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Collaborative Effort Produces Latin@ Heritage Celebration Schedule

Ferris State UniversityEvents and art displays on Ferris State University’s campus will celebrate the diversity of the Latino community, as the Center for Latin@ Studies works with the support of other university departments and student organizations to offer the Latin@ Heritage Celebration, which kicked off on Monday, Sept. 19.

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs, annually, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, and Ferris has offered a schedule of events to celebrate Latino culture, each year, since the early 1990s. The Office of Multicultural Student Services is coordinating the Latin@ Heritage Celebration event schedule, with co-sponsorship from the Spanish Club, the Hispanic Student Organization, Spanish faculty from the College of Arts, Sciences and Education’ Languages and Literature department, and the Center for Latin@ Studies.

CLS Director Kaylee Moreno said that as a Ferris alumna, she is pleased to connect with students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds through this schedule of programs. She is proud to be a co-founder of the Center for Latin@ Studies, and to create what the center calls an Intercambio Cultural, a space of cultural exchange between Latin@ and non-Latin@s.

“It was important work to me as a student to help establish the center,” Moreno said. “We’re hoping to continue the work, and to create a more inclusive community.”

The first event is a Trailblazers exhibit, which is being displayed Sept. 19-30 in the IRC Connector from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The banners feature Hispanic Americans who impacted society, and paved the way for other Hispanic residents to pursue their dreams.

Moreno said that one of their more provocative activities is Thursday, Oct. 6’s “Testimonios,” which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in Room 202C of the University Center.

“We are bringing in One World Diversity, a troupe of actors from Grand Rapids,” Moreno said. “They will put on an interactive and engaging performance, helping us to explore the Latin@ identity and culture, as well as diversity in general.”

Latin@ Heritage Celebration activities continue to Wednesday, Nov. 2, when Dia De Los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead” will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the West Campus Community Center. The Mexican holiday is an interactive celebration, with creation of a traditional altar, and authentic food offered at the center. Moreno said those with a disability interested in attending any event should contact the OMSS, located in FLITE, Suite 159 at least 72 hours in advance. They can also be reached by email, or by calling (231) 591-2617.

“We’d welcome involvement and response from students, faculty, staff and the community,” Moreno said.