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As a designated Hispanic-serving institution, New Mexico State University takes pride in its diversity, and will reflect those values in a series of events during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Chicano Programs, along with “Chicana/Latina Studies Journal: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS)” will host events that kicked off this week in honor of Latinx Heritage Month.
“It is my preference to use the word Latinx over Hispanic, as it encompasses more identities and acknowledges the lived experiences of non-binary folks,” said Ana López, director of Chicano Programs. “Although oftentimes Latinx Heritage Month focuses solely on celebration, I believe it is critical to carve out spaces for community members to critically reflect on our identities, what is our notion and concept of Latinidad, and the colonial origins of the term ‘Hispanic.’”
López said the events center on Latinx identities and lived experiences, and are intentional in fostering critical thinking and awareness of our understanding of history and lived experience. “Latinx Heritage Month is a good opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and community members to un-learn – un-learn colonial logics and superficial understandings of identity.”
López added although there are critical discussion panels, webinars, events, and even celebrations and time for community sharing during this month, Chicano Programs’ and MALCS’ work together will extend year-round.
“The main objective of our unit is, of course, to serve our students and connect them to the resources at the university and within the community so that they thrive; it also encompasses a commitment to critical understandings of Latinidad, identity, and the complexities of power, privilege, and oppression that we embody depending on who we are and what spaces we occupy,” she said.
The Department of Languages & Linguistics will also host the annual LLL symposium on Oct. 5 and 6. José Ángel Gutiérrez, co-founder of La Raza Unida Party, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Health and Human Services Annex between the English building and Business Complex.