Department of Diversity and Inclusion kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month

This past Thursday, the Department of Diversity and Inclusion hosted an event at Hindsman Bell Tower to help educate students about the importance of Hispanic Heritage month. Hispanic Heritage month officially started Sept. 15 and goes through Oct. 15.

This event featured several different on campus Hispanic student organizations that work to educate the Tech community about Hispanic culture. There was also traditional cultural music and food such as Mexican rice, tamales and chips and salsa ready to be devoured.

Hispanic Heritage month started in 1968 and is recognized every year. The celebration starts on Sept. 15 because that is the anniversary five Latin American countries receiving independence: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Currently, 57.5 million people in America are of Latino descent. About 40 million people speak Spanish at home and over half of this population speaks English as well, making them bilingual, according to hispanicheritagemonth.org.

This event is important to the work that every Hispanic student organization hopes to achieve on campus – education. Dr. Nelson Ramirez, coordinator of world languages at Tech, who is originally from Peru, explained that despite many Latin countries being different in some aspects, they are ultimately linked together and have a special bond. He explained how this month helps bring these different countries together to celebrate their heritage. Students were also interested in being a part of the celebration.

“I am Hispanic so I think it’s important to show Hispanic heritage and the impact they have on our country,” Orlana Montoya, an elementary education major from Cabot, said.

Sigma Delta Pi and The League of United Latin American Citizens were represented and excited to show students a small taste of their heritage.

Sigma Delta Pi is an honor society open to all Spanish majors that have at least a 3.25 GPA. They focus on studying in depth the Spanish language and culture to better educate others about it.

The League of United Latin American Citizens is an organization that is open to anyone on campus and works to create opportunities for students and to educate others about their culture.

The Department of Diversity and Inclusion works to make students feel comfortable and empowered on campus no matter their race, gender, socio economic status or sexual orientation. This organization regularly sponsors events to help educate the student body about the differences that are represented all over campus.

For more information about upcoming DDI events, go to atu.edu./diversity/

Mary Massirer

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