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Latinx Heritage Month kicks off, promoting intersectionality, inclusion

Bystanders munched on free Latinx food to the tune of the dance-provoking “Suavemente” playing in the background. This was the scene at a kick-off event for Latinx Heritage Month.

Planned and executed by Mi Gente and the Center of Multicultural Affairs, the calendar of events for LHM began Sept. 15, with many more activities planned until its end, Oct. 15. 

Senior Norma De Jesus and junior Alejandra Aguilar, co-presidents of Mi Gente, wrote in an email that the University's programs are designed to maximize student engagement and are open to everyone.

"During LHM, we will be hosting more socially-focused events," they wrote. "From the Latinx Dessert Workshop to Karaoke Night and Dominoes and Domino’s, our events will serve as platforms for community building and for the celebration of Latinx culture."

Other events include an Oct. 3 wellness activity called “Cuidense, The Importance of Self-Care” to encourage better health practices, with a “Latin Dance 101” program at the Wilson Gym the following night.

Aguilar and Jesus added that in addition to inclusivity, LHM also strives to recognize intersectionality. The CMA is collaborating with other identity organizations on campus in order to realize diversity during the month. Alpha Phi Alpha, an African American fraternity, is also helping to organize the month's events, along with the Latinx sorority Lambda Theta Alpha and fraternity Lambda Upsilon Lambda. 

“We try to be intentional during the event planning process. Latinidad is not a monolith, and we try to adhere to this truth as much as possible," they wrote. "Some events on our calendar that explore the concept of intersectionality are Mark Gonzalez: Muslim/Latinx Storytelling and the Machismo y Marianismo event.”

Mi Gente also collaborated with the Asian Students Association on a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals call-in session at the beginning of September, they wrote.

Joanne Kang, student development coordinator for the CMA, explained that the collaboration with Mi Gente has been successful for several years. Together, they’ve put together calendars packed with events, published the events on mailing lists and posted physical flyers around campus to promote participation amongst the student body.  

First-year Guadalupe Tarango-Garcia, who said she identifies as Latinx, noted that she would try to attend as many events as possible and also bring along any friends that were willing to join her. She added that she believes the majority of self-identifying Latinx students will also likely be in attendance at many activities.