Numerous activities planned for Semana de la Raza

A series of lectures, a comedian’s performance and an art exhibit highlight this year’s Semana de la Raza celebration at Washington State University. The celebration will take place Feb. 27-March 4.

“This year we have a major focus on scholarly activities while at the same time keeping the traditional events that define Semana de la Raza,” said WSU Retention counselor Francisco Tamayo.

The week of activities will begin with a traditional noon opening ceremony on Feb. 27 on the Terrell Mall and will end with the Annual Gabriel Cardenas Awards Banquet and Dance on Saturday, March 4. Tickets for the banquet cost $15-$20 and can be purchased at the Chicano/Latino Student Center, Wilson Hall #101.

Gallery three in the WSU Fine Arts Museum is showing paintings from artist Daniel Desiga until March 1. Desiga was raised in a migrant family that worked the fields of Washington State. His migrant background is evident in most of his paintings. Desiga will give a lecture in the Fine Arts Auditorium at 7 p.m. Feb. 28.

Comedian Jade Esteban Estrada will give a performance at 8:30 p.m. on March 3 in the CUB Ballroom. He has appeared on Comedy Central, HBO and PBS. Estrada said he considers his act, titled “Tortilla Heaven: The Story of Life, Love, and Making Tortillas the American Way,” to be along the lines of an autobiography. The dialogue was written by his sister Celeste, and the act is directed by his brother David.

“I play seven characters in the show including females and people of all ages. The characters must decide whether or not to honor and maintain the culture from which they come or become part of the American mainstream,” he said.

The National Association of Chicano/a Studies Northwest Regional Conference and Latino Research Symposium will be held in conjunction with Semana de la Raza from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 4 in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education Room 202. The symposium brings together faculty, students and community members from different academic areas and regions of the Northwest to share current research projects on Chicanos/Latinos in the region.

WSU professors Linda Heidenreich, Carmen Lugo-Lugo, Jose Alamillo, Richard King and Yolanda Flores-Niemann will give lectures throughout the week on topics ranging from the terminology used to identify Chicanos/Latinos, policing our borders and the status of Chicano/Latino education.

For a complete schedule of events, visit

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