SMC Celebrates Community and Culture During Latinx Heritage Month

Students perform at the Latinx Graduation Celebration in 2019The weeks from September 15 to October 15 mark Latinx Heritage Month, celebrating the contributions and culture of Latin Americans in the United States. While this year certainly looks different from years past, the Saint Mary’s community is still coming together for creative celebrations, speakers, and events throughout October. 

Cultural Celebrations

The Native American and Indigenous Student Association (NAISA) celebrates Indigenous People’s Day on Monday, Oct. 12, with a Morning Prayer from 8 to 9 a.m. Click here for details. Join the group to honor the prayers and resilience of indigenous people. Zoom links for the Morning Prayer and other NAISA events can be found on its SPOT page

The Mission and Ministry Center’s Latinx, AfroLatinx, and Indigenous Ministry will celebrate Latinx Heritage Month by commemorating Saint Oscar Romero with a discussion panel on his canonization date, Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. The panel will host speakers Robert Lassalle-Klein, PhD, and Wilbert Villalta, MS Ed, and focus on the Salvadoran Archbishop’s faith-based legacy of social justice and how it applies to our lives today. Click here for more.

Also on Wednesday, Oct. 14, Saint Mary’s La Hermandad and Ballet Folklorico Guadalupano will team up to present Salsa Night, with dancer and choreographer Alexis Mora Blanco from one of Calgary’s top Latin dance studios, La Rumba Cuban Dance Company, starting at 7 p.m. All our welcome to learn about the Afro-Latinx roots of salsa music and dance, as well as a few new dance moves! Watch the Events page for details.

The Intercultural Center hosts a new program, Latinx Womanhood Collective Hour: Our Stories Told by Us, on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This space is open to any students, staff, and faculty who experience womanhood through mind, body, or spirit within the Latinx community to engage in intersecting identities and explore issues specific to Latinx womanhood through storytelling. The Zoom link to this event and more information on Collective Hour can be found on the Intercultural Center website

Must-See Science

The School of Science’s Caminos a Las Ciencias (CALC) Program is proud to announce its Fall 2020 Pathways to Science Speaker Series, featuring Dr. Alicia Pérez-Porro and Dr. Brenda María Soler Figueroa. Dr. Pérez-Porro, president of ECUSA, the Association for Spanish Scientists in USA, will speak about her work in marine biology, and how the ocean, gender equity, and science diplomacy are connected for a sustainable future. Join her on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. Click here for more.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m., Dr. Brenda María Soler Figueroa will share her research in phytoplankton bioluminescent systems. The Pathways to Science Speaker series is part of the CALC Program’s goal to introduce diverse scientists and show that everyone has a place in science. Links to register for the Speaker Series events can be found on the CALC Program website

What It Means to Be Latinx

The Afro-Latinx/Latinx/Indigenous People’s Action Subcommittee (ALLIPAS) of the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence (CCIE) will wrap up Latinx Heritage Month with its second Annual Heritage Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The theme of this year’s symposium is Love in the Time of Corona: Organizing, Action, and Coalition, speaking to current struggles within the Latinx community and how to act in response. Associate Professor in the Counseling Department Rebecca Anguiano described the symposium’s intention:“The focus of the symposium this year is continuing our work to expand the narratives of what is Latinidad. We seek to challenge hegemonic conceptions of what it means to be Latinx by creating space and dialogue with Afro-Latinx and Indigenous peoples, and challenging anti-Blackness in our community. We also wanted to focus on building solidarity between Black and Brown communities, especially in light of the continued attack on Black lives and the disproportionate effect of the global pandemic on Black and Brown people.” 

The symposium will include workshops on how to organize, take action, and build coalitions with an impressive list of guest speakers, including Tovah Cook, author of Black Binder: A Notebook for Activists and Accomplices, and editor Dr. Julia Hernandez, who will share tools from their book on how to take action and dismantle oppressive systems. ALLIPAS is also excited to welcome back Saint Mary’s graduate Valentina Velasquez ’20, who will speak on behalf of her experience organizing with the Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan and provide insight into how individuals support farm workers affected by the pandemic within their own communities. Come for one session, or stay the whole time for more guest speakers, dance, music, and the opportunity to build community in a virtual format. The ALLIPAS Heritage Celebration Symposium is part of the CCIE’s belief in reaching greater quality of academic achievement by learning from diverse people and creating a culture where everyone is valued. More information on the Heritage Celebration Symposium and updates can be found on the CCIE site