Chandler Diversity Office celebrates inclusion through community events

Oct. 27, 2019
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Communications and Public Affairs

The City of Chandler Diversity Office embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion by working hand-in-hand with the City’s Human Relations Commission, local nonprofits, faith-based organizations, community leaders and volunteers. A part of the Neighborhood Resources Department, their small, but mighty team organizes a variety of annual events, programs and special projects that promote diversity and outreach efforts while creating community. 

The City’s Diversity staff has all hands on deck for the second annual Día de los Muertos event scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1. This free cultural event is co-produced by Chandler-based Cultura Communications and held in Downtown Chandler. Mark your calendar as the City celebrates a festive Mexican holiday where families and friends honor their deceased loved ones. During the event, colorful altars (ofrendas) honoring those who have passed, to ensure that they are never forgotten, are decorated with colorful flowers, candles, photos and food. 

“Many residents in our community did not understand the significance of Día de los Muertos,” said Priscilla Quintana, Diversity Office management assistant. “It was beautiful to see the community come together to get a better understanding of how the Latino culture celebrates those who are no longer with us.” 

Police altar at Dia de los Muertos event

The support and participation from both Chandler Fire and Police departments also was meaningful as they created altars to pay tribute to their fallen officers and firefighters. Nearly 3,000 residents attended last year and enjoyed the historical exhibits, entertainment, delicious food, arts, merchandise, crafts and more. “Having Cultura Communications on board has been a huge asset,” said Quintana. “Their expertise and connections have been key in securing stellar musical acts and elevating the event. We’re grateful to be working with their key staff, which include Carmela Ramirez, Christina Gonzalez and Gilbert Ochoa.”

Another Diversity-organized event is the annual Multicultural Festival. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, the event was created more than two decades ago. In fact, this upcoming event will be the 25th anniversary of the City’s Multicultural Festival. The free annual festival celebrates the City’s diverse community with a variety of entertainment representing different countries and showcasing cultural traditions. In addition, attendees can enjoy different foods for purchase to taste cuisine from around the world. It’s like a free ticket to explore the world. 

58th Annual Miss Indian Arizona Winner Audriana Adzaan Mitchell

Earlier this month was the 58th Annual Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program, a pageant which featured Native American women focused on academics and community service. Held at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 12, the event was organized by the Miss Indian Arizona Association and showcased Arizona Indian traditional principles and values through songs, dance, stories, dress and humor. The Diversity Office co-hosted the event and worked closely with the event organizers to promote the pageant and increase attendance. Congratulations are in order to the 58th Miss Indian Arizona Audriana Adzaan Mitchell, and her court — First Attendant Amy Lynn Spotted Wolf and Second Attendant Autumn Rose Cooper.

For more information or to inquire about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities for the diverse programs and events, visit Chandler Diversity or call 480-782-4300.

A portion of this article appeared in the SanTan Sun News.