In the Oxford community, the UniDiversity festival also helps to shine a light on local communities and organizations such as the Ohio Latin Fairs Commission, the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, which all aim to promote and improve the development of Hispanic and Latino communities in the area.
“Everybody knows that without collaboration, human diversity cannot be as successful as it can be.” Rioja Velarde said.
To further highlight these collaborations, UniDiversity’s information fair section of the festival helped to give a platform for organizations in the area.
D. Ellis Rates, Miami University’s Associate Director of Intercultural Initiatives, said his goal is not only reeling in a large number of organizations to the fair, but a diverse array as well.
“My ultimate goal was to get 15 or more organizations to be at the fair, the next part is making sure we have a wide variety of people represented,” Rates said. “We reached out to people who have more overarching lanes or overarching information to give out to folks.”
In doing so, Rates said he was able to secure representation from both on campus, and from nearby areas such as Cincinnati, Fairfield, and Middletown.
In helping to create UniDiversity’s information fair, Rates said he was proud to be able to help others expose themselves to different cultural experiences and aspects.
“It feels amazing, especially because part of my professional philosophy is that the more you expose yourself to difference, to otherness, the richer your life will be,” Rates said. “In a perfect world, people are really taking in the information on these tables, they really are getting a chance to have a conversation with the people at the table and hopefully that conversation will lead to deeper understanding.”
HOW TO GO
What: UniDiversity Festival
When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Oxford’s Uptown Park, High and Main streets
More: Schedule of events online at miamioh.edu/global-initiatives/cawc/annual-programs/unidiversity-festival/index.html.