Honoring Our Identities at a Symposium for Afro-Latinx/Latinx/Indigenous Heritage

Afro-Latinx SymposiumThe main event of SMC’s monthlong Afro-Latinx/Latinx/Indigenous Heritage Celebration, the Honoring Our Identities: Afro/Latinx/Indigenous Peoples Symposium, took place this past Saturday, September 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Brousseau Hall, embracing the community in inclusion.

Part of a combined effort by Ethnic Studies; Justice, Community, and Leadership; World Languages and Culture; and the Office of Mission, the event featured a free breakfast and lunch, along with representatives from three Bay Area organizations: Causa Justa: Just Cause; Beats, Rhymes, and Life; and Mujeres Unidas y Activas. All the organizations work toward community empowerment, social justice, and building community/solidarity. The event also featured a panel talk by students, staff, and faculty who have attended SMC’s border immersion programs, as well as breakout sessions where audience members learned how to get more involved in their community.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this conference to help kick off the month,” said Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Senior Diversity Officer Kathy Littles. “I feel like this embodies the essence of our Lasallian education. It’s important that we support all students as they come to know themselves and their identities. It helps to ground us in who we are, in terms of ourselves and beyond.

“I am honored to work with such amazing professors on committees who have shown leadership and a commitment to students and a commitment to SMC,” Littles added.

Associate Professor Loan Dao, the director of Ethnic Studies, explained how crucial it is that the Afro-Latinx/Latinx/Indigenous Heritage Celebration is recognized and supported by SMC faculty. “It is critical to diversity by sending the message that the voices of these communities are important to our campus. People who work to better communities are partners for us to help fulfill our Lasallian values, especially considering our status as a Hispanic Serving Institution.”

The monthlong celebration includes a craft talk by Ingrid Rojas Contreras and a reception for Brother Camillus Chavez on Wednesday, Sept. 25; the Josh Healy Screening of the North Pole Webseries Immigration and Deportation on Oct. 2, and a presentation by playwright Josephina Lopez of Real Women Have Curves on Oct. 16.