Additional Information

The Organizational Face of CAMEO

The nine founding member associations are the:

  • African American Association
  • Columbus Chinese Association
  • Columbus Japanese Business Association
  • Columbus Latin American Association
  • Columbus Korean Association
  • Indian Association of Columbus
  • Middle Eastern Association
  • Pakistan Association
  • Trinbago Association

CAMEO was introduced to the Columbus area community in September 2009. Earlier in the year leaders of the founding member associations met together in a series of facilitated meetings to develop the structure, goals and mission of the umbrella organization. The CAMEO Board was helped in this process by Arlette Cooper-Tinsley, Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission and Tatiana Kovolou, Intercultural Training Professional.

CAMEO Mission

To provide a forum for ethnic associations to:

  • develop and coordinate programs and activities that encourages everyone to recognize and appreciate the traditions of all ethnic cultures, and
  • to help make people feel welcomed in the community.

CAMEO Vision

To be the cultural gateway for appreciating and promoting the diversity of the Columbus area and neighboring communities by

  • enriching the lives of newcomers, residents and friends, and
  • bringing culture, diversity and fun to their doorstep.

CAMEO Values

Guiding ValuesBehaviors
Integrity– Respect each other
– honor your words/commitments
– Follow the rules
Cooperation– Sharing experiences/lessons learned
– Helping each other with organizing events and using one another as resources
Responsibility & Accountability– Follow through with commitments
– Fulfill your role to its fullest as a CAMEO member
– Comply within the framework of the CAMEO bylaws and structure
Achievement– Meet your targets & objectives
Diversity– Openness to an “all inclusive” policy
– Value differences & build on similarities
Leadership– Be proactive
– Take initiative
Take time & initiative for future planning

CAMEO Membership

Membership in CAMEO is available at three levels – Voting Member, Partner Member and Individual Member. Additional membership information is included in the Membership Application Forms and the CAMEO By-laws.

Voting Membership

Membership is available to non-political and non-religious ethnic associations based in Bartholomew County. Associations must meet certain membership requirements which include: goals and mission similar to CAMEO, elected officials and a minimum of five members. The CAMEO Board will open membership in this category at a later date.

Individual Membership

Membership is open to all individuals who support CAMEO’s mission and goals. Members are encouraged to take an active role in CAMEO programs and activities. Individual members are eligible to serve on the CAMEO Board.

If you would like to become a member Contact Us through this website or submit the Individual Membership Form to the CAMEO Secretary C/o Heritage Fund 538 Franklin Street Columbus IN 47201.

Partner Membership

Membership is open to businesses, companies, organizations, clubs and agencies that do not meet the requirements of a Voting member but wish to endorse and support the work and activities undertaken by CAMEO.

If you would like to become a Partner Member Contact Us through this website or submit the Partner Membership Form to the CAMEO Secretary C/o Heritage Fund 538 Franklin Street Columbus IN 47201.

Future Goals

It is anticipated through the passion and commitment of its volunteer members the association will grow organically and develop sources of revenues. Revenue may be generated through, program fees, fundraisers and membership fees. Sustainable funding could lead to a creation of a CAMEO office and staff position.

Future programs could include business services such as: resource and referral programs, translation services, and diversity/cultural competence training. Community programming might be expanded to include; cultural and arts performances, guest speakers, dinner program and international trivia competition.

Welcoming Community

CAMEO Background and History

The Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Association (CAMEO) is an initiative of the Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. CAMEO is an outgrowth of the Heritage Fund’s Welcoming Community project.

The Heritage Fund’s Outreach Committee conducted the Welcoming Community Project in 2004. The research project was inspired by the work of Dr. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class. The Welcoming Community Study was designed to assess the welcoming factor in Bartholomew County among various groups of people — with a focus on “the creative class” or those individuals who can create a vibrant business climate and stimulate future economic growth.

The Welcoming Community Study found that while Columbus has many positive attributes it is not perceived as a welcoming community by all people. Individuals outside the traditional mainstream, YP’s (Young Professionals) and newcomers experienced difficulties and problems adjusting to the community.

The Outreach Committee shared with the community that the perception will make it more difficult for new and existing businesses to recruit talent and could hurt our economic vitality as a community. The Committee made several recommendations to improve the welcoming factor of the community,

  • Improve access to information and the community web presence
  • Implement proactive diversity education strategies
  • Develop an inclusive, vibrant, gathering place
  • Take steps to redefine the Columbus Brand

CAMEO is an extension of the Welcoming Community initiative and addresses the need for proactive diversity strategies. During 2008 the Outreach Committee developed the concept of an umbrella organization of ethnic associations. The umbrella organization would provide a forum for ethnic associations to develop and coordinate programs and activities that promote and foster a Welcoming Community from an ethnic or descent-based perspective.

Three established ethnic associations and six newly formed associations were invited to join with the Heritage Fund to create the Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Association — CAMEO.

Nine Founding Member Associations:

  • African American Association
  • Columbus Chinese Association
  • Columbus Japanese Business Association
  • Columbus Latin American Association
  • Columbus Korean Association
  • Indian Association of Columbus
  • Middle Eastern Association
  • Pakistan Association
  • Trinbago Association

Our Community

Columbus is a unique city located within Bartholomew County, Indiana. Midwest farming traditions have merged with modern manufacturing and service industries. Standard buildings stand alongside architecturally distinctive structures and people from all over the world call Columbus home. More than 40,000 individuals reside in Columbus with a further 35,000 people living in the surrounding county.

The population of Bartholomew County continues to expand in ethnic diversity. More than 30 international companies from countries such as Japan, China, India, Germany, Korea and Canada have located operating facilities in the community. Companies headquartered in the U.S. with overseas operations maintain a frequent exchange of employees. A total of 44 different native languages are spoken by students within the public school system.

Columbus has received numerous national and international awards. Its modern architecture is acclaimed around the world. 

World Headquarters – Cummins Inc.

Columbus is ranked sixth in the nation for Innovative Architectural Design by the American Institute of Architects. It has also been recognized as one of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in America, one of the Safest Metropolitan Areas, (America’s Safest Cities),  One of the Best Places to Live and Launch a Business, (Fortune Small Business Magazine) and one of top Historical Places in the World (National Geographic Traveler Magazine).

According to Nick Jr. Magazine Columbus is on of the Most Playful Towns in the U.S.

Columbus has developed a community brand that represents the reaction of many visitors to the community. Unexpected. UnforgettableThe city is currently in process of revitalizing the downtown and creating a Columbus Entertainment District. The City strives to be the very best community of its size in the country. CAMEO will work towards that goal by ensuring that the community’s growing diversity is recognized and appreciated.

CAMEO By-laws 
The nine founding associations adopted the by-laws in April 2009. The link above provides information regarding the organizational structure.

International Center of Indianapolis
32 E. Washington St, Ste. 1625 | Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone (317) 955-5150 info@icenterindy.org 

Nationalities Council of Indiana, Inc.
P.O. Box 1623
Indianapolis, IN 462062013 Multicultural Calendar 
The calendar provided detailed information regarding multi-cultural celebrations worldwide.

Recommended Reading

The Rise of the Creative Class by Dr. Richard Florida

In a knowledge-based economy, “talent powers economic growth, and diversity and openness attract talent. Companies increasingly will go where talented people are located.” 

Florida makes a convincing case that creative occupations are growing and to successfully compete, companies and regions need to embrace, not just tolerate, all forms of diversity—immigrants, people of many faiths, people with diverse opinions, and gays. 

Live First, Work Second by Rebecca Ryan
Review by Dr. Richard Florida

“Live first, work second” is a sentiment I often hear in my travels around the country and the world. Regardless of their zip code, their native language, or their vocation, members of the Creative Class place as much emphasis on where and how they live as where they work. It’s a core premise of Rebecca’s book, and a story that must be told.

In my experience in working with Rebecca and her team at Next Generation Consulting they are one of the most reliable sources for CEO’s, mayors, legislators, economic developers, and non-profit leaders who want to attract and retain the next generation of creative workers to their community or organization.

In a very real way, Live First, Work Second helps us see our organizations and institutions through the lens of this newest crop of creatives, so that we can adjust and align in ways that will draw them in.