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Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center

Cultural Heritage Month Programming

The University of Dayton and the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center is committed to recognizing the histories, cultures, experiences, and contributions of diverse populations. Through cultural programming, MEC supports the University of Dayton’s academic mission by providing educational opportunities that assist students in exploring new experiences while also enhancing their understanding of their cultural identity. In collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and the Dayton community, MEC seeks to provide thought-provoking co-curricular programming that supports the personal development of all students, while also influencing the campus climate. 

Educate, Empower, Engage

Individuals that participate in Cultural Heritage Month programming will:

  • learn new knowledge about their culture or a culture different than their own.
  • be exposed to diverse perspectives and experiences that will affirm their cultural identity.
  • be exposed to experiences that complement the academic mission of the University.

Programming Schedules

2022 Events

Thursday, November 3: MEC Day Lunch – Native American Heritage Month

 Join the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center in celebrating the cultures of Native communities by dining in fellowship. This lunch is free and open to all students, faculty and staff.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Alumni Hall MEC Family Room
Friday, November 5: 'Lake of Betrayal' Documentary Screening and Dialogue

 The Diversity Peer Educators will show this critically important documentary on the "Land Back" movement and afterwards will lead an engaging discussion highlighting the historical and current injustices faced by Native People in the United States. This event will be PATH eligible. Please RSVP on 1850.

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Adele 106



Thursday, November 17: Indigenous Women Panel Discussion

 As part of the Feminist Educational Series a panel of students with Native American heritage will share about their experiences and what their identity and culture means to them.

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Location TBD



NPAC 2022: Embodied Knowledges: Indigenous Ways of Being, Thinking and Doing

Main sessions, Nov. 7-9

Decolonizing Your Pantry

6-7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 7, via Zoom

Every time we walk into a grocery store, we make a series of decisions that impact everything, from our bodies and minds to the air we breathe and the soil we walk upon. Colonial food systems provide lots of calories, but they are deficient in spiritual and emotional nourishment and they lack any connection to land and people. Food sovereignty is a vitally important movement that asks us to think about the systems that are supported by our grocery purchases. Join Luke and Linda Black Elk as they discuss simple and efficient ways to begin the process of decolonization on the path to food sovereignty.

Click here to register for this Zoom session

Language Revitalization & Gender Diversity

1:30-3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, via Zoom

Join Kai Minosh Pyle and Awanigiizhik Bruce for a conversation regarding their efforts to reclaim space in their languages for gender diversity. In addition to sharing specific Two-Spirit language and historical knowledge, they will discuss their process and journeys in reclaiming these teachings and the ways they have tried to spread what they have learned to other community members. Drawing on what they have learned over the years, they will offer stories to show why talking openly about gender diversity in language revitalization movements is critical for Indigenous nations to thrive.

Click here to register for the Zoom session


Community Arts Event

6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 4th floor of Fitz Hall, GEMnasium space

Leon Briggs will conduct a session on the "Seneca No Face Dolls," commonly known as corn husk dolls. Leon will discuss the story behind corn husk dolls, drawing upon traditional teachings about vanity, equality, and respect for all people in our communities, followed by walking participants through the steps of making their own corn husk doll. Please register below so we have sufficient supplies. 

Click here to register for the in-person Arts Event


Additional Events

Opening Blessing 

10-11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 7, Humanities Plaza (KU 222 alternate site in case of inclement weather)


Plant Talk/Green Space Walk with Leon Briggs

1:25-3:20 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, Humanities Plaza

Join Leon Briggs for a walking tour of the UD campus and close surrounding areas to learn about native plants and their roles in our eco-system as well as discussing finding, identifying and using Native plants and herbs for medicinal and nutritional purposes. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. 

Register for this session through AVIATE


Jewelry Making with Leon Briggs

3:35-4:50 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 4th floor Fitz Hall, GEMnasium space

Leon Briggs will discuss and demonstrate some traditional jewelry making techniques, followed by an opportunity to create your own pieces. 

Register for this session through AVIATE


Plant Talk/Green Space Walk with Leon Briggs

10:10 a.m.-12:05 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, Humanities Plaza

Join Leon Briggs for a walking tour of the UD campus and close surrounding areas to learn about native plants and their roles in our eco-system as well as discussing finding, identifying and using Native plants and herbs for medicinal and nutritional purposes. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. 

Register for this session through AVIATE



Other opportunities to learn:

Check out the University Libraries' Native American Heritage Resource Guide.

2022 Events

Thursday, February 3: Black Women Panel Discussion

Join the Womanist Empowered group as they host a panel of Black Women students at UD who will share their experiences and provide insight into what it means to be a Black Women student at the University of Dayton. Please register on 1850

4:00 P.M – 5:00 p.m.  Kennedy union Torch Lounge
Tuesday, February 8: Conversations with Ayana Contreras: "How We Got Here"

Join for an informal conversation with Chicago-based author and radio host, Ayana Contreras who will talk about career pathways and her own life journey.

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Heritage coffeehouse


Wednesday, February 9: "Energy Never Dies" Book Talk: Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago

Join us for a discussion with Chicago-based author and radio host, Ayana Contreras, on her book Energy Never Dies. Ayana is an award winning writer and story teller who will share insights from her work centering on Black triumph and empowerment.

3:35 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. Sears recital hall


Friday, February 11: Mourning /A/ BLKstars in Concert

Free and Open to the public! Mourning A BLKstar is a multi-generational, gender and genre non-conforming amalgam of Black Culture dedicated to servicing the stories and songs of the apocalyptic diaspora

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Sears recital hall


Saturday, February 12: BATU's Black Excellence Ball

The Black Excellence Ball is returning as a culmination to BATU Week and a highlight of Black History Month festivities. There will be a brief recognition ceremony, great music, a photo booth and a Black Excellence Gallery. Tickets are on sale now on 1850.

8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Kennedy union Ballroom


Friday, February 18: Black Diaspora Fashion Show

This fashion show will highlight the beauty of African and Black fashion designs and cultural outfits as well as the impact that Black people around the globe have had on fashion. Come celebrate Black beauty and learn about the history of fashion through the lens of the Black Diaspora.

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  Boll theatre, Kennedy union


4th Annual Maafa Commemoration Week 

Sunday, February 20: Inaugural Maafa Commemoration Lecture

Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Founder/CEO of WomanPreach! Inc., will serve as the inaugural lecturer for the Maafa Commemoration Lecture. 

The lecture will center on the theme “Maafa 2022: A Story of Resistance” which honors the experiences of Black women, from the 1500s to present day, chronicling their intersectional struggles for freedom and their refusal to abandon hope and joy. 

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Kennedy union ballroom


Sunday, February 20: Maafa Worship Service

As we begin our 4th Annual Maafa Commemoration Week we invite you to our Maafa Sunday Service with music, fellowship and sacred time to remember and celebrate our ancestors. Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Founder/CEO of WomanPreach! Inc., will serve as a Guest Preacher for this worship service.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Kennedy union ballroom


Monday, February 21: Abayomi Doll Making Workshop 

As part of the Maafa Commemoration Series, join the Multicultural Programming Council in learning about Abayomi Dolls and even create one yourself! 

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. mec lounge, Alumni hall 104


Wednesday, February 23: What is the Maafa?

Join us for an introductory conversation on what the Maafa is, the transatlantic slave trade, and its importance to the diaspora. Registration for this event will open shortly prior to it on 1850.

7:00 p.m. -  8:00 p.m. kennedy union ballroom


Thursday, February 24: Black History Month MEC Day Lunch 

Join MEC as we give out to-go plates of soul food in the spirit of fellowship and in celebration of Black History Month. A variety of authentic dishes associated with African American and Black culture will be served. This event is free to all UD students, faculty and staff. This event is subject to COVID protocols and approvals and may change.

 11:00 A.m. -  1:00 p.m. MEC Lounge, Alumni hall 104


Thursday, February 24: 'Slavery By Another Name' Movie Screening

This documentary screening of the film "Slavery By Another Name" challenges the assumption that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation and examines this history against the backdrop of current issues around violence towards Black Americans.

 5:00 p.m. -  6:30 p.m. Collab space, 2nd floor Roesch library


Thursday, February 24: 4th Annual Maafa Commemoration Service

The 2022 Maafa Commemoration Series will feature artistic performances, remarks, and rituals to honor those who died during the journey of The Middle Passage. This year's theme, "A Story of Resistance," ventures to highlight and bring to life the stories of enslaved Africans during the middle passage, especially women. As a highlight to this year's commemoration, members of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, will join us for a special performance. 

Join us for a powerful service with contributions from students, local and national artists, and more. 

 6:00 p.m. -  7:30 p.m. Kennedy union Torch Lounge


Saturday, February 26: Maafa Cultural Site Visit - DCDC's Inside Out

Join members of the MEC community for a performance of Inside Out by the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.

Inside Out is a unique collection of interdisciplinary and collaborative pieces imagined by Debbie Blunden-Diggs, DCDC’s Chief Producing and Artistic Director. An evolution in real time, this work shifts us toward the future that we hope for in an engaging evening of new works by the globe’s most stunning choreographers. Witness the unveiling of three world premiere works rooted in DCDC's legacy.

Nashville native Countess Winfrey collaborates with jazz composer Wesley Winfrey on new music and dance. The exquisite score is brought to life by Dayton Jazz Ensemble and DCDC’s performing artists. The set design and projections created by visual artist Kanetha Scott are inspired by Winfrey’s choreography and the spirit of Memphis.

Winfrey’s new work is the centerpiece of this concert, and you won’t want to miss it.

Tickets are free and available on a first come first serve basis. Limited quantities available. To register, visit the following link

 7:30 p.m. -  9:00 p.m. The Victoria Theatre


Maafa at UD

The Inaugural Maafa Commemoration was held on the campus of the University of Dayton in February of 2019.  Learn more about MAAFA here.

Black History Month Research Guide

The Roesch Library and The Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center invite you to learn more about Black History Month itself as well as stories, contributions, triumphs and struggles of Black Americans. This Research Guide offers a wide variety of topics from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter; from LGBTQ+ stories to Black artists and authors. The wonderful collection of information is available through several mediums including streaming video, books, and articles. You can find the guide by following this link.

2022 Events

Monday, March 28: Hate is a Virus

Join us at the second annual Hate is a Virus event to continue the conversation of anti-Asian racism affecting our communities both on-campus and off-campus. Our theme this year will address the media's harmful portrayal of Asian and Pacific Islanders through its use of stereotypes, fetishes, and the lack of authentic cultural stories. Asian characters on the big screen have portrayed harmful stereotypes for too long and follow us into the real world through racism and violence. Anti-Asian racism is not new. It's time to normalize this conversation by learning from the experiences of students and faculty, which are rooted in society’s prejudiced pattern of API characters in the media that date back to 1904. [1850 LINK]

7:30 P.M – 9:30 p.m.  Adele mcginnis room


April 2: Curry Night 

Hosted by the Asian American Association. Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Month by trying out different curry dishes from all over South Asia while supplies last! You must register on 1850 and pay $3 (Free for AAA members) prior to the event to attend.

3:00 p.m - 5:00 p.m  VWK Main


March 28 thru April 8: Asian Art Gallery

Come walkthrough an eclectic display of art highlighting the cultures, themes, and creativity of Asian American communities. The gallery will be hosted in the MEC space in Alumni Hall first floor.

all day  mec, alumni hall first floor


Sunday, April 3: Holi, the Festival of Colors Celebration

Holi is traditional Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the welcoming of spring by throwing colored powder at friends and family. At this event, we will have colors for all to throw, snacks, games, and a photobooth area to celebrate and commemorate the coming of spring.

11:30am - 3:30pm  old river park


Wednesday, April 6: "The Half of It" Movie Night

Join us as we screen a coming of age comedy-drama featuring Asian and LGBTQ+ representation. Register on 1850 HERE

8:30am - 10:30pm  Register on 1850 for location


Thursday, April 7: Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month MEC Day Lunch

Join MEC as we come together in the spirit of fellowship to celebrate Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month through food, music and education. 

11:30am - 1:30pm  MEC Lounge, Alumni hall 104


Sunday, April 24: Vaisahki Celebration

Vaisahki marks the beginning of the new solar year for those in the Hindu and Sikh community and is aslo a celebration of the spring harvest for many Indians. Join us as we celebrate with a dance demonstration and cultural education on the importance of this day.

4:30pm - 6:00pm  TBD


Tuesday, April 26: Stopping the Hate

Join our panel of community leaders and researchers to learn more about the historical and current reasons for anti-AAPI discrimination and violence in the United States, understand the impacts on people at UD, and discuss how we can make our communities better. Co-Sponsored by the Human Rights Studies Center, Human Rights Studies, MEC and the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work.

12:30pm - 2:00pm  Torch Lounge, KU


Saturday, April 30: Ramadan Iftar

As Ramadan comes to a close we invite our campus community to join us for this 'Iftar' or 'breaking of the fast' observed by Muslims throughout the world and at the University of Dayton. Delicious and culturally relevant food will be served with a light program highlighting the importance of this sacred month. Co-Sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, Campus Ministry

6:00pm  KU Ballroom



Asian and Pacific American Heritage Research Guide

The Roesch Library and The Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center invite you to learn more about Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month itself as well as stories, contributions, triumphs and struggles of Asian and Pacific Americans. This Research Guide offers a wide variety of topics covering the immense diversity within these communities from critical research to social movements; from LGBTQ+ stories to artists and authors. The wonderful collection of information is available through several mediums including streaming video, books, and articles. You can find the guide by following this link.

Sponsored by the Roesch Library and the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center

2022 Events

September 14th: Being First Gen/Hispanic Household Panel

A panel and presentation about what it is like to live in a Hispanic household andsome of the trials people must face as being First Gen.

Sponsored By: Las Mujeristas

6:30 A.M. Miriam Hall 109



September 15th: LatinX MEC Day Lunch

Join MEC for our annual celebration of LatinX cultures through food, music, and community. 

11:30 A.M. MEC Lounge (Alumni Hall)



September 17th: Dayton Hispanic Festival & Parade

Faculty, Staff, and Students are invited to participate in the parade to represent both UD and their cultures and countries. There will be events all day celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

ALL Day Downtown Dayton



September 19th: ¡Si Se Puede! Presentation on LatinX Social Movements


Sponsored by: EOL & MEC

7:00 P.M Location TBD




September 22nd: Latin Dance Lesson

Students will learn to dance salsa and other traditional Latin American dances like merengue, bachata, rumba, etc.

6:30 P.M. VWK 143-145



 September 28th: Feminicidio Educational Presentation

Discussion about the killings and disappearances of women in Latin America and spreading awareness. Path Point eligible

7:00PM Location TBD




September 29th: Hispanic Bake/Food Sale

Mujeristas will have a fundraiser that sells coquito, conchas, mantecaditos, empanadas.

12:30 – 2:00 P.M. KU Mall



October 1st: Carne Asada/Potluck

Come celebrate with the LatinX student orgs with a cultural Carne Asada. Enjoy food, music and family spirit.

1:00 P.M. EOL House





October 10th: Indigenous Peoples Day Presentation

A presentation about Erasure of indigenous roots in Latin American countries’ national identity, Lack of protection of indigenous peoples in Latin America, Capitalist intrusion and lack of political protection for or technical support for land rights and environmental preservation, Current cases of discrimination, efforts fighting back for rights

7:00 P.M. TBD


October 27th-29th: LatinX Connect Conference

This free virtual conference held by the University of Pittsburg will provide an opportunity for those who wish to engage in critical topics and conversations impacting the LatinX community in all of its diversity.

Register with this link: 12:30 – 2:00 P.M. Virtual


MEC Days

MEC Days are opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to share a meal together, in community, from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm.  Approximately three to four MEC Days are held each year in conjunction with a holiday, kicking off a cultural heritage month or other special day. MEC Days are instrumental in building community between members of the UD community.



Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center

Alumni Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0318