To appreciate the diversity that exists within the Mason community and what we can learn from one another, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education has worked with student organizations through the Hispanic Latino Leadership Alliance (HLLA) to present a series of events in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
This 30-day-long celebration was enacted into law in 1988 as a way to honor the presence of Hispanic Americans in North America. September 15 is the starting point of the celebration and marks the independence anniversary of several Latin American nations.
The celebration at Mason will begin on Tuesday, September 16 at 11:00 a.m. in the JC North Plaza with the kickoff event, Bienvenida Latina. This is a great opportunity to be introduced to the different Latino/a student organizations on campus and to experience the Hispanic culture through activities, performances, and authentic dishes.
The theme this year, ¡Mi Gente! , brings attention to the tales and traditions that often rest hidden within the Hispanic community. The Annual Open Mic and Poetry event, Shades of Brown, will give students a chance to voice these stories. It will take place on Thursday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. in the JC Bistro. In the form of poetry, music, or spoken word, students are welcome to perform and share those experiences that explore topics of class, race, gender, and orientation. The special guest for the evening will be María Teresa Fernández, also known as Mariposa. This award winning poet and performance artist was born and raised in the Bronx. She is a first generation college graduate from New York University with a BA in Women’s Studies and a MA in Education. Her work highlights her Puerto Rican background, exploring topics of identity and what it means to be proud of who you are.
The Hispanic and Latino community is a multifaceted one—it stands for diverse cultures, geographies, and vernaculars. But one thing that holds us together are the similar hardships faced when immigrating in search for a better future. The 4th annual Immigration Monologues, which will take place on Monday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the JC Cinema, will allow these influential stories of immigration to surface. It will be a night full of honest performances that document journeys of strength, the will to succeed, and the realities of immigrating to a new country.
Beyond these heartwarming performances, Hispanic Heritage Month will include a variety of lively events ranging from a Spanish Spelling Bee to Salsa Night—and concluding on October 24 with Que Bonita Bandera, a Latino dance party for all.
Taking part in Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to learn about the experiences of Hispanics in America. University Life promotes these events as a way to foster multicultural education and cultivate learning experiences for Mason students. This celebration will give students an opportunity to connect with one another and embrace learning beyond the context of a classroom.
To learn more, visit the Hispanic Heritage Month Calendar.
by Carola “Patty” Gorena Morales