Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Heritage Month Offers Events for Everyone

Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Heritage Month Offers Events for Everyone

The University of Alabama’s Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Heritage Month, which is a campus version of National Hispanic Heritage Month, officially kicks off Sept. 15 with a schedule packed full of events that are open to all comers.

poster for Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Heritage Month eventsThe nationally recognized month is annually celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded in 1988 to a full month under President Ronald Reagan.

“This is a celebration of our culture and I’m really excited about it,” said Carina Villarreal, vice president of UA’s Hispanic/Latino Association. “I encourage everyone to come out and learn. Keep your mind open to new things, and we should have a lot of fun and learn a lot.”

Villarreal said the 4-year-old event has changed its name this year to include Latinx, a gender-neutral term for a person of Latin American heritage, because of the gender-neutral movement’s growth in the Hispanic/Latin American community.

“As the nation begins to celebrate Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, I am pleased that our campus will provide a collection of targeted learning opportunities designed to learn more about the history and culture of the Hispanic/Latino and Latinx community,” said Dr. G. Christine Taylor, vice president and associate provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“Learning from and about those who are different from yourself is critical to the development of your own cultural competencies as well as the creation of a more inclusive and welcoming community.”

Campus Dialogue titled, “Being Hispanic/Latino/Latinx,” will take place at the Ferguson Student Center from 1-1:50 p.m. on Sept. 25. Villarreal said the conversation will touch on many broad subjects concerning Hispanics and Latinos on UA’s campus and in America, including the topic of immigration in the U.S.

headshot of guest speakerAnother big event also occurs on Sept. 25. Dr. Yolanda Flores Niemann, a professor of psychology at the University of North Texas, will discuss “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but Words Will Never Hurt Me: Understanding the Impact of Microaggressions.”

Separate sessions with Niemann will be offered for students and faculty/staff. The session for students will be at 6 p.m. in the Ferguson Center Ballroom. Sessions for faculty and staff will be held Sept. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:30-5 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center.

Niemann’s most prominent research focuses on the effects of social ecological contexts of stereotypes, especially in academia, and the psychological effects of tokenism. Her most recent book (coedited) is “Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia,” which has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Other books include “Black/Brown Relations and Stereotypes” and “Chicana Leadership.”