CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A multicultural celebration took place at a local charter school Wednesday night, with a guest appearance from a Holyoke Councilor At Large elect.

Students at the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School designed Wednesday night’s event filled with performances from student artists and musicians. Newly-elected City Councilor Jose Maldonado spoke, he told 22News the core of his speech was humanity, and how culture plays huge role.

“As a brown man, born and raised in the United States, there’s this part there’s a sense of being stripped of your identity in order to assimilate to be part of society,” said Maldonado. “Tonight’s speech is really tapping into who you are and who you’re meant to be, and owning that part of your story and owning who you are.”

Maldonado plans to bring those values to the city of Holyoke. He was voted into a city councilor at-large position back in November.