BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Across all of its campuses, Indiana University will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, with a series of events, films and discussions that highlight the histories and cultural accomplishments of Latino and Hispanic Americans.
Held during the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and in celebration of the independence day in Chile and Mexico, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans and honors their contributions to the United States.
"Though National Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated for decades, we recognize that Indiana University has benefitted from the work of Latino students, faculty and staff for much longer than that," said James C. Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, dean of the University Graduate School and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership. "For well over a century, we have been a home for the Latino and Hispanic communities, and this month provides us with an occasion to honor that ongoing legacy."
A central space for the celebrations throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month is IU Bloomington's Latino Cultural Center, or La Casa. Celebrating its 45th anniversary in the 2018-19 academic year, La Casa will offer programming that brings discussions of Latino culture to campus and marks the decades of impact the culture has had on the IU Bloomington community.
Events planned by La Casa include:
- Sept. 20: Latino filmmaker and screenwriter Peter Bratt will give a keynote lecture about his filmmaking, which includes works such as "La Mission" and "Follow Me Home." A screening of "La Mission" will accompany Bratt's talk in the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, no tickets required.
- Oct. 5 and 6: La Casa's 45th anniversary celebration will take place on the Bloomington campus. More information and registration are available on La Casa's website.
The National Hispanic Heritage Month events will give students the opportunity to engage with the rich programming on Latino history and culture happening year round on IU Bloomington's campus, said Lillian Casillas-Origel, director of La Casa.
"The hope is that the celebration, with us as well as with other groups, doesn't just happen during the heritage months, but that these are ways that folks get involved and are part of the events that happen all year round," Casillas-Origel said.
La Casa's celebrations at IU Bloomington are only one example of events going on across IU's campuses statewide.
Other events include:
- Sept. 17: IUPUI will host a celebration kicking off National Hispanic Heritage Month at 11 a.m. at the Multicultural Lounge, UC 104, in Taylor Hall.
- Sept. 18 to Oct. 10: IU Southeast will hold lectures highlighting issues in Latino and Hispanic communities throughout the month. Highlights include a Hispanic poetry reading and Vaya Boricua!, an event celebrating Puerto Rican music, food and traditions.
- Sept. 19: IU Kokomo will present Culture Bash, an interactive international festival that takes students and community members on a virtual trip around the world through food, music and dance, all while honoring the cultural, ethnic and geographic diversity on campus. There will be a special focus on salsa dancing and Latin cuisine, among other cultural expressions.
- Sept. 19 to Oct. 17: IU Northwest's Latino Film Series will take place every Wednesday. Films to be screened include "In the Shadows," "Admissions" and "Precious Knowledge."A discussion will follow each screening.
- Sept. 27: As part of its Cultural Movie Series, IUPUI will host a screening of "Dolores," a film by Peter Bratt, at 6 p.m. in the Multicultural Center.
- Oct. 2: IU East will celebrate the Day of the Dead through an altar-building event in the campus' Spanish classes. Members of the campus will be invited to contribute photos of loved ones as well. The classes will present their altars and speak about the Day of the Dead via the Hispanicampus gallery project. The campus and community can electronically vote for their favorite altar.
Full details about events taking place across IU's campuses for National Hispanic Heritage Month can be found on the university event calendar.