University Celebrates 10 Years of Latin@/Hispanic Heritage Month
The Office of Multicultural Affairs, within the Division of Student Affairs, hosts Latin@/Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. [“Latin@” is a gender-inclusive form of Latino/Latina.] From performances and luncheons to semi-formals and lectures, Latin@/Hispanic Heritage Month provides the campus and local community with a wonderful opportunity to reflect on, learn more about, and experience the deeply rich traditions of Latin@ and Hispanic cultures.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the month at Syracuse University, a celebration acknowledged in the month’s theme: “One Decade: Honoring Our Legacy, Celebrating Our Future.”
The celebratory month celebrates the cultures and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It begins on Sept. 15 because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.
“The beautiful thing about Latin@/Hispanic Heritage Month is the opportunity to delve more deeply into the history of our ancestors and help create an intimate knowledge of the role that Latin@s and Hispanics have played in U.S. history, as well as the effect we have had and continue to have in American culture,” says Valerie J. Martinez, associate director for mentoring and diversity education in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and chair of the Latin@/Hispanic Heritage Month committee.
This year’s commemorative speaker is Alexandra Lúgaro, Puerto Rico’s first independent candidate for governor. Lúgaro is a lawyer and entrepreneur, most recently serving as the executive director of América Aponte y Asociados. For the last 15 years, she has successfully directed dozens of educational projects, improving student academic achievement in more than 500 schools in Puerto Rico. Lúgaro will speak on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. in 214 Slocum.
“It is important to raise awareness about who we are in terms of our history, our politics, our national diversity, our diversity along racial and gender lines, and the position impact we play in American society,” says Martinez. “Alexandra Lúgaro’s keynote will embody this spirit as well, as she will discuss the history and current conditions of Latin@s, and unveil her plan for the future of Puerto Rico.”
In addition to the commemorative speaker, one of the most highly anticipated events of the month, Fiesta Latina, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.), in Goldstein Auditorium (Schine Student Center). Tickets are now available at the Schine Box Office. Tickets are $6 for students and staff with valid college ID, and $8 for the general public.
“I am very encouraged by the various activities and events planned for the tenth anniversary of Latin@ Hispanic Heritage Month,” says James K. Duah-Agyeman, director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and chief diversity officer for the Division of Student Affairs. “I continue to enrich my awareness and knowledge of the Hispanic/Latin@ culture and heritage as I actively participate in the various activities from year to year. In that vein, I strongly encourage all students, faculty, staff and administration to make every effort to experience ‘la cultura Latina’ that the LHHM committee is bringing to campus for our edification.”
Latin@/Hispanic Heritage Month is one of four celebratory months coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Upcoming heritage months include: Native Heritage Month (November 2015), Black History Month (February 2016), and Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month (April 2016).
Campus and community members are encouraged to participate in the planned events of the month. View the Latin@/Hispanic Heritage Month calendar online, or pick up a calendar at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 105 Schine Student Center. Join the conversation on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/multicultural.syr.edu. For more information, contact Martinez at 443-9676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.