September 11, 2018

Music, food, tailgating and more planned for Hispanic Latino Heritage Month at SIU

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate the Hispanic and Latino peoples, their history, culture and traditions during Hispanic Latino Heritage month, which takes place Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “History – Culture – Pride – Resilience.”

The official kick-off event is Sept. 17 at 5 pm. at the Student Center’s Old Main Room, featuring music, food and “gente linda” (nice people.)  Throughout the month, guest speakers, movies, a family football tailgate, piñatas, music and much more are on tap.

Award-winning writer, director and producer to present keynote address

Aguayo Angela J. Aguayo, associate professor of cinema and digital culture in the College of Mass Communications and Media Arts, will present the keynote address during the kick-off. 

She is a scholar and media maker who creates documentaries and writes about social change. She is currently writing her second book, “Documentary Resistance: Social Change in the Age of Participatory Media Culture(s)” and has had her essays published in a variety of journals.

She is also an award-winning writer, director and producer of many documentary shorts which have been used in community engagement campaigns and screened at various festivals and museums worldwide.

Film festival and empowerment luncheon planned

For the first time, SIU will have a “Latin American Short Films” exhibition and a Latino Empowerment Luncheon. The film festival is set for 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Faner Museum Auditorium.

The empowerment luncheon will be at noon on Oct. 11 at the Student Center’s Old Main Room. A panel will include Latina faculty and staff from SIU as well as professionals from the community who will share their wisdom and experiences, thereby helping empower students and others in attendance.

Space is limited for the luncheon, which is open to all Latina students at no cost. Email by Oct. 3 to make reservations.

Football tailgating and fun craft sessions also featured

This is your chance to create two Hispanic craft projects as well. You can make an independence lantern, an important symbol of independence in Central American countries, during the Shining the Light of Independence workshop, offered both on- and off-campus.

The first session will take place 3:30-6 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Migrant Council Learning Center in Cobden while the second is from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 at the Student Center’s Big Muddy Room.

A two-day Piñata Event is set for Oct. 4-5 at the Student Center Craft Shop. Everyone is welcome from 5 to 7 p.m. both evenings to learn the history of the piñata and then actually create one.

“The Familia Tailgate: Celebrating Family” will be part of SIU’s Family Weekend Celebration. SIU Hispanic/Latino students and their families are welcome for food and fun in the SIU Arena parking lot prior to the big football game Sept. 29.

Movies/documentaries. TED Talk, discussions on diversity and resiliency also planned

Among the other highlights of Hispanic Latino Heritage Month are:

  • “Celebrating Latinx in Higher Education,” diversity training sessions set for Sept. 20 and Oct. 9.
  • Allies of Resiliency Illinois Bicentennial Celebration, bringing together elected officials, community members and Hispanic Latino allies 2-4 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the Student Center Ballrooms.
  • Several movies/documentaries and a TED Talk Latino; Latino identity discussion on Sept. 19.

Highlighting local and international achievement

The goal of the celebration is multi-faceted, according to Cristina Castillo, the new coordinator of SIU’s Hispanic Latino Resource Center. She said the events will highlight the culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Salukis as well as the overall Hispanic Latino community.

“There is a lot of Hispanic and Latino talent and achievements among our faculty, staff and students that goes unrecognized,” Castillo said. “We want to highlight their accomplishments.”

She noted that about 220 Latino/Hispanic students graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in May and that SIU’s faculty and staff, as well as previous graduates, have many notable accomplishments to their credit.

Castillo said she also hopes to get local high school students and children to campus for some of the activities and to connect with the successful Latino students.

All events are free and open to campus and the community at large.

More details online

For more information about Hispanic Latino Heritage Month, visit the Student Multicultural Resource Center website or call 618/453-3740.