Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month
The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) announced the 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month observance theme: “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” Each year, the NCHEPM membership selects the annual theme, which is used nationwide by government agencies, nonprofits and other organizations.
“The theme invites us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics have made in the past, and will continue to make in the future,” said Eliana De Leon, Hispanic Employment program manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is also a reminder that we are stronger together.
Americans annually observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
The Hispanic Heritage observance began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the 30-day period of Sept. 15-Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
(Information courtesy of Hispanic Month.net)
The UA campus offers a number of fun and informational events in recognition of the month. Join us for salsa dancing, movies, exhibits, book discussions and TEDTalks.
- White House Proclamation on National Hispanic Heritage Month
- Why People are Split on Using ‘Latinx’
- About One-in-Four U.S. Hispanics Have Heard of Latinx, but Just 3% Use It
- Why Hispanic Heritage Month Starts in the Middle of September
- National Archives Hispanic Heritage Month News
- Hispanic Heritage Month.gov
- Smithsonian Latino Center: free events, teaching and learning resources
- NPR: music, interviews and podcasts celebrating the diversity of the Latinx community
- Podcast: Who You Calling ‘Hispanic’?
Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month Presentation
Wednesday, Sept. 1 | Noon-1 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 The University of Alabama Student Center)
The Intercultural Diversity Center will share a PowerPoint presentation focusing on “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” the 2021 theme for Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. The theme invites participants to celebrate Hispanic heritage while offering information on the Latinx community and reflections on its contributions. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at email@example.com.
Hostile Terrain (HT94) Exhibit Toe Tags Activity
Sunday, Sept. 5 and Sept. 12| Noon-2 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (Student Center 2100)
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)
To prepare for the installation of Hostile Terrain 94, the UA community can participate in a series of reflection workshops to recognize those who lost their lives while crossing the U.S./Mexico border. HT94 is made up of handwritten toe tags that represent each person who died in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The tags include names (when known), age, sex, cause of death, condition of body, and location for every person whose body has been recovered. The tags are then placed on a wall map in the exact location where those remains were found. This workshop will ask volunteers to fill out the toe tags and bear witness to the humanitarian crisis that is happening at the U.S. southern border. The activity offers an opportunity for individuals to emotionally connect with the information being conveyed on the tags, to memorialize and stand in solidarity with the lost lives, and to take part in the greater migration conversation. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Border South” Film Screening / Hostile Terrain 94 Exhibit Tour
Film Screening: Monday, Sept. 13 | 4:30-6 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center)
Hostile Terrain 94 Exhibit Tour: 6:15-8 p.m. | Maxwell Hall
Exhibit available for viewing: Tuesday-Thursday through Oct. 13| 4-7 p.m. | Maxwell Hall
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement)
In observance of Latinx Heritage Month, the Intercultural Diversity Center will partner with the UA Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies to host a screening of “Border South.” Every year hundreds of thousands of migrants make their way along the trail running from southern Mexico to the U.S. border. Gustavo’s gunshot wounds from Mexican police, which have achieved abundant press attention, might just earn him a ticket out of Nicaragua. Meanwhile anthropologist Jason painstakingly collects the trail’s remains, which have their own stories to tell. Fragmented stories from Hondurans crossing through southern Mexico assemble a vivid portrait of the thousands of immigrants who disappear along the trail. “Border South” reveals the immigrants’ resilience, ingenuity and humor as it exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death.
At the conclusion of the film, attendees can visit Maxwell Hall to see the art exhibit and opening of Hostile Terrain 94, handwritten toe tags that represent each person who died in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona while attempting to cross the U.S./Mexico border. Registration is required. For more information, contact Jared Margulies at email@example.com.
TEDTalk Tuesdays: “Intersectionality & Latinx as Digital Disruptions of Identity in the Media”
Tuesday, Sept. 14 | Noon-1 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center)
The Intercultural Diversity Center will kick off its Fall 2021 TEDTalk Tuesday Series in observance of Latinx Heritage Month by featuring, “Intersectionality & Latinx as Digital Disruptions of Identity in the Media.” Participants will learn the current state of intersectional representation in media and its vast importance to identity formation. Dr. Nathian Rodriguez is a media studies professor within the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Stolen Education: The Legacy of Hispanic Racism in Schools’
Wednesday, Sept. 15 | Noon-1:30 p.m. | Zoom
The College of Human Environmental Sciences Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity presents the documentary and discussion. It is the story of Hernandez et al. vs. Driscoll Consolidated Independent School District of 1956 to end discriminatory practices against Mexican American students. Registration required.
The College of Human Environmental Sciences is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse, inclusive and welcoming campus community in which every student, faculty and staff can thrive.
Learn more about the CHES Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity.
Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) Exhibit
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 – Friday, Oct. 15| 4-7 p.m. | Maxwell Hall
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement)
In observance of Latinx Heritage Month, the Intercultural Diversity Center will partner with the UA Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies to bring the Hostile Terrain 94 exhibit. Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) is a participatory art project sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a nonprofit research-art-education-media collective, directed by anthropologist Jason De León. The exhibition is composed of more than 3,200 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. The construction of HT94 is made possible by teams of volunteers from each hosting location, who participate in tag-filling workshops, where they write the details of the dead and then publicly place the tags on a map in the exact location where each individual’s remains were found. Some tags also contain QR codes that link to content related to migrant stories and visuals connected to immigration, including a virtual exhibition that can be accessed via cellphone. For more information, contact Jared Margulies at email@example.com.
EveryWoman Book Club
Thursday, Sept. 16 | Noon-1 p.m. | Legend’s Bistro, Hotel Capstone
(Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)
The Women and Gender Resource Center will kick off its EveryWoman Book Club series featuring, “The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez. The book focuses on 15-year-old Maribel Rivera who sustains a terrible injury. The Riveras leave behind a comfortable life in Mexico and risk everything to come to the United States so that Maribel can have the care she needs. Once they arrive, it’s not long before Maribel attracts the attention of Mayor Toro, the son of one of their new neighbors, who sees a kindred spirit in this beautiful, damaged outsider. Their love story sets in motion events that will have profound repercussions for everyone involved. Here Henríquez seamlessly interweaves the story of these star-crossed lovers and of the Rivera and Toro families with the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. “The Book of Unknown Americans” is a stunning novel of hopes and dreams, guilt and love.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Lester at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 348-5040 to be added to the EveryWoman Book Club email list. You can also register for a single meeting online. Join the email for future updates at tinyurl.com/EveryWomanBookClub.
Social Justice Movie: “Stolen Education: The Legacy of Hispanic Racism in Schools”
Friday, Sept. 17 | 7 p.m. | Virtual and Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center)
The Intercultural Diversity Center will continue its Fall 2021 Social Justice Movie Series with a showing of “Stolen Education: The Legacy of Hispanic Racism in Schools.” As a 9-year-old second grader, Lupe had been forced to remain in the first grade for three years, not because of her academic performance but solely because she was Mexican American. She was one of eight young students who testified in a federal court case in 1956 to end the discriminatory practice (Hernandez et al. v. Driscoll Consolidated Independent School District), one of the first post-Brown desegregation court cases to be litigated. “Stolen Education” portrays the courage of these young people, testifying in an era when fear and intimidation were used to maintain racial hierarchy and control. The students won the case, but for almost 60 years the case was never spoken about in the farming community where they lived despite its significance.
Participants will learn about the inner workings of the judicial system in relation to Mexican Americans and how Mexican Americans are treated in some educational settings. A hybrid model of this program will be provided for all participants to engage virtually through Zoom. Registration is required: http://tinyurl.com/deiidcevents. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at email@example.com.
“Signs Preceding the End of the World” Book Discussion
Monday, Sept. 20 | 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center)
(Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)
The UA Latin American, Caribbean, Latinx Studies Program and the Intercultural Diversity Center will host a book discussion of Yuri Herrera’s novel, “Signs Preceding the End of the World” with Dr. Sarah Moody. The book highlights the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. The author explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages: one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld. Limited free books will be available in advance. For more information, contact Sarah Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEDTalk Tuesdays: “(de)Americanization of Latino Youth”
Tuesday, Sept. 21 | Noon-1 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center)
The Intercultural Diversity Center will kick off its Fall 2021 TEDTalk Tuesday Series in observance of Latinx Heritage Month featuring, “(de)Americanization of Latino Youth.” Dr. Maria Chavez discusses her story, being the child of parents who migrated from Mexico to the U.S. during the Bracero guest worker program. She became the first person in her family to graduate from college earning her B.A. and M.A. from California State University, Chico, and her Ph.D. from Washington State University. Participants will learn about the challenges Latinos face when being the children of immigrants, and ways Latinos navigate different spaces to have a voice. Dr. Chavez is currently is an associate professor of political science specializing in American government, public policy, and race and politics and the author of “Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism.” For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at email@example.com.
Latinx Faculty & Staff Association Welcome Back Event
Thursday, Sept. 23 | 4-6 p.m. | Student Center Plaza
The Latinx Faculty and Staff Association will kick off the academic year with !Baile!, an event that features free food and salsa lessons. The Association supports Latinx faculty and staff at UA by promoting diversity, equity and inclusion for UA community members. The event is co-sponsored by Education Abroad and University Programs. Follow LFSA on Facebook at UALFSA for updates on this and other activities.
Learn more about LFSA by visiting the UA Employee Resource Groups page.
Multi-Cultural Coffee Hour
Friday, Sept. 24 | 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center)
Throughout the academic year (August through May), International Student and Scholar Services and the Intercultural Diversity Center host a weekly event, Multi-Cultural Coffee Hour (formerly known as International Coffee Hour). All international and American students, scholars, faculty, staff, and friends are welcome to join. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Multi-Cultural Coffee Hour will be featuring Mexico on Sept. 24. Join us for coffee, tea, Mexican snacks, and fun conversation as you make new friends, and learn about other cultures and Mexico.
Social Justice Movie Series: “Coco”
Friday, Sept. 24 | 7 p.m. | Virtual and Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center)
The Intercultural Diversity Center will continue its Fall 2021 Social Justice Movie Series with a showing of “Coco.” This film highlights a boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a famous guitar player, despite the misgivings of his close-knit family. When his lofty ambitions cause him to run afoul of a curse, he must journey into the Land of the Dead to seek forgiveness from his ancestors.
In addition to the in-person showing in the Intercultural Diversity Center, a hybrid model of this program will be provided for all participants to engage virtually through Zoom. Registration is required for Zoom: http://tinyurl.com/deiidcevents. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Dillman Virtual Keynote
Monday, Sept. 27 | 4 p.m. | Zoom
(Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)
The UA Latin American, Caribbean, Latinx Studies Program and the Intercultural Diversity Center will host Lisa Dillman, who will discuss her award-winning translation of Yuri Herrera’s “Signs Preceding the End of the World.” Dillman, who teaches in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, won the 2016 Best Translated Book Award for Herrera’s “Signs.” Registration is required. For more information, contact Sarah Moody at email@example.com.
Research, Clinical Practice, and my Latino Neighbors
Tuesday, Sept. 28 | 12:15-1:15 p.m. | Zoom
The College of Community Health Sciences Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture will be given by Carlos Javier Torres, programs director for the Birmingham-based Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama. Torres oversees the organization’s four main programs and advocates for systems changes that allow people to make meaningful contributions to the Hispanic community. Prior to joining HICA, Torres worked as a senior program officer for the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, managing direct services, food systems and green space. He worked for the U.S. Census Bureau as the Alabama statewide Latino Partnership specialist during the 2020 Census and in that role spearheaded efforts to document the growth of the Hispanic community in Alabama, now 5.1% of the state’s population. In addition, Torres served previously as the international program manager for the Jefferson County Department of Public Health in Birmingham, and as adjunct faculty at Samford University in Birmingham and the University of California-San Francisco. Originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, Torres earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico, and a master’s degree in molecular physiology and biophysics from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Join the webinar.
“A Line Birds Cannot See” Film Showing and Discussion
Tuesday, Sept. 28 | 5 p.m. | 3111 Student Center
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)
The Women and Gender Resource Center and the Intercultural Diversity Center will offer a film showing and discussion with Amy Bench, the director/producer of “A Line Birds Cannot See.” This nine-minute animated film about the U.S./Mexico border provokes reflections about immigration and geography zooming in on one personal story about crossing the border. In the film, we hear a woman (E.L., a DACA recipient who had been in the U.S. for 13 years) recounting the perilous journey to the U.S., from Guatemala, that she took as a child. When she was growing up in a tiny village high in the mountains of Guatemala, when her mother got up the strength to flee a violent home, she was thrust into a journey that would forever change her. After a smuggler separated mother and daughter, E’s life honed to a single goal—surviving so she could find her mother again.
Bench, who lives in Austin, Texas, is a cinematographer whose work has been screened at festivals including Berlin, SXSW, Sundance, and the New York Film Festival.
Participants will have an intimate look at one immigrant’s journey that reveals a key truth behind the immigration debates. In addition, guests will have a chance to speak with the film maker to gain insight on the film. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lester Elester1@ua.edu, 205-348-5040.
Culverhouse Hispanic Heritage Month DEI Speaker Series: Hernan Prado
Wednesday, Sept. 29 | Noon | Virtual
Hernan Prado, a 2001 UA graduate, is the chief executive officer at HOLA Latino and finance analyst at BBVA. His presentation is about his career path and how HOLA Latino started in Alabama. To attend, register at Hernan Prado: Sept. 29. For more information about this event, contact Kelsi Long at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is sponsored by the Culverhouse College of Business. Read more about diversity, equity and inclusion at Culverhouse.
Yuri Herrera Keynote
Monday, Oct. 4 | 4 p.m. | Gorgas Library Camellia Room
The Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies Program will host Yuri Herrera, author of the award-winning novel “Signs Preceding the End of the World.” The book is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last 10 years. Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there is no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages – one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld. The novel won the Best Translated Book Award in 2016. This event will include a discussion and reception. Registration is required. For more information, contact Sarah Moody at email@example.com.
Latinx in Alabama: A Panel Discussion on Issues Within the Latinx Population
Wednesday, Oct. 6 | 2 p.m. | CDRC Training Rooms and Virtual
In recognition of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, the College of Community Health Sciences Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity will present this panel discussion featuring top experts in a variety of fields including healthcare, human development, mental health, substance abuse and more. Please register for either in-person or Zoom participation.
‘The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants’ by Adam Goodman
Thursday, Oct. 7 | 6 p.m. | Zoom
Professor and author Dr. Andrew Goodman will discuss his latest book “The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants” and share his thoughts on the troubling history of the U.S. government’s systematic efforts to terrorize and expel immigrants over the past 140 years and the innovative strategies people have adopted to fight against the machine and redefine belonging in ways that transcend citizenship. This event is presented in partnership with The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, and Samford University. Register using the QR code in the flier to the right or visit bit.ly/GoodmanUAB. For more information, contact UAB’s office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Justice Movie Series: ‘The State of Texas vs. Melissa’
Friday, Oct. 8 | 7 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Student Center) and via Zoom
“The State of Texas vs. Melissa” shares Melissa Lucio’s story as the first Hispanic woman sentenced to death in Texas, the appeal process and how her conviction was an egregious miscarriage of justice. A hybrid viewing model of this program will be provided for all participants to engage in person or virtually through Zoom. In order to attend the online component, registration is required. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at email@example.com.
Artist’s ‘Border Stories’ Depicts the World Through an Immigrant’s Eyes
Oct. 18 through Nov. 17 | Gallery hours | Sella-Granata Art Gallery, Woods Hall
The UA Department of Art and Art History will present the Master of Fine Arts exhibition of Juan Lopez-Bautista: “Border Stories.” Lopez-Bautista, a Mexican American artist and biologist, creates large mixed media works collaged with images related to people migrating to the U.S.-Mexico border. The artworks–painted with acrylic washes, inks, dry pigments and acrylic transfers on synthetic paper and panels–depict migrants and objects that represent their presence immersed in an abstract landscape as in a struggle for survival. Lopez-Bautista, who holds a PhD in plant biology from Louisiana State University and has taught for more than a decade in UA’s biology department, uses images of the traces of migrants, traces that “show the remains from a journey, the residues of long and sometimes deadly crossings.” He explains, “the items left behind by immigrants are objects with meaning; they are remnants of stories to be told, clothing and shoes that someone wore, forgotten toys and dolls, and bags that at one time contained cherished heirlooms. Although the objects appear faded after being exposed for weeks or years to the desert conditions, they still vividly contrast with the arid and inhospitable environment.”
The child of an American father and a Mexican mother, Lopez-Bautista’s explorations of his own maternal family’s migration from central Mexico to the US, “provided me with clues to understand my complex identity,” and led him to empathize with what other Mexican immigrants have gone through and are going through now. “My work,” he said, “represents an empathetic invitation to appreciate the migratory issue…and to embrace my immigrant and hyphenated citizenship identities.” He said, “During my painting process, I challenge myself to arrive at the poetics of in-betweenness amid the abstraction process and the landscape’s human presence. I envision my artworks as social settings, where race, survival, resilience and hope occupy the same pictorial space.”