Unapologetically Diverse

Oct. 5, 2021
| by:
Voices of Chandler

Join host Melina Zuniga for a very special podcast episode. The team from the City of Chandler Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Division took over episode 5 of Voices of Chandler, The Podcast. Niki Tapia, Cisco Luzania, Rori Minor and CiCi Cantabrana talk about Chandler Contigo, their collection of events for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Called the “Unapologetically Diverse” episode, the team wants to tell unique stories about people in Chandler from all different backgrounds and highlight the diversity in our city.

National Hispanic Heritage Month happens each year from Sept. 15-Oct. 15.  

New this year, the DEI team created Chandler Contigo (Chandler with you), their event curriculum. Chandler Contigo is just as diverse as the City itself. The goal was to showcase as much of the Hispanic culture as possible, knowing that there are people from many Latin American countries who call Chandler home.

Here’s how Chandler Contigo began and how you can experience more events through mid-October:   

  • Chandler Contigo kicked off in Downtown Chandler in September with a DJ, pastries from El Sol, and Mexican sodas to celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.
  • Next up was the Galveston Community Festival. Chandler’s Galveston neighborhood is one of the most significant Latino communities in the metro area. There was live music, folklorico dancers and an incredible variety of food from El Salvador, Columbia, Mexico and many other countries, including the fan favorite elote.
  • Cicso interviewed Tony Alcala, the principal of Galveston Elementary. He grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the school that he is now leading. Hear his back story and learn how important it is for him to go the extra mile to represent his community, including helping to plan their recent festival.
  • Asian Moon Festival was a two-day event on Oct. 2-3. This festival was a celebration of both Asian and Hispanic cultures, a combination initiated by these local communities. And it was the first time that many people, including the DEI team, saw Luche Libre in person. They also gave a shout out to organizer James Park for his hard work on this event.
  • There are still events that you can attend in October, including readings, film screenings and cultural crafts at Chandler Museum.
  • Cisco talked to local author, Albert Quihuis, who is participating in one of the events at the Chandler Museum, a reading from his storybook series “The Adventures of Sophia and Pepe.” He grew up in the metro area near south Phoenix. An ASU grad, he now lives in Chandler and switched from a career in finance to writing books that explore his Mexican-American heritage.
  • On Oct. 9, there will be a community resource fair at Compass Christian Church. There will be food trucks, music, a rock-climbing wall and opportunities to sign kids up for fun programs throughout the city.
  • And bonus knowledge in this episode: learn all about the newly released Census numbers in Chandler to find out how diverse our city truly is.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Melina Zuniga, Digital Media Journalist

Meet the Host 

Melina Zuniga, Digital Media Journalist

Melina is an Arizona native that works in Video Production for City's Communications and Public Affairs Department. She is passionate about connecting with the community to tell their stories and as a self-considered creative type, she enjoys the challenge of finding a different point of view for her storytelling.

Learn more about the contributors.