College Commences Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month
By Alyssa D’Ippolito ’15
National Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the culture and history of Hispanic Americans and is commemorated from Sept. 15 until Oct 15. This year, Moravian College has joined the celebration, hosting a series of activities, titled “Celebrar Nuestra Herencia Hispana Local" (Celebrate Our Local Hispanic Heritage), for students to participate in on and around campus.
Festivities kicked off on Sunday, Sept. 22, as Moravian students took a bus trip to New York City to learn more about the Hispanic culture through dance. At Flamenco Latino, a dance studio on Broadway, instructors taught students a few moves commonly seen in flamenco dancing. After hitting the dance floor, students indulged in some shopping and then were off to the Red Bull Arena to watch the New York Red Bulls face FC Dallas.
“The trip is an opportunity to expose our students to cultural experiences that they may not have otherwise been exposed to,” said Chris Hunt, associate dean of students and director of intercultural advancement and inclusion.
The College’s National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration continues on Thursday, Oct. 3, with a presentation by Erika Southerland, associate professor of Spanish at Muhlenberg College, in the HUB’s Snyder Room at 7 p.m. The presentation, titled “Young Immigrants, Immigration Reform, and America's Future,” will discuss the growing Latino population in the Lehigh Valley, as well as the immigration reform and America’s future. Considering the rich Hispanic heritage in the city of Bethlehem, Dean Hunt expressed it is “important for Moravian” to observe the month.
On that same day, 10 Moravian students will also take part in an off-campus program in association with Kutztown University. Kutztown President Javier F. Cevallos, who was born in Ecuador and moved to the U.S. in stages, will speak with students about his long journey to become an academic leader while being a member of a minority group. Dr. Cevallos will also discuss a few of the arguments of the national immigration debate regarding U.S. boarder protection.
The last heritage month activity is a finale dinner held for students in the Bahnson Center on Sunday, Oct. 6. The event will allow students to indulge in Latin American cuisine and live music, while socializing with friends. Seats are limited. To RSVP, contact Dean Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, Sept. 30.
The idea behind celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month is to make students more aware of the diverse world they live in. Part of the college experience is being exposed to new and different cultures and traditions. “While many students may know that Black History Month is a celebration in February, I think it’s equally important that we recognize other cultural heritage months including Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Dean Hunt.
These programs are sponsored in part by the Center for Intercultural Advancement and Inclusion, as well as the Office of International Studies, International Club, Arts and Lectures Committee, LVAIC, History Club, Phi Alpha Theta, and the Instilling Diversity, Equality, and Awareness (IDEA) student group.
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