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Events | Featured | NewsSeptember 26, 2021

Hispanic Heritage Month Kicks Off at UAFS

Written By: Rachel Putman

This Wednesday, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will begin a month-long slate of events celebrating Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15. The events, which include a nacho bar and salsa dancing under the Bell Tower, esteemed Hispanic speakers, and a public open forum discussion, are hosted by the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee

“UAFS has hosted Hispanic Heritage Month events in the past and celebrated Hispanic culture, but this is one of the first times someone who is Hispanic has chaired the event,” said Cristina Castorena, a professional advisor with the R.O.A.R. First-Year Advising Center, “and I think that speaks volumes about where UAFS wants to be. You can see that we have Hispanic culture everywhere, and celebrating people aside from the environment you know them in – like at work or in class – is important because it says ‘I see you. I see who you are.’”

Beyond the events, the UAFS campus will celebrate Hispanic Heritage visually with flags lining the Smith Pendergraft Campus Center and book displays in the Boreham Library. The university will also highlight Hispanic students, faculty, staff, and alumni on its social media pages through short profile pieces and day-in-the-life takeovers. 

“We are inviting our Latina and Latino community to these events, and our Hispanic students, faculty, and staff, so they feel like this is for them and they feel celebrated, but I also want to include people who do not look like me,” Castorena said with a smile. “Everyone is welcome! You are welcome to come out to see and learn and experience, both our food and our culture!” 

The full slate of events includes:

Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Center Breezeway 

 

SALSA at the Bell Tower 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 

7-10 p.m. at the Campus Green and Bell Tower Plaza 

 

Keynote speech by Angela Vivar, M.Ed.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 

12:15-1:15 p.m. at the Campus Center Reynolds Room

 

Coffee, Culture, Conversation – “Cafecito y Pan Dulce” 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Center Fireplace

 

Hispanic Heritage Month Open Forum

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 

5:30-7 p.m. at the Campus Center Reynolds Room

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Rachel Rodemann Putman

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