Marvel’s first Latinx writer to visit UNI for a day of inclusive programming

Author Gabby Rivera

UNI NEWS SERVICES - The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) has partnered with Hawkeye Community College and the Humanities of Iowa to host “Love and Inclusion Swoop into the Cedar Valley,” a special series of activities surrounding author Gabby Rivera’s visit to the two campuses. Rivera will give the keynote address at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, at UNI’s Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC).

Rivera was Marvel’s first Latinx author and wrote Marvel's first comic book series based on a Latinx LGBTQ character, America Chavez. Her talk, “Inspiring Radical Creativity; Empowering Young, Diverse Voices to Tell Their Own Stories,” will explore her experience as a queer, Latinx woman.

Angie Cox, project director for this project, says “I want people to lead with compassion and love, accepting people for who they are. Rivera’s visit to UNI is at a critical time, where the topic of LGBTQ issues and identities are being challenged.”

Rivera’s talk unpacks how she incorporates her heritage into her writing, how she strives to be a thoughtful ally for others, and how she celebrates the healing power of community.

Supporting events are planned on campus and throughout the community on the day of her talk.

Events include:

  • A book signing and Q&A with Rivera at noon in the Tama Auditorium at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo.
  • The “Love and Inclusion Tree” art project, which will take place in the lobby of the GBPAC immediately before Rivera’s keynote, from 6-7 p.m. Individuals are encouraged to join local youth LGBTQ groups to create an “identity leaf’ and place it on the Cedar Valley Love and Inclusion Tree as a symbol of inclusion in our community.

The events are held in conjunction with Women’s History Month, UNI Pride Week and RodCon, UNI’s annual mini comic-con. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit, or contact Melinda Beland, library clerk IV, public relations, 319-273 2802 or

This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views and opinions expressed by this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Steve Schmadeke, public relations manager, 319-273-6120,