GSU to offer full slate of programs to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Jazmine Grisby, Phoenix Staff Writer

GSU is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with events coming all this fall. Presented by the Council on Campus Cultural Programming, the events are part of an effort to open the floor for discussions and spread needed awareness on topics of culture within the campus community.    

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the cultures, historical moments, contributions, and achievements of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. It began in the United States in 1968 during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, starting as just a weeklong celebration. In 1988, during President Ronald Regan’s tenure, it was expanded to a monthlong recognition. 

Through Viva, which is a program that aims at elevating voices in the global public square, the Council is bringing in experts and performers for a multi-event celebration that will be open to all of campus and the surrounding community, from September through November, both in-person and virtual. 

A Spanish and Global Studies Speaker Series kicks off the program on Monday, Sept. 27, with special guest speaker Silvia Foster-Frau, a writer for The Washington Post. She will be speaking on immigration in its entirety from a media perspective, and how she got to be where she is now. This discussion will be followed by a Q&A. The location of this in-person event will be announced closer to the date. It is free, and discussions start at 6 p.m. 

On Thursday, Sept. 30, the month’s Keynote Address will be given by Adrian Calderon, the Community Outreach Manager at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. He will be speaking on the importance of a college education and being involved on campus, and how it benefits you when going for an internship, and/or job after graduation. He will also be speaking on how students can apply for scholarships through USHLI. It is an in-person, free event that is going to be held at Engbretson Hall from 4 to 5 p.m. 

Sunday, Oct. 10, the Center for Performing Arts will be presenting their “Opera Up Close: Viva La Zarzuela!,” which will feature dancers from Ensemble Espanol. It is going to be hosted by John Concepcion who will be taking the audience on a journey from the Iberian Peninsula to Latin America in operatic style, with attributions to Zarzuela and Spanish art songs. Tickets are on sale now, $50 each. GSU students can purchase up to 4 tickets at the discounted price of $20 each; faculty and staff receive a 15% discount. Stage seating is available, but limited. This event will start at 4 p.m. and is located at the Center for Performing Arts. 

The Spanish and Global Studies Speaker Series continues Thursday, Oct. 28, with special guest speaker Kyoung Park, who is a queer, Korean-Chilean playwright/director. In his discussion titled “Peacemaking Theater in Times of Racialized Trauma,” he talks about approaching state violence, abolition and white supremacy through peacemaking theater, and how to heal racialized trauma. This is a virtual event, which can be reached via zoom free of charge, and is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 

Thursday, Nov. 11, the Speaker Series will present Carlos Manuel Salomon, a Chicano author, teacher, and activist with indigenous roots. In his discussion, he will give some details into his Bay Area Latin American Migrant Archive project, which explains the tragedies that migrants succumb to with such things as state-sponsored violence, poverty, and the inhumane experiences that have taken place at the US-Mexico border. This event is free and will be held via zoom  from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 

These events will be intimate and immediate, and will consist of artistic expression, intellectual discussion, and knowledge attainment. Some conversations to look forward to are raised questions of justice, citizenship, and peace.