Despite a uniquely challenging semester, the Institute for Latino Studies successfully commemorated Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of virtual events highlighting the contributions of Latinos in the United States as well as issues facing the community during this tumultuous election year.
From September 15th through October 15th, ILS offered talks on subjects ranging from the 2020 presidential campaign to the murals of Latinx Chicago to the aftermath of the El Paso massacre, among other topics.
In addition, undergraduate students were able to connect with Hispanic alumni successful in their professional careers, underscoring the vital networking opportunities the ILS provides its students. They were also able to learn about the Latino Studies supplementary major and minor during a separate virtual event.
Hispanic Heritage Month dates back to 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson signed into law a weeklong celebration in September. In 1988, under President Ronald Reagan, the week became a month, covering the second half of September and the first half of October. Many Latin American countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, and Chile, celebrate their independence during that time of year.
Paloma Garcia-Lopez, ILS Associate Director, worked with faculty and community contacts to help curate the Hispanic Heritage Month series this fall.
“We informally queried our students about what topics interested them most and we reached out to our ILS faculty fellows to match these areas,” she says. “Overall, we curated 11 virtual events fulfilling a vital component of diversity and inclusion programming on campus. Students are still visiting our site to view the presentations, well after Hispanic Heritage Month.”
ILS’s social media accounts at the end of October had grown by over 1000 new followers, a figure that surpasses prior in-person attendance numbers, Garcia-Lopez added. The Institute also continued to match students with research opportunities on campus and mentorships with alumni off campus.
The video recordings for Hispanic Heritage Month events are available as a playlist on our Youtube account, Latino Studies ND.
They are also listed individually below.