September 05, 2007

SIUC to celebrate Latino Heritage Month

by Christi Mathis


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Make your own maracas or piñatas or perhaps salsa across the dance floor as Southern Illinois University Carbondale celebrates Latino Heritage Month 2007 with activities galore.

The theme is "Proud of Our Heritage and Proud to be Americans." The festivities kick off on Saturday, Sept. 8, with the 11th Annual Welcome Picnic and wrap up at the Seventh Annual Unity Dinner Oct. 20.

In between, participants can enjoy a tamale fest, free bowling, make theme crafts, encounter homecoming Latino-style, and experience a variety of cultural enrichment presentations, including an address by Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea. An exhibit in the north entrance display case at the SIUC Student Center highlights Latino cultures and organizations and previews the University's event lineup.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. The complete schedule for Latino Heritage Month 2007 includes:

Saturday, Sept. 8

• 1 p.m.– 11th Annual Welcome Picnic, Bucky's Haven, next to the campus boat docks. Free food, fun, entertainment and breaking a piñata. Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity and Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority.

Wednesday, Sept. 12

• 9 p.m. – Free bowling with Hispanic Student Council, Bowling & Billiards Center in Student Center. Free bowling and entertainment with Latin touch. Sponsored by Hispanic Student Council.

Friday, Sept. 14

• Noon – Festival Latino, Free Forum area, located north of McAndrew Stadium. Featuring a cultural performance by Chicago-based group Nahui Ollin * Quetzalyollotl, free food, music and more. Sponsored by Hispanic Student Council.

Mondays, Sept. 17-Oct. 1

• 6-8 p.m. each Monday for three weeks – Latin ceramic maracas class, Student Center Craft Shop. Pour ceramic maracas, decorate, trim and fire the instruments. Class has minimum three and maximum eight participants. Cost is $25 for SIUC students and $25 for others, covering all materials. Contact Student Center Craft Shop, 618/453-3636.

Tuesdays, Sept. 18-Oct. 2

• 5:30-7:30 p.m. each Tuesday for three weeks – Build a Pinata, Student Center Craft Shop. Create a personal piñata from design stage to finished, decorated piñata. Individuals, groups and families are welcome to work on one or more with class size minimum three and maximum 12 participants. Cost is $10 per piñata for materials and instruction. Contact Student Center Craft Shop, 618/453-3636.

Tuesday, Sept. 18

• 7 p.m. – "Dying to Get In: Undocumented Immigration at the U.S. Mexican Border," Ohio Room of Student Center. Cape Cod documentary producer Brett Tolley examines the "gauntlet of death" U.S./Mexican border. It's a firsthand look at a five-day perilous journey for some of the men, women and children hoping to trade lives of desperation and poverty into hope and opportunity. A U-Card event. Discussion follows.

Wednesday, Sept. 19

• 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Tamales, Student Center Craft Shop, learn to make several types of delicious Latin American tamales. Cost $8. Contact Student Center Craft Shop 618/453-3636.

• 7 p.m.- Shabuya, Ohio Room of Student Center, view senior thesis film by SIUC alumnus Mario Contreras following the Freedom Ride of migrant workers from the offices of Illinois congressional leaders to Washington, D.C., with discussion to follow. A U-Card event.

Thursdays, Sept. 20-Oct. 4

• 5:30-7 p.m. each Thursday – Maracas from Gourds, Student Center Craft Shop, making Latin maracas from natural gourds, carving the musical instruments. Class size three to eight participants, cost $20 for SIUC students and $25 for others, covering materials. Contact Craft Shop at 618/453-3636.

Saturday, Sept. 22

• 10 a.m-noon – Latino Happy Factory Day of Service, Student Center Craft Shop, making wooden toys for local and international charities, distribution to children of migrant workers. Contact Craft Shop 618/453-3636.

Monday, Sept. 24

• 7 p.m. – Ice Cream Social, Grinnell Hall Lower Level. Free ice cream sponsored by Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity to promote cross-cultural awareness and interaction.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

• 7 p.m. – Luis Alberto Urrea presents keynote address, "Dual Culture Life Experiences," Student Center Auditorium. Urrea is a 2005 Pulitzer Prize non-fiction finalist and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. A prolific and acclaimed writer, he explores love, loss, triumph and other significant themes through his experiences in dual cultures. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, to a Mexican father and an American mother, he's the author of 11 books, is an award-winning poet and essayist. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize while winning the Lannan Literary Award in 2004 for "The Devil's Highway," a non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert. A U-Card event. Sponsored by Office of the Associate Chancellor of Diversity, the Office of Diversity and Equity, Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity and Student Development Multicultural Programs and Services.

Wednesday, Sept. 26

• 6:30 p.m. – Salsa Dance Lessons, Student Center Ballroom D, free salsa lessons for beginners or a good refresher for experienced dancers. Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity.

• 9 p.m. – Latino Study Jam, Student Center Big Muddy Room, a study jam with free food, a meet and greet with a Latin flavor. Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity.

Thursday, Sept. 27

• 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Tamale Fest, with tamale varieties galore and much more Latin American fare in the Old Main Restaurant on the second floor of the Student Center. Cost is $6.75 per person.

• 7:30 p.m. – Victor Correa Memorial CPR Workshop, Illinois Room of Student Center. Annual workshop to bring hope from tragedy with basic attention and instruction in life-saving CPR. Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity.

Friday, Sept. 28

• 7 p.m. – Noche de Gala, Student Center Ballroom D. Live music, salsa dancing and semi-formal attire are set for the evening with 600 or more participants expected. Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Student Center-SPACE and Student Development Multicultural Programs and Services.

Saturday, Sept. 29

• 1 p.m. – Hispanic Student Council Community Service Project. Volunteers meet at SIUC Student Center circle at 12:30 p.m. for duty assignments in this Hispanic Student Council/Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity "Adopt-a-Spot" community service project.

• 5 p.m. – International Perspectives on Race and Gender, presented by Monica Conrado, sociology professor from Belem University in Brazil, Student Center Illinois Room. She will compare racism in the two countries, and examine U.S. African American thoughts and perceptions of the world compared to experiences of Brazilians with African heritage. Her work includes a variety of contexts and experiences, including domestic violence, workplace discrimination, slave labor, human trafficking and teen prostitution. Sponsored by Partners of the Americas-Missouri. A U-Card event.

Wednesday, Oct. 3

• 7 p.m. – "Racial and Gay Comedy: The Impacts?" Student Center Ohio Room. Joint program of Latino Heritage Month and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender History Month with Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, associate professor of speech communications at SIUC, as facilitator. Comedy video clips pertinent to race and sexual orientation will be viewed and discussed. A U-Card event.

Saturday, Oct. 6

• 11:30 a.m. – Homecoming Latino Celebration/Tailgate, McAndrew Stadium tailgate area with Latin music, food and fun. Sponsored by Hispanic Student Council with Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, Delta Phi Mu Sorority, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority and Student Development Multicultural Programs and Services.

Monday, Oct. 8

• 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Tamales 2, Student Center Craft Shop, another workshop making several types of Latin American tamales. Cost is $8.

Wednesday, Oct. 10

• 7 p.m. – "The Aggressives," documentary exploring and exposing the secret New York "aggressives" secret subculture with discussion to follow, Student Center Ohio Room. Co-sponsored by Latino Heritage Month and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender History Month. A U-Card event.

Thursday, Oct. 11

• 7-9 p.m. – Seventh Annual Poetry Night, Longbranch Coffeehouse at 100 E. Jackson St., Carbondale. Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority.

Sunday, Oct. 14

• 1:30 p.m. – Friends and Neighbors Latino Heritage Month 2007 closing ceremony, St. Francis Xavier Church, 303 Poplar St., Carbondale. Community gathering for brunch, conversation and friendship with a Latino meal, designed to foster friendship and community.

Saturday, Oct. 20

• 7 p.m. – Seventh Annual Unity Dinner, Newman Center. Hosted by Delta Phi Mu Sorority Inc. to celebrate diversity and multi-culturalism.

The sponsors of 2007 Latino Heritage Month include Hispanic Student Council, Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, Delta Phi Mu Sorority, Delta Psi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority, Office of the Associate Chancellor (Diversity), Office of Diversity and Equity, GLBT History Month Committee, Student Center Craft Shop, Student Center -SPACE and Student Development Multiculturalism Programs and Services.

For additional information and scheduling details contact Student Development- Multicultural Programs and Services at 618/453-5714 or look online at


Keynote speaker — 2005 Pulitzer Prize nonfiction finalist Luis Alberto Urrea will present the Latino Heritage Month keynote address "Dual Culture Life Experiences," on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Southern Illinois University Student Center Auditorium.

Photo provided