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Watch Live: The International Festival USA Celebration of the United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development


A Digital Experience

The International Festival of the United States of America, widely regarded as ‘The Nation’s Official Celebration of Multiculturalism and Diversity” officially celebrates that special day: back in 2002, when the United Nations General Assembly chose May 21 as the “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” in its Resolution 57/249, This celebration was held in tandem with The Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Houston’s City Hall; joined by:The Honorable Mayor Sylvester Turner, Gina Belafonte, daughter of the iconic Harry Belafonte and Executive Director of Sankofa.org, Dr. Judy Cheng-Hopkins, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Peacebuilding Support, The Honorable Paula Boland, Chair of the United Nations USA National Council, Dan Stoecker, President of UNA-USA Houston, Antonio Arellano, Human Rights Advocate, Hideo Fukushima (Consul General of Japan), T.H. Gabriel Volpi (Consul General of Argentina and Dean Consular Corps), Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, The Honorable Dr.Teta Banks, Executive Board Member of the World Federation of the United Nations Associations, Ellen Goldberg, former President of Sister Cities of Houston, and Martin Cominsky, President and CEO of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston


Mistress of Ceremony:

Lisa Trapani Shumate

Associate VP and General Manager of Houston Public Media


Joined by The Honorable Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston’s International and Multicultural Leadership stand together at The International Festival USA to represent the cultural diversity that makes up Houston’s diversity. Dressed in authentic traditional clothing, representatives from each country offered a greeting in their native language and proudly carried their flag.


The International Festival of the United States of America also known as THE iFEST USA, is widely regarded as "The Official Celebration Of Multiculturalism And Diversity” and “Leader of the National Celebration of The United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”. The festival promotes learning and information exchanges in support of peace, love, and friendship. The International Festival USA is the largest and most prominent global project for promoting world geography, traditions and cultures. This globally acclaimed festival of Tradition and Culture is dedicated to cultivating and educating the world, creating a platform to share cultural heritage with individuals from around the world. The International Festival USA is a leading tradition in Houston Texas, the single most ethnically diverse region in the country, bringing together thousands of local, national, and international supporters who return year after year. The Festival showcases exceptional exhibits and performances from representatives of diverse nationalities.


The International Festival USA is hosted in Houston, reflecting more than 170 unique nationalities that comprise its population.Houston is the single most diverse city in the country with  over 195 different languages spoken. 


The International Festival USA Observance Calendar 

Throughout the year there are special days, weeks, and months that focus on celebrating diversity and the contributions of various groups to the fabric of the United States. Below are the corresponding multicultural & diversity events scheduled each year. 

While holidays and celebrations may take many forms and may be celebrated to varying degrees, in a country as diverse as the United States, there are recognitions that are as varied as the population.  Some are more somber remembrances or sacrifice or tragedy, while others represent achievements, and still others focus on a person, religion or heritage.


Check our celebration calendar:


Multicultural Celebrations

  • January 20:  DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S BIRTHDAY The birthday of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated   on the third Monday in January.

  • February(month):  BLACK HISTORY MONTHCelebrates Black History and African American culture

  • March 31:  CESAR CHAVEZ DAY honors the Mexican American farm worker and celebrates the contributions of labor leader and activist Cesar Chavez.


Diversity Events

  • April: (month): ARAB AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH celebrating Arab American heritage, culture and contributions.

  • April 23: Native American GATHERING OF NATIONS where over 500 tribes gather for three days to honor their culture

  • May 13: Eid al-Fitr is the “Festival of Breaking the Fast” and is celebrated by Muslims worldwide marking the end of Ramadan.

  • May: (month):   ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH recognizes the contributions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

  • May: (month): JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH honors the contributions of American Jews

  • May: (month): HAITIAN HERITAGE MONTH is observed in May as an expansion of The Haitian Flag Day (May 18th). Haitian Heritage Month is a celebration in the United States of Haitian heritage and culture. It was first celebrated in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1998.

  • May 21:  UN WORLD DAY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY is a day that recognizes cultural diversity as a source of innovation, exchange and creativity.

  • June 20:  WORLD REFUGEE DAY raises awareness about the plight of refugees.



Multicultural Events

  • August 9:  INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES celebrating the richness of indigenous cultures as well as recognizing the challenges indigenous peoples face today.

  • September 15– October 15 (month):   NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH celebrates the contributions, heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans.



Diversity Calendar

  • September 15– October 15 (month):   NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH celebrates the contributions, heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

  • September 17:  CONSTITUTION DAY AND CITIZENSHIP DAY commemorating the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787 and also honors all who have become U.S. citizens.

  • October (Month): GLOBAL DIVERSITY AWARENESS MONTH increasing awareness and acceptance of diverse cultures

  • October 1, NATIONAL DIVERSITY DAY observed during Global Diversity Awareness Month to celebrate diversity and that despite our differences, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability we should learn and embrace different cultures and ideologies present in the country.

  • October 11: DIA DE LA RAZA, “Day of the Race”, in Spanish-speaking countries and communities.

  • October 31 – November 2:  DIA DE LOS MUERTOS three day celebration to remember dead relatives and friends.

  • November (month):    NATIONAL AMERICAN INDIAN and ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH honoring the history and culture of Native Americans and indigenous people in the United States. Also known as Native American Heritage Month

  • December 25: CHRISTMAS

  • December 26–  KWANZAA  is a celebration honoring African American heritage

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The International Festival USA benefits child hunger, and children’s art and literacy programs.

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