Multicultural Center of Cache Valley ‘reopening’ its doors

The trees of Cache Valley aren’t the only things shedding leaves. The Multicultural Center of Cache Valley is looking for a new start as the organization sheds the stigma left behind by the former director who was charged with attempted sexual assault of a patron.In 2009, the center’s director, 61-year-old Leo Bravo, was accused of sexually abusing a woman who came to him for help in finding legal assistance. In April 2011, Bravo was <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/Bravo-sentenced-on-attempted-sex-abuse-charges-120426374.html”>convicted</a> on two counts of attempted forcible sexual abuse and was sentenced to serve up to two years in the Cache County jail. Since then, the center has been operating, but with reduced hours and staff, and a cloud of distrust left by the charges.Claudia Wright, a new staff member hired to be the center’s program director, said now is the time for a new beginning.”Hopefully no one is going to remember all the problems with the former director,” Wright said. “The idea for us is to carry out ourmission: to assist in enriching and improving the lives of multicultural citizens and immigrants of Cache Valley by providingopportunities to all people to learn, celebrate and share new cultural experiences.”With new staff members, fresh ideas and increased hours of service, the center is ‘reopening’ its doors to the community to remind and encourage them to use their free services.Wright said, “We are planning to reopen the center to give us a new boost and to remind people we are here. We’ve been serving thecommunity for 15 years and its purpose is to provide for the needs of the ever-expanding minority population of the valley.”To accomplish this goal, the center offers free services to the community such as help with the legal system, citizenship help,translation of documents, cultural events, bilingual driver’s education and a union bilingual preschool. New services will includea first aid class and emergency workshops.The nonprofit is located at the Whittier Center in Logan, and was formerly known as the Hispanic Center of Cache Valley. The name change to the Cache Valley Multicultural Center encompasses the objective of the center to engage all parts of the community.”I got involved with the center because I’m very interested in diversity and I think the center has a great potential to engage thewhole community,” Wright said. “We have the LDS population, political refugees and the Hispanic population among others. We can get to know each other.”A Columbian native, Wright came to the U.S. to pursue her education. She received her master’s degree from Louisiana State, is working on a doctorate from the University of Utah and specializes in communications and anthropology.Wright wants to preserve the history of different cultural groups in the valley, but also wants to bring them together to create a network and unified community interested in valuing all parts of its population. Wright said one of the greatest ways to do this is to get to know each other.Such an opportunity will available on Oct. 15 when the center will be having an open house for the Union Bilingual Preschool from 10 a.m. to noon. Wright said all the community is welcome, especially parents so they can see what being bilingual is about.”It’s wonderful to be engaged in all of this. You can change a person’s life,” Wright said. “Our slogan is ‘Improving life, promotingcommunity and preserving culture.’ It’s so rewarding to be able to do something for somebody.”To learn more about the center and upcoming events and services, visit www.mccutah.org or call 435-753-8486.

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