The nationally known comedian Sinbad will be the special guest of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations at today's Cultural Rhythms festival in Sanders Theatre.
The Harvard Foundation will present Sinbad with an award for his contributions to American society and entertainment.
Sarita M. James '98, co-chair of the Foundation's Student Advisory Committee, said the presentation will take place during the intermission of the Cultural Rhythms show. The show will last from 3 to 5 p.m.
The show is an exhibition of multicultural performances by 27 ethnic student organizations at Harvard.
Dr. S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation and associate professor of neurology, said the Foundation chose Sinbad both for his "wholesome comedy" and his work in promoting science and math among younger students.
"He is on the forefront of educational efforts, especially for minority and inner-city students--encouraging them to get training and education in science and math," Counter said. "He is the spokesperson for a lot of scientific organizations that have these same goals."
Previous honorees of the Foundation and Cultural Rhythms masters of ceremonies include the actors Andy Garcia in 1995 and Denzel Washington in 1996, Counter said.
Garcia was honored for his work with hurricane victims, among other things, Counter said. Washington was selected for his role as a spokesperson and strong supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
James said she was looking forward to Sinbad's appearance because he would draw a large crowd of people and keep them entertained.
"We do like to bring someone to Harvard who will fill up Sanders," James said. "I think it's great that we have a comedian coming since he can keep the audience laughing."
James said she hopes people who come to the event to see Sinbad will get exposure to the many dances, drumming, skits and other acts that reflect the University's cultural diversity.
"The Harvard Foundation was established to promote international awareness on campus as well as race relations," James said.
She said that even without a big-name entertainer like Sinbad, Cultural Rhythms enjoys great popularity at Harvard.
"Even the year it was just the Student Advisory Committee co-chairs [serving as masters of cere- monies] Sanders was filled," James said.
The cultural show in Sanders will be followed by a multicultural food festival in the Science Center from 5 to 7 p.m.
Cultural Rhythms is not the only event sponsored by the Foundation, the University organ created in 1981 to promote race relations on campus and to fund student ethnic and cultural groups.
The Foundation's second annual multicultural film festival, with screenings followed by discussions with directors and filmmakers, will take place in April, co-sponsored by six student groups, James said