Celebrate Multiculturalism and Diversity: Meet Shivangi Upadhyaya

As someone who values diversity and takes pride in learning and sharing various cultures, Shivangi Upadhyaya is a perfect fit for the role of Multicultural Hub Coordinator at the Cape Breton University Students’ Union (CBUSU). Shivangi is from Ahmedabad, India, a renowned city for its rich culture, diversity and heritage and is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Before coming to CBU, Shivangi worked as an assistant dentist in India. She is currently in her final semester in the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Health Care Management program.

In her role as the Multicultural Hub Coordinator, Shivangi works collaboratively to create an inclusive and welcoming space for students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Through organizing cultural events, workshops and initiatives, she strives to promote cross-cultural understanding and build a sense of community among students. “I believe that diversity is our greatest strength and my goal is to ensure that every student feels valued, respected and supported in their academic and personal endeavours,” Shivangi shares.

Shivangi is also responsible for recruiting volunteers from different cultures and countries. “This year we had a largely diverse group of volunteers including students from India, Nigeria, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Egypt, Morocco and Indonesia,” she says. “As a team, we have worked together to transform the space, making it more welcoming and inclusive for all.”

Shivangi is particularly excited about the upcoming CBU Students’ Union Multicultural Celebration, taking place March 21 and 22, 2024. This exciting event is part of the CBU’s 50th Anniversary festivities featuring music performances, dance showcases, cultural booths and an international cuisine experience. She has worked with the CBUSU Executive team, other coordinators and volunteers to celebrate and showcase diverse cultures on campus. The event is open to both students and the wider community.

Kicking off on Thursday, March 21, in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the CBUSU presents the Multicultural Talent Show in the Boardmore Playhouse from 6:00-9:00pm. Admission is by donation and all proceeds go towards Capers Helping Capers.

Continuing the celebration on the second day, all members of the campus community are invited to visit the Cultural Booths at the Pit Lounge from 11:00am-2:00pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with event ambassadors from 12 countries and learn about their cultures, lifestyles and personal stories.

“The Multicultural Talent Show is a vibrant display of various art forms, while the booths offer attendees a glimpse into the diverse backgrounds of our student community,” Shivangi explains. “This event celebrates the students’ cultural heritage, providing them with a platform to share their traditions in Canada.”

Throughout the week of March 18-22, the CBUSU and CBU’s food service provider, Chartwells, are hosting an International Cuisine Experience in the CBU Cafeteria, the Underground and the Meal Hall, serving authentic dishes from Indigenous North America, China, the Philippines, India and Nigeria. To complement this culinary experience, the CBUSU created a recipe book titled Around the World in 80 Dishes, showcasing recipes from the 80 countries represented by international students attending CBU.

As CBU celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024, Shivangi believes that multiculturalism and diversity are integral to shaping the University’s identity and future. “As Cape Breton continues to evolve, CBU’s pivotal role in its growth is undeniable,” she shares. “Embracing diverse cultures not only contributes to the Island’s development but also makes Cape Breton a home for many people coming to Cape Breton filled with hopes, dreams and aspirations.”

As the world comes to meet us, we are proud to share Cape Breton – Unama’ki with the world. Join us to celebrate the diversity and talent of our students on March 21 and 22, on the CBU campus! Learn more at cbusu.ca/multiculturalcelebration

To stay up to date on the 50th celebration, visit cbu.ca/50.