In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, events ranging from cultural celebrations to panel discussions are taking place across the WSU System.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed every year from Sept. 15 through Oct 15, celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of individuals whose families came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. What began as a week-long celebration in 1968 expanded into a month-long observation beginning in 1988, when it was also formally enacted into law.
In recognition of the variety of social identities, the heritage month is also known as Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, Latina/o/x Heritage Month and Latinx Heritage Month.
Campus groups on several campuses are also preparing for events in the days and weeks to come:
The College of Education hosted Viva la Independencia Celebration in honor of Mexico’s Independence Day on Sept. 15.
On Oct. 7, guest curator Lipi Turner-Rahman will guide visitors through the Schnitzer Museum of Art’s exhibit chronicling the daily lives of agricultural workers in the Yakima Valley during the 1960s and 1970s amid an era of rising labor movements and social awareness. The event, which runs from 3-4:30 p.m., will include several guests from the Yakima Valley community and will be followed by an opening reception for “Our Stories, Our Lives: Irwin Nash Photographs of Yakima Valley Migrant Labor and Juventino Aranda: Esperé Mucho Tiempo Pa Ver”.
Ahead of the official start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Hirstenburg Student Commons played host to a celebration on Sept. 8 that featured games, activities and food in addition to a performance by the Vancouver Ballet Folklórico. A Latinx professionals panel focused on navigating work spaces also took place earlier this month, as did a lunch discussion around pertinent issues, ideas and cultural experiences on the campus.
A Latino Leadership Conference for area high school students is happening Oct. 7 and is in need of volunteers. Those looking to lend a hand are asked to email Sawyer Barragan, campus director of the Center for Intercultural Learning and Affirmation at WSU Vancouver.
The Associated Students of WSU Global are celebrating Hispanic Heritage with a virtual movie night at 5p.m. Oct. 14. The group will steam “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America”, which tells a story about growing up with immigrant parents and the fight for justice.
The WSU Tri-Cities Dreams Club is hosting the second annual La Fiesta de Comida on Sept. 28 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The event celebrates the independence of several Central and South American countries and will include snacks, decorations and music from Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua. The event is co-sponsored by the MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion, Anyone looking to volunteer or more information is asked to contact Haydee Guzman.
Information on other National Hispanic Heritage Month events will be added as more details are available.