Friday’s Diversity Festival Canceled

By David Wells

A prediction of high winds and severe thunderstorms prompted Miami’s Center for American and World Cultures to cancel Friday night’s UniDiversity Festival in Uptown Park.

The annual festival promotes diversity and inclusion in the community through exposure to aspects of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean cultures. The festival was to be the kick-off of National Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month at Miami and in the city of Oxford.

“We had to cancel at the last minute two years ago because of bad weather, so we made a vow to start watching the weather earlier,” said Cheryl Young, assistant provost at Miami and head of the Global Initiatives program. “We started watching the National Weather Service on Wednesday.” As of noon Friday, the weather service was predicting thunderstorms with the possibility of damaging winds for the Oxford area from 5-10 p.m. “Our festival was scheduled to go from 6-9 p.m.,” Young noted.

The festival was expected to draw hundreds of visitors from across the region. The decision to cancel was made Thursday night and a notice was put up on the University’s website, Young said.

The logistics involved in bringing together the participants for the festival make it impossible to reschedule the event, Young said. Cancelation of Friday’s festival is not expected to affect other Heritage Month activities scheduled in the local schools, she said.