Annual Latin American and Caribbean UniDiversity Festival

A student enjoy the food
Que Lindo es Panama performs onstage, 2019
Amazon John holds a snake and makes an excited face at the camera
Cincy Brazil performers pose
People at info tables
Charanga band in performance
League of women voters table with visitors
Kids are enjoy the concert
Charanga performers
People visit an animal
miami students hold somo banners

National Hispanic-Latino American Heritage Month Celebration

UniDiversity welcomes the Class of 2026!

The UniDiversity Festival is a collaborative initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in our community, and it is also a chance to learn more about the valuable contributions of the Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean peoples and cultures. Every year the UniDiversity festival is part of a month full of activities encompassed within the National Hispanic Latino American Heritage Month at Miami University, and Oxford Ohio. This community event is a portal for intercultural connections and civic engagement.

Program

5:30 p.m.

6:45 p.m.

  • Welcome to the UniDiversity Festival Celebration by Elizabeth Mullenix, Interim Provost, Miami University
  • Address of the National Hispanic Heritage Month by Lilleana Cavanaugh, Executive Director, Ohio Hispanic Latino Affairs Commission

Performances featured on the stage

5:45 p.m. | Silly Safaris, live animal shows starring RYAN the LION

6:15 p.m.Qué Lindo es Panamá! dance troupe

7 p.m. | Cincy Brazil Samba Dance

7:40 p.m. | Strolling by Alpha Psi Lambda National, Inc. and Flags Parade

7:50 p.m. | Intermission

8 p.m. | Charanga LF, Latin band; and dancing demo by Chevere FL

9 p.m. | Closing of the festival

UniDiversity Festival 2022

View this event on the Miami University Events Calendar!

Friday, September 30, 2022
5:30-9 p.m.
Oxford Uptown Parks
High St. & Main St., Oxford, OH 45056

Alternative venue in case of severe weather conditions: Wilks Theater (room 1056), Armstrong Student Center, 550 E. Spring St.

Dancers from Que Lindo es Panama

Other Activities at the Parks

Information Fair

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Local community organizations and Miami University programs, departments and student organizations will share information about their programs and events, work and services related to Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino communities in the U.S.A.

Participants

Campaigns

The Oxford League of Women Voters will host a voter registration table at the UniDiversity Festival information fair. This is a great opportunity for you to join the festivities, and also register to vote!

Entertainment at the Parks

Amazon John and Silly Safari, Live animal booth
Honey Hill Farm, Petting Zoo
Oxford Lane Library's Book Bike (bilingual literature), scavenger hunt, paper marigold flowers activity and more
Fairfield Lane Library
Strolling Balloon Artist, Cincinnati Circus
Traditional games sponsored by Oxford NAACP

Food Vendors

A taste of traditional cuisines from Latin America and the Caribbean

  • El Cardenal, Taqueria
  • Just Jerks, Jamaican cuisine
  • Kona Ice, Shaved Ice
  • Sabor Alaniz, Mexican Street Corn

Watch the Video

Recorded 2018

UniDiversity Festival in the News

(in Spanish) Video Promo with Jacqueline Rioja Velarde, Festival de UniDiversidad (Mujer Latina Today, LLC, 9/22,2022)

(in Spanish) Video Interview, UniDiversity Festival with Jacqueline Rioja Velarde (La Mega Cincy 97.7 FM, 9/21/2022)

Miami’s annual Latin American and Caribbean UniDiversity Festival is Sept. 30 (Miami University, 9/20/2022)

UniDiversity Festival 2022 (Global Initiatives, 9/13/2022)

UnivDiversity 2021 Photo Essay by Miami University photographer Scott Kissell

UniDiversity Festival 2021 Returns to Uptown Parks (Global Initiatives, 9/1/2021)

Miami's annual Latin American and Caribbean UniDiversity Festival Sept. 17 (Miami University, 9/8/2021)

Miami's annual UniDiversity Festival returns with live, in-person family events on September 17 (College of Arts and Science, 9/13/2021)

“This is the language of unity”: Unidiversity Festival returns, embraces community (The Miami Student, 9/23/2021)

 

Sponsors

The UniDiversity Festival is sponsored by Global Initiatives’ Center for American and World Cultures; the Barahona Latino Resource Fund/Alpha Psi Lambda; Enjoy Oxford! - Oxford Visitors Bureau; the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Miami University Regionals; Miami Performing Arts Series; Silly Safaris, Live Animal Shows; and organized in collaboration with Miami University: Alpha Psi Lambda, Co-ed Fraternity; Association of Latin American Students UNIDOS; Association of Latin American Students, ALAS -MU Regionals; Association of Latinx Faculty and Staff; Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion; Department of Spanish and Portuguese; Latin American, Latino/a and Caribbean Studies, GIC; Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc.; and in partnership with the City of Oxford; Miami University President’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion; NAACP Oxford Chapter; the Ohio Commission on Hispanic Latino Affairs; Oxford Lane Libraries; Miami University Alumni Association; and Oxford Multicultural Family Alliance.

Media Partners: Mujer Latina Today, LLC | University Communications and Marketing, Miami University

Logo, Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, State of Ohio

Silly Safaris logo

Performing Arts Series logo

Lane Libraries logo

NAACP logo

For co-curricular connections, partnership and sponsorship opportunities, and more information about this program contact Jacqueline Rioja Velarde (riojavjd@miamioh.edu), associate director, Global Initiatives' CAWC, and chair, UniDiversity program planning committee.

Take Our Survey!

Share your experience with us! Comparta su experiencia con nosotros!

Related Events

Miami University Events: Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

UniDiversity Planning Committee

Student Organizations

Alpha Psi Lambda
Association of Latin American Students, UNIDOS
Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc.

Community Partners

Kim Daggy, Enjoy Oxford, Oxford Visitors Bureau
Rebecca Smith, Oxford Lane Library
Ann Wengler, NAACP Oxford Chapter

Campus Collaborators

Juan Carlos Albarran, Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies GIC
Gwenmarie Ewing, Performing Arts Series, College of Creative Arts
Paula Gandara, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Patti Liberatore, Performing Arts Series, College of Creative Arts
Susan Meikle, University Communications and Marketing
Karen O’Hara, Communications and Marketing, Global Initiatives
Christian Ponce, University Communications and Marketing
D. Ellis Rates, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion
Dan Sinetar, International Student Center, ISSS, Global Initiatives
Alicia Castillo Shresta, Association of Latinx Faculty and Staff

UniDiversity Student Intercultural Engagement Coordinators

Mari Hernandez, UNIDOS - Association of Latin American Students
Nikki Rose Lescano, Alpha Psi Lambda
Efrain Perez, UNIDOS - Association of Latin American Students

UniDiversity Intercultural Ambassador
Lindsay Douglass, Global Initiatives | Center for American and World Cultures

Chair, UniDiversity Program, Planning Committee
Jacqueline Rioja Velarde, Global Initiatives | Center for American and World Cultures - International Student Center

Hispanic Latino American Organizations at Miami University

Unidos, Latinx Hispanic student organization.

Our goal is to create an environment where Latinxs and Hispanics can encourage the unity of diversity at Miami University. Our mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of diversity on campus through the celebration of Latinx and Hispanic culture. This organization strives to be a sustainable support system that will help each individual with academic, professional and social growth. We’re here to create a family away from home, somewhere we feel we belong. We have a diverse group of students with cultural roots from all over Latin and South America, Spain, and the Caribbean. We envision a more inclusive campus, one donde somos UNIDOS juntos!
By Latinx, for everyone.

The Lex Latinx Society

Open to all students, the Lex Latinx Society is Miami's first Latinx pre-professional organization. Encouraging and supporting Latinx individuals entering the legal field, we provide guidance and opportunities to students interested in the legal field. Through networking, outreach activities, and workshops, we give students the guidance necessary with preparing for and facing the law school application, acceptance, and financial aid process.

Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority

Sigma Lambda Gamma is a national, multicultural sorority that aims to empower women from all over the world. We are Miami's only multicultural sorority whose mission is to empower our sisterhood and our community through the valuing of cultural diversity.

SACNAS

The goal of SACNAS is to further the work of, to improve the effectiveness of, and to enhance the public understanding of and appreciation for Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other underrepresented minorities in science. SACNAS will cooperate with other individuals, organizations, clubs, and other groups whose purposes include the achievement of public understanding for Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other underrepresented minorities in the sciences. SACNAS will promote student recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities at Miami University and provide a forum for students from different science majors and science related majors to come together for academic, community service and social activities.

ALFAS, Association of Latino Faculty and Staff

This organization has been formed by employees of Miami University (Hamilton, Middletown, and Oxford campuses) to foster Latino/a (defined as Luso-Hispanics) representation, improve their work conditions, and enrich the social and cultural environment for all Miami faculty, staff, and students.

Accessibility Statement

To request accommodations (i.e., sign language interpreters, captioning, materials in alternative format, etc.), please contact the Miller Center for Student Disability Services at (513) 529-1541, 7-1-1 (TTY-TDD), at least 2 business days prior to the event to ensure the smooth delivery of services. For more information about accessible parking and other facilities, visit the City of Oxford Parking webpage.

UniDiversity Scholarship

The UniDiversity Scholarship offers support for underrepresented students, with a preference for Latino/Latina students. Interested students are invited to submit a statement of need detailing the way in which you would choose to use the scholarship and how it would benefit your academic and personal journey.

Make a donation to the UniDiversity Scholarship

Volunteer

Are you a student or community member looking for volunteer opportunities? Contact:

Dan Sinetar (dansinetar@MiamiOH.edu), assistant director, International Students and Scholar Services. Coordinator of UniDiversity Volunteers Team

Volunteer for the Festival

Information Fair

Are you interested in sharing information about your organization? Contact:

D. Ellis Rates (ratesde@MiamiOH.edu), associate director, Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion. Coordinator of the UniDiversity Information Fair.

Sign Up for the Information Fair

Student Engagement

Are you a student interested in an engaging intercultural experience? Contact:

Nikki Rose Lescano (lescannr@MiamiOH.edu), Social and Public Relations Chair of Alpha Psi Lambda. President of the Multicultural Greek Council. Coordinator of UniDiversity Students Intercultural Engagement.

Give a Gift

Please consider contributing to the Latin American and Caribbean UniDiversity Festival Fund.

Gifts to Global Initiatives contribute to the comprehensive internationalization of Miami University and help provide diverse cultural and global learning experiences for students, faculty, and the community.

Previous Festivals

2021

Proclamation of the National Hispanic-Latino American Heritage Month by the City of Oxford (Tuesday, September 7, 2021)

Program

5:30 pm

  • Proclamation of the National Hispanic Heritage Month by Mike Smith, Mayor, City of Oxford
  • Opening remarks by Marianna Gay, president, UNIDOS, Miami University; and Judge Marilyn Zayas, Ohio's First Appellate District

7:00 pm

  • Welcome to the 18th celebration of the UniDiversity Festival by Professor Cristina Alcalde, vice president of Miami University’s President’s Office for Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, and Manuel Lopez Ramirez, Chairperson of the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission.
  • The Monarch Butterfly Program by McGuffey Montessori School

Performances featured onstage

  • 5:45 pm | Amazon John and Silly Safari, live animal show
  • 6:30 pm | Duo Rocha Gândara, Brazilian music
  • 7:15 pm | Maribel Andrade, Criollisima con sentimiento, Peruvian music group featuring AfroPeruvian dances
  • 8:00 pm | Jaime Morales-Matos and Son del Caribe, Latin band
  • 9:00 pm | Closing of the festival

2020 (Virtual Events)

Proclamation of the National Hispanic Latino American Heritage Month by the City of Oxford OH

Tuesday, September 15, 2020– Streaming online

Vulnerable Dreamers (Soñadores Vulnerables) Photography Exhibit

By Ligia Cuevas Johnson, photographer and curator

October 5 - November 30, 2020

Images of children photographed by Ligia CuevasLigia Cuevas Johnson's photographs of Latino children capture the essence of a bright and beautiful generation which could—should—become a tangible asset to America's future.

Business hours | MacMillan Hall, Ground Level
International Student Center | MMH 017 | Global Initiatives

Sponsored by the Center for American and World Cultures

About Ligia Cuevas Johnson

Ligia Cuevas holding her cameraMexican-born photographer Ligia Cuevas Johnson encapsulates the dignity, honesty and optimism of America’s Latino children in her collection of 25 black-and-white photographs that record the children in their yards, neighborhoods, tiendas and churches. The photographer hopes the exhibit will help viewers gain a higher sense of the young peoples’ normalcy, humor, intelligence and place.

Ligia (“Li”) Cuevas Johnson, a highly trained, creative photographer, has photographed on assignment in Paris, London, Milan, Dubai, Mexico City, Merida, Vancouver, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Key West. She’s worked with her husband, a business journalist and Ansel Adams trained photographer, for more than 20 years and has also worked with Kurt Marcus, Joe McNally and numerous other extraordinary photographers.

Her photo work has appeared in Latino magazine and other publications; further, she has won four awards at the Kentucky Professional Photographers Association.

DO YOU KNOW?
Ligia Cuevas Johnson was the first donor of the UniDiversity Scholarship Fund. She donated $500.00. This is the first multicultural scholarship of this nature with preference for Latino Hispanic students.

Related sources

About Ligia Cuevas Johnson and the exhibit

Vulnerable Dreamers

Ligia Cuevas Johnson: Colección Fotográfica Soñadores Vulnerables (en Español)

Celebrating the Day of the Dead Traditions

Day of the Dead altar displayMaking Meaning of Loss and Resilience in the Time of Pandemic

Friday, October 30, 5:00-7:00pm
MacMillan Hall, Ground Level, Lounge

This year the traditional altar for the Day of the Dead will honor people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The display of the altar portrays the broad impact of the pandemic on the overall wellbeing of Black and Latino Ohioans.

Hosted by Unidos -Latinx Student organization, the Center for American and World Cultures, and the International Student Center

The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is an ancient tradition dating before the conquest of Mexico by Europeans. Just as it was reinvented to be syncretic with the Catholic tradition of All Saint's Day, so it continues to be continually reinvented as a contemporary living tradition, often with political overtones. ~Giovanni Batz, former assistant professor of Anthropology, Miami University.

Read more and sign up to visit: Celebrating the Day of the Dead Traditions

Miami University Art Museum Events

Broadsides & Calaveras: José Guadalupe Posada

Fall 2020 - Online Exhibition and Related Events
Miami University Art Museum

Other Related Events

Encuentro en el Smithsonian: Rubén Rada y Pedrito Martinez

Thursday, September 17– Streaming online

Heritage and History Month Series - Smithsonian Folklife Festival
RSVP on Facebook site

LULAC 15th Annual Scholarship Celebration

Thursday, October 1– Streaming online

LULAC, League of United Latin American Citizens, Cincinnati OH.
6:00 - 6:40 PM via LULAC Facebook Live and from 6:45 - 7:15 PM via Zoom.

Your Story Matters Cafecito

Thursday, October 8– Livestream online

2:00 pm. Hosted by Chairman, Latino Leaders Network, Mickey Ibarra. The event will include a panel of Latino and Afro-Latinx youth with special guest remarks by Anika Alexa and an interactive Q&A. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube.

RSVP - Free and open to the public.

Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati Virtual Annual Gala and Scholarships 2020

Thursday, October 15– Streaming online

5:00 pm. Guest speaker: Dr. O'dell Moreno Owens, President and Chief Executive Officer, Interact for Health and InterAct for Change. For more information visit Cincinnati Hispanic Heritage Month.

Beyond the Day of the Dead: José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) as a Revolutionary Artist

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

1:15 - 2:35 PM

Robert Wicks, Director, Miami University Art Museum

Posada’s dramatic visual language struck a deep chord in the Mexican popular consciousness during a time of revolution and has inspired generations of artists and printmakers, even influencing Hollywood films like Coco (2017). This presentation explores the indigenous Mexican origins of Posada’s art of social satire and what makes his art so engaging.

In conjunction with the current Miami University Art Museum Exhibition - Broadsides & Calaveras: José Guadalupe Posada - see virtual exhibition here.

2019

The Center for American and World Cultures, Global Initiatives appreciate the generous contributions of the Barahona Latino Fund; the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Services; the Oxford Community Art Center; and Silly Safaris; and the committed support of our partners: Unidos, Miami University Hispanic/Latinx Student Organization; Lex Latinx Society; Sigma Lambda Gamma; Alpha Phi Omega; the City of Oxford; the Department of Spanish and Portuguese; the Latin American, Latino/a, and Caribbean Studies Program; the McGuffey Montessori School; Miami University Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion; Miami University Association of Latino/a Faculty and Staff; Miami University Performing Arts Series; NAACP Oxford Chapter; Oxford Lane Library; Oxford Visitors Bureau; and Talawanda School District.

Our great gratitude to the volunteers for their enthusiasm, dedication and hard work; to Oxford local businesses for their generous prize donations and support; to the local Latinx food vendors and performer groups that allowed us to enjoy the diverse cuisines and traditional music and dances of Latin American and the Caribbean cultures; and to the community organizations that participated in the information fair, sharing resources related to community services, advocacy and/or civic action opportunities available.