Hispanic Heritage Month, observed nationally from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans and corresponds with the anniversaries of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16, and Chile Sept. 18.
The Alma College Hispanic Coalition will observe Hispanic Heritage Month with several events. This year’s theme is “Honoring our Heritage. Building our Future.”
The planned activities are designed to help build respect and understanding for people from different cultures, says Stephany Slaughter, associate professor of Spanish and co-chair of the Hispanic Heritage Planning Committee.
“There is a vibrant Hispanic community that some students might not even know exists around them,” says Slaughter. “We really want these events to be opportunities to open discussions across campus and the community.”
Alma College’s observance begins with the sixth annual Fiesta/Baile and Information Fair on Friday, Sept. 18 from 3 to 10 p.m. in the Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center. It will include mariachi music, a raffle, food, dancing, children’s activities and more. Artwork from Hillcrest Elementary students in Alma also will be on display.
Although admission is free, monetary donations are accepted, as well as toiletries, school supplies and winter-wear to support the Hispanic Coalition (HisCo) Scholarship Fund and other HisCo events.
Heidi Faust, an art teacher at local elementary schools, teaches the second and third grade Hillcrest students whose artwork will be displayed. Faust uses Hispanic artifacts and art to inspire the students and create a variety of work.
“It’s fun; they do a wonderful job,” says Faust. “There are quite a few Hispanic children in our community, and it’s nice to show their heritage.”
Other Hispanic Heritage Month activities include presentations on immigration and Christopher Columbus.
On Sept. 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Swanson Academic Center Room 109, immigration attorney Susan Reed will discuss immigration law and its effects on low-income immigrants already present in the United States. A question-and-answer will be held immediately after the lecture. Refreshments will be available.
On Columbus Day, Oct. 12, Danny Wasserman, assistant professor of history at Alma College, will discuss “Who Was the Real Christopher Columbus?” in the Swanson Academic Center, Room 109 at 7:30 p.m. He will discuss how Columbus, seen as a hero in the early 20th century, is now viewed by many as a villain that brought about the massacre of Native Americans.
Non-partisan voter registration hosted by the Political Science Club will also be available at many of the events.
All events are free and open to the public.
For more information and updates, visit the Alma College Hispanic Coalition’s Facebook page or contact Slaughter at (989) 388-7858 or email@example.com.
Alma College Hispanic Heritage Month Events Calendar
Saturdays/The Alma Public Library hosts a weekly Bilingual Spanish Story Time at 11 a.m. Saturdays beginning Sept. 12 and continuing through Thanksgiving.
Saturdays/The Alma Public Library sponsors a Hispanic Heritage Month Youth Book Club on Saturdays from Sept. 12 through Oct. 17. A closing party takes place during Bilingual Spanish Story Time at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.
Sept. 18/The Alma College Hispanic Coalition sponsors the sixth annual Hispanic Heritage Month Fiesta/Baile and Information Fair on Friday, Sept. 18 from 3 to 10 p.m. in the Tyler-VanDusen Campus Center. The celebration includes live mariachi music, Hispanic-inspired foods, dancing, children’s activities and more. Admission is free and open to the public.
Sept. 18/Alma College sponsors a Hispanic awareness reading club beginning Friday, Sept. 18. Participants will read: Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. For a copy of the book, contact Angie Kelleher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 24/Visiting immigration attorney Susan Reed presents ”Immigration 101: What Every American Needs to Know” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 in Swanson Academic Center Room 109. A question-and-answer session will follow. Refreshments provided.
Oct. 8/Alma College and the Alma College Union Board host “McFarland, USA,” a film followed by discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Alma College Chapel.
Oct. 12/Danny Wasserman, an assistant professor of history at Alma College, discusses ”Who Was the Real Christopher Columbus?” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct 12 in Swanson Academic Center Room 109.
Nov. 2/The Alma College Hispanic Coalition and the Department of Modern Languages present “The Book of Life/El libro de la vida” — a film with presentation and discussion at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in the Clack Theater.
Nov. 4/Alma College hosts a Born to Run book discussion at the Alma Public Library at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Nov. 6/Alma College hosts a Born to Run book discussion at College Corner Coffee and Books from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.