In 1990, President George Bush designated May as “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.” May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843. Many colleges and universities typically celebrate this heritage month in April while students are still on campus. OMA, along with AAPIA, have worked together closely to provide campus wide activities.
Black History Month was created to celebrate and honor the many achievements and contributions made by African Americans to the economic, cultural, spiritual and political development of the United States. In 1926, the events were held the second week of February because of its proximity to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two individuals who had dramatically affected the lives of African Americans. OMA works with Black Student Union and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to bring in speakers and films to help educate the UI and surrounding communities about the role of Black History in all of our lives.
At the end of March, many communities across the country celebrate the life and legacy of Mexican-American labor activist and community organizer, Cesar Chavez. The University of Idaho, the Campus Assistant Migrant Program and the Office of Multicultural Affairs honor this leader with an annual celebration as well. This celebration is an excellent example of student initiative, and benefits from a rich history of student involvement. Many student organizations have worked to bring this celebration to campus and have marked the occasion with dinners, speakers, educational displays and
a wide variety of festivities.
The date commemorates the victory of Mexican forces over the French at the battle of La Puebla on May 5, 1862. The celebration on the University of Idaho campus is an opportunity for student groups to collaborate to present an educational and festive event for all of the community.
To celebrate your arrival, OMA holds an annual Multicultural Freshman Barbecue the Saturday before fall semester begins. This is a great opportunity for you to meet other first-year students, your PACE mentor, student leaders, UI staff and faculty, and learn about the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday, which is recognized on November 1. The holiday dates back several centuries and is actually celebrated over numerous days in Mexico. This holiday honors one’s ancestors and loved ones. Students and community members create altars and take part in a silent parade across campus in tribute to those they wish to recognize. The altars are displayed on campus to educate the UI community to this Mexican tradition and to honor those represented by the altars.
The University of Idaho and Washington State University come together to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a series of events. The events coincide with Dr. King’s national holiday in January. Celebrations often include renowned speakers, marches, rallies, films and a wide range of educational as well as celebratory activities.
Began in the 1960's as a week to commemorate Mexico’s independence, U.S. citizenship, and Puerto Rican Independence Day. Its purpose is to teach us all about the contributions of the Hispanic community throughout history. OMA, OELA, Gamma Alpha Omega, CAMPOS and Sigma Lambda Beta kick off the month with the 16th of September Celebration.
This is no ordinary retreat! At this event, all participants are highly motivated and ready to assume leadership roles on the UI campus. Each fall, approximately 30 outstanding multicultural students come together for a weekend of sharing, learning, and meeting new friends. Academic success at the UI is vital and extracurricular involvement and leadership experiences are always assets when it comes time to seek employment. Get involved!
The United States has recognized the need for American Indian Day and Native American Week celebrations for almost 100 years. In November 1990, President George Bush declared the first Native American Heritage Month to honor and recognize the contributions of the indigenous people of what is now the United States. OMA works with NASA, AISES, AIBL and the American Indian Studies Program to bring educational events to the UI campus.
The Native American Student Association (NASA) in conjunction with the University of Idaho hosts the Tutxinmepu (a Nez Perce word meaning “the place where the deer loses its spots”) Pow Wow every fall. Dancers and drummers come from all around the continental U.S. and Canada to participate in our Pow Wow. Every year NASA holds a Miss Tutxinmepu Contest. The winner serves as a goodwill ambassador for the University of Idaho.
UNITY, with the support of it's member organizations, puts together a yearly banquet that allows organizations a chance to honor their members with various prizes and awards.