Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the nationally syndicated and politically charged Latino comic strip La Cucaracha, will be the keynote speaker for the University of New Mexico's Office for Equity and Inclusion annual fundraising event, set for Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at Sandia Resort and Casino.

The Second Annual Presidential Luminaria Awards and Diversity Celebration Fundraising Dinner celebrates and honors faculty, staff and student diversity initiatives. It also honors a community organization that has provided collaborative support to any university department, unit, or organization in addressing diversity.

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Jozi De Leon said, "We are honored to bring Alcaraz's unique perspective to our diversity celebration. He provides a fresh voice to issues around immigration and a progressive stance about the need for multicultural visibility in the media."

Alcaraz's La Cucaracha is featured daily in the Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Arizona Republic, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times, San Diego Tribune, and 75 other major newspapers. He began his career drawing editorial cartoons at his college paper, the Daily Aztec, at San Diego State University. Today, Alcaraz is a one-of-a-kind cartoonist, satirist and writer who captures the essence of the country's changing cultural and political landscape.

His latest books are La Cucaracha and Migra Mouse. Alcaraz co-edits the satirical magazine, POCHO.

Alcaraz's participation is sponsored by the Office for Equity and Inclusion and El Centro de La
Raza.

Tickets for the dinner and Alcaraz's speech are available now at diverse.unm. Tickets are $50 per person or $500 per table. For more information about the Luminaria Awards, contact Lorena Blanco-Silva or at 505-227-0777.

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: cgonzal@unm.edu