A folkloric dancer performs outdoors in a blue skirt with rainbow trim and white blouse at Northeastern Illinois University. She is smiling as she dances.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Northeastern Illinois University is proud to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month with a wide-ranging series of events.

“As the longest standing four-year public Hispanic-Serving Institution in the Midwest, I am proud to have our University acknowledge the contributions of the Latinx community,” said Interim President Katrina E. Bell-Jordan. “While we especially honor, recognize and uplift Latinx history, culture and trailblazers over the next 30 days, I encourage everyone to seek opportunities to learn more about Latinx people and traditions — as well as information about other cultures outside of their own — all year long.”

Coinciding with National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, Northeastern kicked off Latinx Heritage Month with “Building Prosperous and Healthy Communities: A Block Party,” at the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The event featured multidisciplinary artist, educator and double alumnus Victor Montañez (B.A. ’15 Nontraditional Degree Programs - Interdisciplinary Studies; M.A. ’19 Inner City Studies). Rapper and activist Juan Batalla, also known as Almighty Blessing, was the event’s DJ.  

Under the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI), the Pedroso Center is the lead organizer of this month’s celebrations. On Friday, Sept. 15, the OEDI will host an HSIs Week Keynote Lecture featuring Lordes Torres, Ph.D. The lecture, titled, “Spanish Language Practices and Ideologies in Chicago: Implications for HSIs,” will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Golden Eagles Room on the Main Campus, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. in Chicago. 

Torres is a Professor of American and Latino Studies at DePaul University and is part of the Society of Vincent de Paul Professors. She is the author of “Puerto Rican Discourse: A Sociolinguistic Study of A New York Suburb” (Routledge) and co-editor of “Tortilleras: Hispanic and Latina Lesbian Expression and Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism” (Temple University Press), among other works. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

The U.S. celebrates Latinx Heritage Month from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 because of the amount of significant anniversaries for many Latin American countries that fall within that time. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all celebrate their anniversaries of independence on Sept. 15. Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16. Chile’s independence day is Sept. 18. Additionally, Día de la Raza (“Day of the People/Race”) — which honors and commemorates countries and people that were conquered by Spain and other European countries — is celebrated by many Spanish-speaking countries on Oct. 12 as an alternative to Columbus Day. 

Throughout the month, there will be a number of events that are free and open to the public. Highlights include: 

For more information about these and other upcoming events, please visit our University Events Calendar.