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Bakersfield is a diverse city full of rich heritages. Read how this resident helps the community connect to new cultures + experiences.

Rosie James • Cultural Awareness Promoter, Cultural Elegance Studio

I grew up in LA, but I’m originally from Belize. I moved to Bakersfield in 1988, and I’ve been a daycare provider and cultural awareness promoter for over 20 years. I currently work for Cultural Elegance Studio. Cultural elegance studio is a nonprofit organization. Our main focus is education and promotion of the cultural diversity in our society. We offer international language and immigration preparation classes.

I love the diversity, acceptance and unity I find here. Bakersfield is very open-minded, and I like that there’s a lot of cultural activity from various nationalities and races. One of my favorite events is the annual Kwanzaa celebration. I’ve participated for quite some time. It’s a celebration of African American heritage and a very educational event. I also like the diversity at the farmer’s market. It’s a great place for people to experience all the different ethnic foods available here. 

I’m continually inspired by the sense of community togetherness — the people here literally put the unity in community, and I love that. I also haven’t had many challenges living here. 

In Bakersfield’s future, I hope we continue to see more cultural businesses move here. We have a lot of cultural diversity, but people don’t always notice it, so I also hope we see more events. 

There are lots of ways to get involved with the different groups around town — the best place to start is by going to a social function. There’s info on social media and in newspaper ads about opportunities. 

We also have a lot of new stores popping up in town. We recently saw the opening of the very first Caribbean-Jamaican restaurant in Bakersfield, and we also have a Nigerian beauty supply. Bakersfield has opened a lot of opportunities for people from different backgrounds to step out and start businesses. People here are helpful with the licensing and permitting process, and that’s made it easier for people to set up shop and homes. 

It’s a city full of people from diverse places, and there are a lot of opportunities to get to know someone new. 

Be CULTURAL in Bakersfield

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