September 15 – October 15 is Latinx Heritage Month at the U, and the Latinx Initiatives planning committee has an engaging calendar of activities developed for campus and throughout the community. The committee settled on the theme “Muchas historias, muchas voces”–Many histories, many voices–“Muitas historias, muitas vozes” for this year because they wanted to recognize the importance of the collective histories in the Latinx/e and Hispanic community and how they keep shaping their lives in the present.
Committee chair, Paméla Cappas-Toro, Ph.D. says that many groups have been involved in planning this year’s events—from student organizations like the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and MEChA of the U, to the Latinx Student Union (LSU) and the Latinx Medical Student Association (LMSA). Staff members from all over campus, as well as faculty, alumni, and community members (many of whom will be participating as panelists) have also played a crucial role.
“It’s been a real collective effort,” Cappas-Toro says. She also reminds everyone that there are several groups to get involved in—and events all year round on campus and in nearby communities that are creating and building community. “Both on and off campus, people yearn for connection, and to craft spaces of care and belonging—and that’s what we’re trying to do with this year’s many events.”
This year’s Latinx Heritage Month will begin with an Environmental Justice panel at the S.J. Quinney Law School on September 7. The event is part of the Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag Series and will explore some of the environmental justice issues affecting Latinx communities in SLC. Other events include:
- the Latinx/Hispanic Health & Heritage Festival at the Gateway on September 9;
- A campus opening social—Poder y Praxis on September 13, hosted by the Center for Equity & Student Belonging (CESB) to celebrate belonging and culture within the Latinx community;
- An event with Associate Professor Armando Solarzano on September 15, entitled Utah Latinidad History & State of Archives featuring the artwork of Ruby Chacon in the Marriott Library;
- and a music and dance performance by the popular Afro Puerto Rican group, Bomba Marilé at the TEDx SLC on September 25.
There are also events planned around issues affecting Latinx business owners, managing burnout and protecting mental health, and Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos events at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center later in October.
Cappas-Toro adds that various student organizations are “planning a fundraising ‘baile’ event, which I hope everyone comes out and supports—and don’t forget your dancing shoes!” Indeed, the many events and activities planned for this year’s Latinx Heritage Month, “Muchas historias, muchas voces,” offer something for everyone. To find out more about the many wonderful, community-building events planned for this year’s Latinx Heritage Month, please visit the Latinx Heritage Month calendar.