeping you up to date on all of their travels and stories, but you get to just enjoy it and not worry about writing back. In many ways, it can help one imagine being there with each writer. The Culturs magazine feels like living room travel: one can go anywhere in the world from their favorite recliner. 

By fostering fellowship with these different cultures through both reading the magazine and seeking out intentional relationships, one can begin to understand people, places and the power which comes with having positive unity in knowledge and relationships. Learn more about what Oklahoma Christian students are doing at

Thokozani Fuller is a Public Relations and Social Media senior at Oklahoma Christian University. She is active in Eagle PR, the university’s student-run PR firm, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. 

Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *