Diversity & Inclusion

Office of University Diversity and Inclusion

Statement from OUDI on Latinx/e Heritage Month

Welcome to the new academic year and welcome into Latinx/e Heritage Month.

Latinx/e strength, beauty, strivings, recognition of history, and the honoring of ancestors are all part of what we celebrate this time of year. It is a time when we commemorate the determination, courage, and passions, the radical joy and hope that has enabled Latinx/e peoples to strive for civil rights, build communities, and center family despite ongoing oppression and struggle.

September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring the many identities, cultures, and languages that make up the Latinx/e communities in the United States. November 1 through 2, is Dia de los Muertos/the Day of the Dead, a time when families gather to celebrate and remember past loved ones. Also, this time of year, we witness the migration of Monarch butterflies from the U.S. to Mexico, a journey that has become a symbol of the courage and resilience of immigrants.

Latinx/e history is American history. We as a nation and as a campus are enriched and empowered by the contributions of those communities, from the dreams of those who have just arrived, to the long and rich histories of families whose presence here pre-dates the U.S.

The Smithsonian has begun the work of building a new museum dedicated to those histories and cultures, called, the National Museum of the American Latino. I encourage you to click the link to their website to find out more and to watch a preview of “Somos (We Are), a video documentary by Alberto Ferreras, [where] a diverse group of Latinos discuss their identity, family histories, and experiences.”

Throughout this fall, I hope you join us for the myriad of events designed to center on and celebrate Latinx/e communities.

September 26 from 3:00-5:00 p.m., The Latinx/e Center for Academic Success and Achievement (La CASA) is hosting a welcome back event and Latinx/e community resource fair, “Bienvenidos a La CASA,” on the South Lawn of building 52.

October 17, the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI) is inviting the campus community to the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Symposium on Cal Poly’s efforts to become an HSI, called Adelante, meaning forward. The day will include an HSI Task Force panel discussion, a review of the Task Force’s recommendations, a UU Plaza gathering and resource fair, workshops, and a keynote address by civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta.

October 25 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium, Student Diversity and Belonging (SDAB) will be hosting the annual State of Latinx/e, an event that spotlights the cultures, stories, and experiences of the Cal Poly Latinx/e community (please see SDAB website and La CASA’s Instagram for more information).

November 1, SDAB will be hosting a variety of activities across campus recognizing Dia de los Muertos, culminating in an evening event in UU Plaza from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Keep an eye on the SDAB website for more details.

Let us be encouraged by the words of Dolores Huerta who said, “We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for.”

Dr. Denise Isom
Interim Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion / Chief Diversity Officer

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