September 12, 2014

SIU to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Month with an assortment of special events and activities. The events run from Monday, Sept. 15 through Oct. 9. 

“Si Se Puede!,” loosely translated “Yes, it can be done,” is this year’s festival theme. 

Dolores Huerta, a well-known Hispanic feminist, activist and organizer, is the keynote speaker. She will present a lecture at 6 p.m. Oct. 7, in Shryock Auditorium. 

Huerta is a 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; the award is the highest civilian U.S. award.  Born in a small mountain mining town in New Mexico where her father was a union activist who went on to serve in the state legislature, Huerta would become a teacher and later organizer and activist in fights against economic injustice. 

Huerta teamed with César Chávez to create the National Farm Workers Association and fought to end gender discrimination. She is the founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and continues to work on behalf of social justice, civil rights and equality.  Her awards and achievements include selection as one of the “100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century” by Ladies Home Journal magazine. There are six schools in California, Texas and Colorado named in her honor. 

The kickoff event, which will highlight the month’s activities, is from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in Grinnell Hall.   

The schedule includes a panel discussion led by Cindy Buys, a professor in the School of Law, on the crisis involving migrant children; salsa, cumbia and bachata dance workshops, Spanish karaoke, films and the opportunity to make a piñata. Special presentations include “The Minority Complex,” “Latina Revolutionaries and the Life of Frida Kahlo,” “Latino History in the U.S.,” “Latino Revolutionaries Che and Freire” and “Mi Tierra U.S.A!” Latinos Here and Now.” 

There will also be a concert featuring classical music from Spain to Latin America at 5 p.m. Oct. 3, in Doyle Hall in the Old Baptist Foundation. There will be vocal, piano, guitar and bassoon performances and the opportunity for audience participation. 

The Hispanic Heritage Month schedule of events and more information is available at, or by calling 618/453-2127. 

Sponsors include SIU’s Hispanic/Latino Resource Center, Black Resource Center, the Center for Inclusive Excellence, Latino Cultural Association, Hispanic Business Association, the School of Music, Sigma Lambda Gamma and the Women’s Resource Center.