LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2023) — The PrestigiOuZ Omicron Zeta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc., in collaboration with the Latino Student Union, the Martin Luther King Center, Brotherhood, Inclusivity, Integrity, Leadership and Service (BIILS) and CARES, will host the annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, on the social staircase in the Gatton Studnet Center.
For the last six years, the annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration has brought together hundreds of faculty, staff, students, family and community members to celebrate life lived and lost.
Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead is celebrated globally and serves as a time to welcome back the souls of deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration. A blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture, the holiday is celebrated each year from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. Customs range from decorating tombstones and bringing the deceased’s favorite treats and miscellaneous items, while gathering to remember them.
Sigma Lambda Gamma is a multicultural sorority at the University of Kentucky, established as an official charter in 2020 and founded in 2016. Among their many signature events and experiences for women of color and other marginalized communities, Dia de los Muertos has been a staple event for Sigma Lambda Gamma.
Each year, the program features a community built ofrenda, or altar, to include pictures of lost loved ones, a meal and goodie bags, which include candies, educational pamphlets and a candle to take home and light. Added to the program this year, Sigma Lambda Gamma will be accepting donations of hygiene products to benefit the Kentucky Refugee Ministry. This includes but is not limited to feminine products, toothbrushes/paste, toilet paper, etc.
Sigma Lambda Gamma believes that Day of the Dead will attract faculty and staff from all diverse backgrounds and ethnicities to share the bright colors and sugary treats that remind us of the beauty and happiness that the person being remembered brought to people’s lives.
"Not only will this event display the diversity of our greater campus community at the University of Kentucky, it will also show individuals on campus that even though we may not look the same, we all share similar values and experiences," said Naomi Rojas Campos, OZ’s vice president of philanthropy. "Overall, we hope to break barriers by educating attendees on the history of the holiday and the various customs from countries from around the world and encourage attendees to honor those that they have lost personally by contributing to the ofrenda, or altar."
In order to get an estimated headcount for food and goodie bags, Sigma Lambda Gamma recommends attendees RSVP via Google Forms here.
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