Javanna Rogers, Staff Writer
This month the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) celebrates Hispanic and Latinx Heritage month.
Stephanie Molina, coordinator of OMA for this campus, states “As a nationally recognized month, Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the history of Hispanic Americans in the U.S., our culture, and the contribution of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
For our university’s month of celebration, we decided to name the month Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month to make it more inclusive. Our events focus around topics that impact our students today, such as acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community and understanding the strong connection to family that exists within this group.
Food, music, dancing and games make up the fabric of the Hispanic and Latinx culture, so even during our ‘fun’ events within the month, there are still many important cultural and educational aspects that participants can learn, absorb, and experience.”
According to Molina, the heritage month serves a dual purpose:
1) to represent and celebrate the diverse background of our student body
2) create spaces for all of our students to partake in different cultural opportunities.
“The fabric of the U.S.– of our society– is comprised of many rich cultures, yet oftentimes we do not understand or explore those cultures beyond our own. We want students to get outside of their comfort zones and have these experiences so they can see that others are not that different from themselves. In turn, this supports our university missions of creating global citizens.”
OMA will host events throughout September and October at all three campuses. To name a few, Immigration Session 101 with Kuck Baxter Immigration, LLC, Passport to Latin America and Lunch and Learn: African Influences in Latin American Music will be held on the Armstrong and Liberty campuses.
Immigration Session 101 with Kuck Baxter Immigration, LLC will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Student Ballroom A and B.
Molina gave details on the event stating, “Kuck Baxter Immigration is a top immigration law firm in Atlanta. The Armstrong Chapter of the NAACP will be hosting one of their attorneys, Mr. Jorge Gavilanes, who will be giving an overview of changes to immigration that have occurred recently. Although Hispanic/Latinx people are not the only ones impacted by the many changes to immigration policies, they do make up the majority. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend to learn about what is happening.”
Passport to Latin America takes place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Student Commons at the Liberty campus. Molina explained the event as “an annual event hosted at the Liberty Center that showcases different Latin American countries and traditional dishes from said countries. There are also fun activities for students to partake in.”
Lunch and Learn: African Influences in Latin American Music takes place from 12:30-1:30 p.m on Sept. 24 at the Ogeechee Theater.
Molina exclaims that, “Lunch & Learns are an opportunity for students to enjoy their lunch while learning about new topics related to culture, language, and various diversity issues. This week features Dr. Pedro Rivera, Associate Professor at Savannah State. Dr. Rivera will discuss Afro-Latino history and where African culture and influences made an impact in shaping the Latin American music we know today. Bring your own lunch, light refreshments will be provided.”.
The events in September are:
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2-3:30 p.m.
Immigration Session 101 with Kuck Baxter Immigration, LLC – hosted by NAACP
Armstrong Campus: Student Union Ballroom
Join the Armstrong Chapter of NAACP as they host Jorge Gavilanes, associate attorney at Kuck Baxter Immigration Services. Gavilanes’ “Immigration Session 101” will discuss the current immigration climate and practices.
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Lunch and Learn: African Influences in Latin American Music
Armstrong Campus: Ogeechee Theatre
Lunch and Learns are an opportunity for students to enjoy their lunch while learning about new topics related to culture, language and various diversity issues. This event features Savannah State University Associate Professor Pedro Rivera, Ph.D., who will discuss Afro-Latino history and where African culture and influences made an impact in shaping the Latin American music we know today. Bring your own lunch; light refreshments will be provided.
Thursday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Passport to Latin America
Step into the world of Latin American countries with food, music, fun facts and more. Join OMA and the Liberty Center for an afternoon of cultural explosion.
Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Latin Moves: Salsa Dance Lesson
Rec Center Workout Room
Join us as we host instructors from Fit912Savannah who will give us dance lessons of two popular Latinx forms, Salsa and Bachata. As the name for the music genre and the dance form itself, Salsa and Bachata originated from two Latin Caribbean countries, Cuba and the Dominican Republic respectively. The lessons will start at beginner level moves where participants will also learn how to dance with a partner. Bring a friend or your significant other! Eagle ID is required to enter the Rec Center even if you do not have a membership. No heels allowed in the group workout room.
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Latin Moves: Flamenco Dance Lessons
Rec Center Workout Room
Join us for our second dance lesson during Latino Heritage Celebration Month. Professor Encarni Cruz will teach us how to dance the Flamenco whose moves and music originated in Spain. Bring your friend or significant other to the Rec Center’s work out room. No heels allowed on the floor, please bring your Eagle ID.
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Armstrong Campus: Residential Plaza
OMA’s annual Fiesta Day brings together the Georgia Southern community to celebrate Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month. There will be food from various Latin American countries, game stations and dancing.
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Lunch & Learn: Being Queer and Latinx
Lunch & Learns are an opportunity for students to enjoy their lunch while learning about new topics related to culture, language, and various diversity issues. This week features a discussion on the “Latinx” movement in Latino/Hispanic culture. What does Latinx mean and why is it significant for those who identify as LGBTQ+ in the community? Bring your own lunch, light refreshments will be provided.
To learn more about the events, check the university event calendar at calendar.georgiasouthern.edu.