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Toy drive seeks to increase local cultural interaction

By IDS Reports

The Black Graduate Student Association and Hudson and Holland Scholars Program hope to increase cultural interaction among Bloomington children with the 2012 Diversity Toy Drive, which began Dec. 7 and will continue through Dec. 17.

“According to the 2010 Census, Bloomington is only 4 percent black,” Hudson and Holland instructor Carl Darnell said in an email. “Thus, the city’s children may have a very limited interaction with a culture besides their own, if any at all.”

The groups are looking for “toys or children’s books that reflect diversity,” Darnell said. Examples include Disney Princess Tiana dolls, Marvel hero Nick Fury action figures, Dora the Explorer activity books or books written by Asian-American or American-Indian authors.

At the completion of the drive, toys will be distributed to children in low-income households in the area.

Toys can be dropped off at Memorial Hall 003, the second floor office of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center or the Bethel AME Church at 302 North Rogers St.

“In receiving the Black, Latino or Asian-American toy, we hope to introduce diversity to Bloomington’s children at an early age,” Darnell said.

— Kirsten Clark

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