Ferris State University’s Center for Latin@ Studies and the Office of Multicultural Student Services are inviting students and Big Rapids community members to participate in the annual Latinx Heritage Month, with events offered on Tuesday, Sept. 25, Tuesday, Oct. 2 and Wednesday, Oct. 10.
OMSS Assistant Director Michael Wade said Ferris’ programming coincides with the nationally-observed Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, each year.
“Our campus-wide celebration is titled Latinx Heritage Month, as Latinx is inclusive of the intersecting gender and ethnic identities of Latin American descendants,” Wade said. “Ancestors can come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central and South America.”
The offices are collaborating on the Latinx Heritage Month Celebration Tuesday, Sept. 25 in the North Quad from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food, music, dance lessons, and art and craft tables. The event is free and open to the public. In case of rain, the event will be moved inside to University Center, Room 202C.
There will be a diverse panel of Latinx students and professionals considering the diversity, complexities and journeys of their identity in a Conversations on Race discussion Tuesday, Oct. 2. This presentation will be held in Room 107 of the Interdisciplinary Resource Center and is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Bobby Gonzalez, a nationally-known multicultural motivational speaker from the South Bronx area of New York City, will present his poetry and perspective on issues impacting contemporary Latinx society on Wednesday, Oct. 10 in Room 203 (Founders’ Room) of the University Center, beginning at 5 p.m.
CLS Executive Director Kaylee Moreno said that with the growth of Latinx populations at Ferris and other college campuses, this is an important and timely celebration.
“The Latinx community is often thought of as monolithic, but it is remarkably diverse,”
Moreno said. “This year our campus has again seen the growth of those with Latinx
backgrounds. This year’s lineup of events specifically celebrates the heterogeneity
in culture, dance and identity of students on our campus. Thus, our interest in having
a diverse celebration of indigenous Latinx roots, identity and culture can help to
inform our campus on how we can continue to serve our diverse student body.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Motivational speaker Bobby Gonzalez, a native of the South Bronx with Native American and Puerto Rican roots, is one of the presenters during Ferris State University’s Latinx Heritage Month schedule. Gonzalez will speak in the Founder’s Room of the University Center at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10. (The picture is courtesy bobbygonzalez.com.)