Celebration Archives

2022 - Latinx Community-Building: Cultivating Change in Higher Education

Keynote Speaker: Leo Calderón, Former Director of Latino Student Affairs at Northern Kentucky University
Moderator: José Amador, Associate Professor, Global and Intercultural Studies (Latin American, Latino/a, and Caribbean Studies) | At-Large Member, Association of Latinx Faculty and Staff, ALFAS


  • Martha Castañeda, Professor of Foreign Language /ESOL Education | Department of Teacher Education
  • Maricela López, Latin American Studies, Student | Member, Alpha Psi Lambda National Inc.; and UNIDOS, Association of Latin American Students
  • Christian Ponce, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications | Advisor, Alpha Psi Lambda National Inc., & UNIDOS, Association of Latin American Students
  • Elias Tzoc, Department Head - Create + Innovate, Miami University Libraries | President, Association of Latinx Faculty and Staff, ALFAS

Latinx students are predicted to make up more than 25% of the undergraduate student population by 2026. Such an important change will also require changes such as simplifying application processes, developing enrollment campaigns in Spanish, strengthening community building, establishing mentoring programs, and much more. In this keynote presentation, Leo Calderón will talk about his 30+ years of experience building campus and community allies to help Latinx students in the Cincinnati Tri-State area. Then a panel of Miami faculty, staff, and students will share their experiences in starting initiatives that support current and future Latinx students at Miami University.

Thursday, March 31, 2022 | Miami University Art Museum Auditorium

A proclamation on César Chávez Day, 2022
MARCH 30, 2022 | The White House, Presidential Actions


5 p.m. | Keynote, followed by a panel discussion

6 p.m. | Reception

Keynote Speaker

Leo Calderón | Former Director of Latino Student Affairs, Northern Kentucky University

Mr. Leo Calderón retired in December of 2021 from Northern Kentucky University after serving over thirty-six years. During his impressive tenure, in May 2001, he assumed the position of Director for Latino Student Initiatives formally known as Latino Programs and Services and Latino Student Affairs at Northern Kentucky University. His current role as Director has included providing academic guidance to students, served as liaison with faculty, staff, administrators and key community leaders to promote Latino student success. He is responsible for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs and activities designed for the retention of Latino students.

Mr. Calderón has been contacted by major corporations, schools and non-profit organizations about how best to deal with the growing Latino population. He has provided insights and regularly holds workshops.

Prior to assuming the position of Director for Latino Programs and Services, Mr. Calderón was the Associate Director for the Department of Public Safety at Northern Kentucky University. He also served as an Executive Assistant to the President for Northern Kentucky University.

Extensive civic involvement has been part of Mr. Calderón's career at Northern Kentucky University, including leadership positions with the Red Cross Board, HealthPoint Family Health Care Board, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Community Advisory Board, Brighton Center Board, Su Casa Board, Centro de Amistad Board, Northern Kentucky Soccer League, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) “The Voice” Publication Advisory Board, HACU Scholarship Reviewing Committee, co-founder of the Ohio Tri-State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Educating Latinos for Kentucky’s Future, Women’s Crisis Center, BRIDGES for a Just Community, MyNKY, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Board, Behringer-Crawford Museum Board of Trustees, English Language Learning Foundation. He is currently President and Chair of Esperanza Latino Center of Northern Kentucky and Education Chair for League of United Latin American Citizens Ohio. In October of 2019, he became Board Member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, and in January 2022 he also joined as Board Member of the Foundation For Healthy Kentucky.

From 2012-2016, he was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to the Kentucky Board of Education. Under this leadership he served on Kentucky Health Committee and participated in the Global Education Leaders Program.

Mr. Calderón holds a Masters in Public Administration from Northern Kentucky University, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, and an Associate of Arts in Psychology from Thomas More College.

Mr. Calderón resides in Bellevue, Kentucky with his wife Kathy and they have three children, Sarah, Adam, and Daniel and seven grandchildren.

2021 - Our Roots, Our Stories

Virtual Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 1, 2021

4:30 pm EDT

Guest panelists will share their personal stories and facilitate a reflection about the importance of creating meaning of their cultural heritage roots and core values while embracing the challenges and opportunities as Latinx community living, studying, working in the U.S.

Guest Panelists

Daisy Hernandez | Associate Professor in Creative Writing | Miami University

Daisy Hernández is the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism. The former editor of ColorLines magazine, she has reported for National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate, and she has written for NPR's All Things Considered and CodeSwitch.

Her essays and fiction have appeared in Aster(ix), Bellingham Review, Brevity, Dogwood, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, Juked, and Rumpus among other journals. A contributing editor for the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, Daisy is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Miami University in Ohio.

Alejandra Bello, Undergraduate student | Creative Writing and Women's Gender and Sexuality Major | Miami University

Alejandra Bello is a senior Creative Writing and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies double major, with minors in History and Latin American Studies. She is an immigrant born and raised in Venezuela who moved to the United States in her early teens. She's a firm believer in exploring the intersectionality amongst the Latine community, especially in college campuses, and advocates for diversity and inclusion.

Marianna Gay, Undergraduate student | Speech Pathology & Audiology Major | Miami University

Marianna Gay is a junior Speech Pathology and Audiology Major with a Minor in Spanish. She is the current Vice President of UNIDOS, Association of Latin American Students and works as a writing consultant in the English Language Learner Writing Center and as a campus tour guide! She believes that diversity is such an important part of the college experience as well as life in general and is always working to help educate and engage others in Latinx culture as well as all cultures. Sigue pa'lante!

Alexandra Hernandez, Undergraduate student | Spanish Major, Latin American Studies Minor | Miami University

Alexandra Hernandez is a senior, double majoring in International Studies and Spanish, with a minor in Latin American Studies. She is currently the Institutional Ambassador for Unidos and is passionate about creating a diverse and inclusive environment on campus. Originally from Cleveland and with roots from Puerto Rico, Alexandra loves supporting and uplifting the Latinx community and hopes to continue to advocate on their behalf for the remainder of her time at Miami.

Victoria Négron, Undergraduate student | Psychology Major, Spanish Minor | Miami University

Victoria Negrón (She/They/Elle) is a senior Psychology major with a minor in Spanish. They were born and raised in Southwest Ohio and their parents are from Puerto Rico and New Mexico. As the president of UNIDOS, Association of Latin American. Students she works to create a space of comfort, discussion, and education for the Latine community on campus. They are a believer in the power of solidarity between marginalized groups on campus and believes we are strongest when we all work together for better treatment of our communities.

Daisy Rodriguez, Graduate assistant | Office of Residence Life | Miami University

Daisy Rodriguez (She/Her/Hers/Ella) is a second year in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Master's program and a daughter of two immigrants from Mexico. Daisy is originally from California where she attended California State University, Chico for her Bachelor's Degrees in Public Administration and Political Science with the option in Legal Studies. In the fall Daisy will be attending Penn State University to pursue her Ph.D. in Higher Education where she will conduct research that will examine the identity development and resilience of LatinX students, intersected with the complicated reliance of success through a post-colonial, anti-racist, and critical lenses.

2020 - canceled due to COVID pandemic


Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm worker union with César Chávez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chávez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century—and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.

Dolores Huerta is a co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America and a living testimonial of “La Causa (Long Live Our Cause),” and “Sí se puede (Yes We Can official slogan of the UFW Currently, Dolores Huerta Foundation creates leadership opportunities for community organizing, leadership development, civic engagement, and policy advocacy.

Reflecting on why “La Causa”

After the screening of Dolores film guest panelists will share their personal stories of activism and facilitate a reflection making sense and creating meaning of the core values of La Causa” today:

  • organizing for social change and environmental justice,
  • being empowered by principles of nonviolence, equality, justice and dignity for all, and
  • giving back to the community (service).

Guest Panelists

  • Daisy Hernandez | Assistant Professor, Department of English, Miami University
  • Nathan Haltman | Kinesiology Major, Miami University ’22
  • Alexandra Hopun | Biology Major, Latin American Studies Minor, Miami University '19
  • Roxanne Ornelas | Associate Professor, Department of Geography

A path for taking action“Sí se puede” (Yes, we can)

Information about opportunities for civic engagement and collective action will be available at the event. The Oxford League of Women Voters will host a voter registration table (TBA).

Film Screening and Panel Discussion Details

Dolores screening, 90 minute film directed by Peter Bratt


Wednesday, April 3, 2019


Reception: 5:45pm

Program: 6-8pm


Great Room, 212 MacMillan Hall

(531 E. Spring St, Oxford OH 45056)

actress wearing a cowboy hat; speaking into megaphone actress wearing a cowboy hat; speaking into megaphone
 woman looking out into the distance when hand raised to forehead  woman looking out into the distance when hand raised to forehead
Dolores movie scene; black and white; woman speaking into many microphones, news folks around her holding the microphones and cameras Dolores movie scene; black and white; woman speaking into many microphones, news folks around her holding the microphones and cameras
actress face profile, black and white actress face profile, black and white

Watch the Film Trailer


The Only Home I Know, My American Dream

Film screening and panel discussion

In this special half hour film collaboration between *My American Dreams and Define American, former Washington Post reporter, Jose Antonio Vargas told the story behind his high profile exposure of himself as an undocumented “alien.” His story and those of six other young DACA recipients are told. Panel discussion will address issues related to the protection of young immigrants and their families from deportation, and strategies to take action.

Guest speaker

Rhian Miller, filmmaker, and Miami University Western alumna


Miami University Students

The National Sanctuary Movement

Panel presentation and discussion

During the panel, the guest speakers discussed the National Sanctuary Movement in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities across the U.S., how their faith communities decided to join the coalition and what their commitment to be a Sanctuary or Solidarity congregation means, and how students can be involved.

Related sources:

Guest speakers

The Very Rev. Gail Greenwell, Dean, Christ Church Cathedral
Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp, Rabbi, Temple Sholom
Shaykh Ismaeel Chartier, Imam, Clifton Mosque

The Spirituality of Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Workers Movement

A Contemplative dinner and Breaking of the Bread for Peace and Justice

This program will provide an opportunity for people from diverse faith-and-meaning-making backgrounds to come together to reflect on the spiritual values that drove Cesar Chavez’s work. Dinner was sponsored by the Religious, Spiritual, and Secular Initiative, Office of Community Engagement and Service


John-Charles Duffy, Department of Comparative Religion

Co-sponsored by the Center for American and World Cultures; the College of Education, Health and Society; and the Office of Community Engagement and Service; and in partnership with the Association of Latin and American Students; the Interfaith Center; the Office of Diversity Affairs and Somos Miami.

For co-curricular connections contact Jacqueline Rioja, associate director, CAWC |
Latin(o) American and Caribbean Initiatives.


“Beyond the Struggle: Political and Social Justice Activism in Higher Education –Nuestras historias (Our stories)”

Feminist author and Miami University Assistant Professor Daisy Hernández will discuss her journey as an activist and the power of coalition building through creative writing. She will be joined by graduate students Wendy De León, Bianca Zamora, Esther Claros Berlioz and Angel Raymundo, who will share what it means to be an activist in 2017 and the influence of familia in their activism.

Daisy Hernandez

Keynote speaker Daisy Hernández, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Miami University, OH. 

Graduate student panelists

Wendy De León is a master’s student in the department of Gerontology at Miami University. As a Latina, Wendy is interested in the health and well-being of Latino older adults as well as the services and programs available to this population.

Esther Maria Claros Berlioz is a doctoral student in the department of Educational Leadership in the Leadership, Culture, and Curriculum program at Miami University. Originally from Honduras, Esther came to the United States to pursue her dreams of studying abroad in the U.S.A. Her research interests include immigration reform and how it affects Latino and Latin American youth, the use of art as resistance and the biopolitics of immigration.

Angel Raymundo is a first-year master’s student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program at Miami University. Angel got his bachelors of Science degree in Psychology at Iowa State University where he helped form a student activist group called Leaders United for Change (LUCHA).

Bianca Zamora is a second year student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education master’s program. She currently works as a research assistant with Dr. David Perez II on The National Study on Latino Male Achievement in Higher Education and serves as an advisor for Miami University’s Sigma Lambda Gamma, a Latina-based sorority. Growing up in a farm labor camp, she saw the power of the Latina women to mobilize, heal, and resist systemic oppression which inspires her passions to work with Latina youth and college womxn. Her research is centered on womxn of Color graduate students experiences of healing and resistance as well as bisexual latinidad in a postcolonial society.

YouTube video Panelists interviewed by Lorena Mora-Mowry, Mujer Latina Today, Media partner