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September 13, 2023 - Hispanic Heritage Month

By Unidos & Tebraie Banda-Johns, Director of the Intercultural Center

Three students pose for a picture, outdoors at the student activities fair.

In the United States, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15. It is a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions, culture and history of Hispanic and Latinx communities, and serves as an opportunity to educate, raise awareness and appreciate the richness and diversity of these cultures.

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 to coincide with the independence days of several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Hispanic and Latinx cultures have always and continue to influence various aspects of life in the United States including cuisine, music, dance, art, literature, and language. Prominent figures from Hispanic and Latinx backgrounds have made significant contributions in various fields, including politics, science, entertainment, sports and more.

Our new student affinity group, Unidos, was formed to create a welcoming and flourishing environment for Latine/Latinx identifying students to feel a sense of belonging and affirmation in their identities. Unidos will be having its first meeting at the Glover Alston Center (GAC) on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. Sign up to become a member or learn more.

At the Intercultural Center (IC), we are partnering with Unidos to create cultural events to celebrate Hispanic culture. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 27 at  5 p.m. at the GAC, the IC will be organizing a Mask & Butterfly Making Workshop in collaboration with local Walla Walla community members to create colorful paper mache butterflies and cultural masks in preparation for the 2nd Annual Festival de Cultura Viva on October 1. This festival will be a great opportunity to engage with the local community in uplifting Hispanic and Latinx culture. 

On Friday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. at the GAC, the IC in collaboration with LGBTQIA+ Student Services and Unidos, will be playing Queer Loteria and learning about Queer Hispanic icons throughout history.

In October, we will be hosting a series of events including an outdoor movie night on the Reid Campus Center side lawn, as well as a Salsa & Bachata dance class and our big Hispanic Heritage Celebration in the Reid Ballroom! More details to follow.

All of these events are open for all to promote cultural awareness and appreciation. If you are interested in volunteering and supporting these events or have questions about accessibility, please email Tebraie Banda-Johns (bandajot@whitman.edu).

Published on Sep 12, 2023
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