The Colorado Springs Diversity Forum received a $25,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation’s state giving program.

CSDF was established in 2005 to create opportunities for local citizens and businesses to acknowledge diversity in the Colorado Springs area. The National League of Cities awarded the program its city cultural diversity award last year.

The grant will be used to fund programming that targets and improves communication, community acknowledgement of its cultural history, opportunities to experience cultural difference, outlets for business diversity practices and educational opportunities about diversity issues.

The grant will also help CSDF gear up for 2012 when it will partner with the City of Fujiyoshida, Colorado Springs’ sister city, to re-create the Yoshida (Fire) Himatsuri Festival.

The Fire Celebration, which honors Mt. Fuji, has been held in Fujiyoshida for 600 years. It will take a new form at the 2012 Everybody Welcome festival, with highlights of traditional performances of Taiko drumming, spectacular fire shrines, and other Japanese cultural offerings.