UNIDOS is a Latino based organization that has worked effortlessly to close the gap between their culture and other cultures on Florida A&M University’s campus. The organization is open to students of every background, and they want people of different cultures to join and learn about Latino culture.
The organization was founded in 2013 by FAMU alumna and current advisor Vanity Duran after she saw a need for Hispanics and Latinos to have a voice on campus. She expressed what further pushed her to start up UNIDOS.
“We have to check in a box what’s our race,” Duran said. “But, it doesn’t matter because in the end we are all one race and that is the human race… there is strength in numbers and we are stronger together.”
UNIDOS was created to bring diverse cultures together in happiness. The organization focuses on welcoming incoming freshman by hosting events that give them a taste of what the organization is all about. And, according to the organization’s website, UNIDOS is an acronym for “Uniting Nations to Inspire Diverse Opportunity in Society.”
UNIDOS has worked with organizations such as The Caribbean Student Association, FSU Spanish Club, Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority Inc., and many more organizations, to host events and activities. Recently, UNIDOS and CSA teamed up to host an Afro-Latina event in honor of Black History Month.
UNIDOS even gave back to the Hispanic community in ways such as helping survivors after Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico, and helped with the donation of four trucks loads of clothes, canned goods, shoes and many more supplies last semester. The organization also offered roofing lessons in Puerto Rico to help assist in the recovery.
UNIDOS Advisor Jorge Olaves explained the organization’s goal for each semester.
“We want to educate and make a welcoming environment for any race, origin, and nationality at FAMU,” Olaves said.
Many students joined UNIDOS because it felt like a home away from home. The freshmen spoke very highly on their connection with other UNIDOS members. They also explained how joining took a weight of loneliness off their shoulders, and how members helped with their hard accent.
Kiana Green, a freshman pre-veterinarian major and UNIDOS member, explained what pushed her to join the organization.
“I joined UNIDOS because of my best friend and I’m not even Spanish,” Green said. “I’m Jamaican and I don’t mind learning more cultures [and] with this being my freshmen year, this has helped me lot.”
John Horton, professional pharmacy major and UNIDOS president, explained his hopes for the organization’s events, past and future.
“I hope the people notice the effort and hard work that was put into the events,” Horton said. “Our events are to show the people that even though we are different, [it] doesn’t mean that we can’t tie our roots back to each other.”
Horton also expressed his hope for the organization to have an overall positive influence on campus. He said he was proud of the progress the organization has made thus far.
The organization’s next event is called “Spanish Without Barriers.” The event is essentially a huge Spanish tutoring session, open to those enrolled in Spanish courses and those who just want to learn the language. To find out more about UNIDOS, join the organization in Multipurpose Room D on Tuesday, March 26.