Celebration of Multicultural Unity will be held at MSU Moorhead Thursday, April 16, combining two traditional campus events that were postponed due to weather and the flood: the Unity Conference and the Celebration of Nations. Both are free and open to the public.

The Unity Conference¬¬––focusing on Latino culture, history, education and legislation––will be held Thursday afternoon in the university’s student union ballroom. It will feature Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, who began her career in journalism as a copy editor for United Press International (UPI). She followed that with 17 years as a newspaper and TV reporter in Boston and Dallas. Her most recent professional work was as border bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News. Her research interests include the intersection of oral history and journalism, and U.S. Latinos and the news media.

She’ll present two sessions in MSUM’s student union ballroom:

  • At 10:30 a.m., she’ll talk on “The U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project: Filling in the Gaps.” The project was begun in 1999 in response to gaps in the historical record about Latino veterans of the WWII generation. Since then, the project has videotaped interviews with over 670 men and women, helped to develop a play, published three books, has become a go-to for photographs of Latinos and Latinas from the 1930s and later. It has also taken a leading role in ensuring that the WWII narrative includes Latinos.
  • At 1:30 p.m., she’ll talk on  “Media Coverage of Latinos: We’re Not There Yet.”   Rivas-Rodriguez will take a look at the history of how news media cover Latino issues. She’ll also discuss the progress made, the implications of the coverage, and what we can all do to ensure more inclusive, accurate and fair coverage.

Entertainment, food, music, culture and fashions from around the world will be showcased by students in the annual Celebration of Nations from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, also in the student union. Admission is $1 for adults. Children 12 and under are free. All food tickets are 50 cents. Besides the traditional entertain provided by students, Mariachi Mexico of St. Paul will also perform.

Both events will return to their regular format next year.

Visit the Multicultural Affairs website for more information (www.mnstate.edu/cultural/unityconference2009.htm), or contact Greg Wymer 477-2940 or Abner Arauza 477-2721.