New Mexico State University’s Chicano Programs is inviting students from all ethnic backgrounds to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month by participating in virtual events from now until Oct. 15.
“We’ve been working really hard to deliver programming that is inclusive of the Latinx community,” said Chicano Programs Interim Director Judith Flores Carmona, who developed this year’s roster of events for Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
The all-virtual format for this year’s events is a departure from previous years, Flores Carmona said, but was necessary because of COVID-19. The lineup includes panel discussions and group activities, some of which are collaborations with other NMSU programs and universities across the country. The full list of events is available at https://chicano.nmsu.edu.
Anita Tijerina Revilla, a Muxerista and Jotería activist-scholar and professor at Cal State Los Angeles, gave the first lecture in the series, which drew more than 200 viewers on YouTube, Facebook Live and Zoom, Flores Carmona said. Revilla’s talk is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzTb-2r6xzY. Chicano Programs then partnered with NMSU’s First-Year Initiatives program to host a Zumba class on Zoom.
Next month, Barbara Kessel, who helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations improve equity, diversity and inclusion, will present a lecture with Belinda ‘Otukolo Saltiban, the chief inclusion and diversity officer at Utah Valley University. The live-streamed lecture will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 15 on YouTube. To watch, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi_McWwSz6s.
“We will conclude Hispanic Heritage Month with two speakers who will have a cross-racial dialogue on inclusion, equity and diversity,” Flores Carmona said of the culminating event. “The presenters will demonstrate how having difficult conversations across our differences can benefit all of us.”
“Given the challenges caused by COVID-19,” she added, “it is critical to show how Latino and other students of color add value to NMSU because of our cultural wealth.”
Students from NMSU’s Hispanic Council are also already planning multiple events for the spring 2021 semester, Flores Carmona said.
“We are a Hispanic- and minority-serving institution, so I think we should celebrate Latinx/Hispanic heritage all year – not only one month,” Flores Carmona said. “Serving these student populations should be infused in everything that we do academically and socially.”
Flores Carmona has served as the interim director of Chicano Programs since July 1. Chicano Programs is a support service that promotes student success through education, advocacy and development of cultural literacy, serving hundreds of students throughout the year.
Students may visit the Chicano Programs office in Garcia Center, Room 138, by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 575-646-4206.