Several upcoming events planned to honor Hispanic Heritage Month
Radford University is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, with a diverse mix of cultural events.
On Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. in Heth 052, social work major Ana Portillo will lead the Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s Dine On Diversity roundtable event, "History of Hispanic Heritage Month." Portillo, of Sterling, is the president of the Alpha Sigma Colony of Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc. In addition, she is the vice president of the Sigma Delta Pi, National Collegiate Hispanic Honors Society and an active member of the university’s Latino Student Alliance.
Portillo said she attended a high school with a 75 percent minority rate. She credits that diverse environment for her strong cultural roots.
“I was lucky enough to embrace my own and the rest of the Latin American cultures on a daily basis,” Portillo explained. “Unfortunately, not everyone gets to experience this. And that’s exactly why I believe it is important for Radford University students to participate in the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. This month is all about encouraging students to learn more about the history of our ancestors and help the community gain more in-depth knowledge of the role that Hispanic/Latinx people have played in United States history.”
Portillo is also organizing the Hispanic Heritage Month Dinner on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Muse Banquet Hall. Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker.
Hemphill, wife of Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, spent her childhood years in Chicago and Davenport, Iowa. A first-generation college student, she received a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Sociology from Cornell College, a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University of Science and Technology and a doctorate in Student Affairs Administration and Research from The University of Iowa.
Her professional career includes prior appointments as: Director of Student Activities/Associate Director of Campus Life at Colgate University located in Hamilton, New York; Associate Dean of Students at Hartwick College located in Oneonta, New York; and Special Assistant to the Vice President of University Relations at Northern Illinois University located in DeKalb, Illinois. Hemphill’s scholarly research has been focused on college student activism, learning outcomes and first-generation college students.
Additional Radford University Hispanic Heritage Month events:
- Oct. 2: Spanish Film Festival, "The Travel Agent," 7 to 9 p.m., Bonnie Auditorium
- Oct. 3: Panel thought on Spanish as a Profession, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Bonnie 248/249
- Oct. 5: Guest speaker Julia Mack, 6 p.m., Heth 043
- Oct. 9: Spanish Film Festival, "Neruda," 7 to 9 p.m., Bonnie Auditorium
- Oct. 10: Nuestro Pais, Nuestra Historia, El Salvador and Guatemala, 6 to 7 p.m., Heth 022
- Oct. 10: Guitar Recital, 8 to 9 p.m., Bonnie Auditorium
- Oct. 11: Ole at VT: A Night of Flamenco, 7 p.m., Preston Hall
- Oct. 12: What is Hispanidad? Panel/Presentation, 7:07 p.m., Heth 016
- Oct. 16: Spanish Film Festival, "Wrinkles," 7 to 9 p.m., Bonnie Auditorium
According to the National Hispanic Heritage Month website, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988.
The Radford University Hispanic Heritage Month events are being sponsored by Alpha Sigma Colony of Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc., Sigma Delta Pi, National Collegiate Hispanic Honors Society, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science, the Women's Studies Program, School of Communication, International Education Center, McGlothin Foundation and Pragda Film Distributor.