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Gift Suggestions from Africana Heritage:
Gifts That Celebrate Cultural Diversity!
Gifts That Celebrate Cultural Diversity

At a loss for a gift idea? Need an innovative gift idea for the person who has everything? Or maybe you'd like to treat yourself to a present. Check out our suggestions for gifts that celebrate our diverse world and its many cultures.

We've scoured the Internet for multicultural gifts for all ages and interests. So whether you are shopping for yourself or others, for kids or adults, be sure to visit these websites for gifts that celebrate diversity!

Our Top Pick Gift Suggestion: Calabash Music Gift Certificate

We can't say enough good things about Calabash Music, where you can sample and download music from across the globe. Calabash Music was started by a handful of music-obsessed people based in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Paris & Sao Paulo who love what they do and are dedicated to broadening your musical horizons.

Calabash Music is also the world's first fair trade music company. Their equal exchange business model and focus on international artists is revitalizing the music industry in developing nations around the globe. When their artists sell their music directly to you, they keep half the money from each sale and they avoid the high costs of manufacturing, marketing and distributing their music on CDs.

The Calabash Music website is catching fire - they now provide the world music for the National Geographic music site, and the online music service for Global Rhythm Magazine, Link TV, Afropop and Mondomix.

Our Top Pick gift suggestion: the Calabash Music gift certificate. Give 20 songs for just $14.99! Why not treat yourself as well? Bookmark the Free Single of the Week and watch your World Music collection grow!

Our Top Pick Gift for Children: Maya Angelou's Children's Books

Dr. Angelou's wonderful children's books transport young readers into the worlds of other children around the globe. In My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me, (pictured at left) Thandi, an eight-year old Ndebele girl tells young "stranger-friends" about her village and the things she loves the most: her pet chicken, the brightly-painted houses in her village, the warm and loving connections she shares with others.

In Life Doesn't Frighten Me, Angelou weaves reassuring words around images of Jean-Michel Basquiat's vivid artwork. A sample: "Dragons breathing flame / On my counterpane / That doesn't frighten me at all. / I go boo / Make them shoo / I make fun / Way they run." Delightful!

In Kofi and His Magic, Kofi, a young Ashanti boy, invites youngsters in grades 2-4 to visit him in his West African village, where his "magic," (a vivid imagination) brings something new and special to each day.

Gifts for Young and Old:

Founder Tracy Jackson and the dedicated folks at iCelebrateDiversity believe that teaching children to love themselves (and others) is one of the greatest gifts that you can give. They also believe that children should learn to celebrate differences in the home and that their teachers and friends can, and should, be a wonderful source of influence and affirmation. Their hope is that can be a wonderful tool that ALL people can use to help decrease the gap of hatred and misunderstanding and increase the bond of unity and understanding!

The iCelebrateDiversity website (and vision) is growing daily! They not only have wonderful products to choose from, but they also have wonderful resources and articles to inspire you to help change the world! Shop their Diversity Store where you are sure to find something for everyone.

Go Nuts for: Borders & Banners for the classroom. A perfect teacher's gift for only $3.99!

(Image courtesy of iCelebrateDiversity and artist Sally Martin de Gastelum.)

More Gifts for Young and Old:

"Hapa", with its Hawaiian root meaning half or part, generally refers to individuals who are part Hawaiian or part Asian. The creators of Hapa Culture, however, like to embrace the term as a broader and more inclusive concept by involving any mix of cultural influences.

Hapa Culture's mission is to explore and celebrate the experiences of mixed cultures. From fine arts to everyday objects, the folks at Hapa Culture find ways to redefine, create, and express various combined cultures. They search for distinctive and high quality products that are culturally blended in design and content. Join them in a realm where cultures meet, borders blur, and imaginations flourish!

Go Nuts for: Warm and glowy starlightz lamps! Awesome!

More Multicultural Gifts for Children:

Culture for Kids is committed to making your educational efforts easier. Their mission is to be the best global resource for teaching about languages and cultures. Their collection includes books, language textbooks, videos, audio cassettes, software, CD-ROMs, dolls, games, posters, crafts, t-shirts and resource materials for parents and teachers. They offer bilingual and multilingual materials in more than 30 languages, and cultural studies on hundreds of countries.

Go Nuts for: the mind-boggling 364 books on world cultures!

Multicultural Dolls and Toys:

The founders of recognize how important it is that children of color have toys and characters that look like them. They help meet this growing need by researching and identifying quality products from around the globe and bringing them to you at fair and reasonable prices.

Go Nuts for: The Barbara Voice Recorder Phone for Infants: babies can hear Mommie's prerecorded voice anytime.

Great Gifts for Co-Workers:

The wonderful Designs for Better Giving website features multicultural cards and gifts for a variety of occasions.

Go Nuts for: Multicultural refrigerator magnets that make great office gifts at just $4.00 each. Be sure to check out the Artist's Galleries too!

Do you know of other sites that offer multicultural gifts? Suggest them by dropping us a line at!.

Gifts That Give Back
Looking for ideas for giving back to the community? Check out these gifts that keep on giving!

Or want to give a creative gift to someone who values community service? Why not give one of the following gifts in their name?

Promote World Peace

Help Rebuild from Hurricane Katrina

Reach out to folks who are still struggling to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by donating to the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross or the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

Save the Children and FEMA partner to improve services for children and families living in temporary housing group sites in the Gulf Coast Region so devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The Safe and Protective Communities Project will create community spaces where group site residents can gather to interact positively with one another and receive essential services and support. Donate securely online to lend a hand. Your purchase of Save the Children gifts supports their work and encourages others to do so, too!

Every public library in New Orleans was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Help rebuild the research community by donating to the Rebuilding Campaign.

Help Build the United States Slavery Museum

The United States National Slavery Museum (USNSM) is asking Americans to contribute $8.00 or more to the construction of the only museum in our nation devoted exclusively to telling the story of American slavery.

Why $8?

$8 8 is the shape both of shackles (the symbol of slavery) and, if turned on its side, of infinite freedom.
$8 is an amount that allows every American to be a part of this incredible project.
$8 buys recognition for millions of enslaved African Americans who helped build America.
$8 is rewarded with an advance ticket to the Museum’s exclusive opening preview (valued at $25).
$8 will help remove shackles that have divided our nation and replace them with a new symbol for a united America.

Donate online to contribute to the vision!

Help Educate for Diversity is a principal online destination for people interested in dismantling bigotry and creating, in hate''s stead, communities that value diversity.

If you want to know how to transform yourself, your home, your school, your workplace or your community, is a place to start — and continue — the journey.

Through its online well of resources and ideas, its expanding collection of print materials, its burgeoning outreach efforts, and its downloadable public service announcements, promotes and supports anti-bias activism in every venue of life. provides free, outstanding teaching kits to public schools and qualified educators. Donate online to support their ongoing efforts.

Help Americans Volunteer at Home

Support the United Way: in communities across America, 1350 United Ways improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of their communities. More than fundraisers, United Ways are partners in change, working with a broad range of people and organizations to identify and resolve pressing community issues. United Ways have led the nonprofit sector in the call for transparent accountability and measurable results.

To achieve measurable, lasting change, United Ways identify and build on community strengths and assets, help individuals and groups with specific community interests find ways to contribute their time and talents, support direct-service programs and community-change efforts, and advocate for public policy changes.

All of this is done in collaboration with diverse partners. Depending on the issue and how the community chooses to address it, United Ways work with schools, government agencies, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, community development corporations, voluntary and neighborhood associations, the faith community, and others.

You can donate to your local United Way to ensure your contribution is used to benefit those in need where you live.

Help Americans Volunteer Worldwide

Since 1961, the Peace Corps has shared with the world America''s most precious resource—its people. Peace Corps Volunteers serve in 71 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Collaborating with local community members, Volunteers work in areas like education, youth outreach and community development, the environment, and information technology.

You don't have to be a Volunteer to contribute to Peace Corps projects all over the world. Through their Partnership Program, you can donate funds to specific Peace Corps projects, such as a job training center in Ukraine or a beekeeping operation in Togo. One hundred percent of your tax-deductible contribution goes toward the project of your choice, and even the smallest donation makes a big difference. Donate online or learn more.
Copyright 2004 The University of South Florida and The Africana Heritage Project. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. For more information, contact the Africana Heritage Project via e-mail.