Cal State San Bernardino celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

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Cal State San Bernardino will hold a number of virtual events to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, to honor the heritage, contributions and culture of Hispanics and Latino Americans.

Many of the monthlong series of events will be virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the university to suspend all face-to-face classes and business operations on campus in favor of online and virtual classes and business operations in March, through the spring quarter, summer session and the fall semester. The university has also banned large gatherings on campus.

The university will launch the monthlong celebration on the evening of Sept. 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. with an observance of Mexican Independence Day with El Grito, the cry for patriotism and the ringing of the bell by the Consul General of Mexico Itzel de León Villard. The event will be held virtually and can be seen by clicking Facebook Live or visiting the Consulado de México en San Bernardino, California Facebook page. The event will feature speakers, including CSUSB Vice President for Advancement Robert Nava, singers, the recognition of the Ohtli Award winner CSUSB College of Education Dean Emeritus Ernie Garcia, a historical review and El Grito.

El Grito honors the traditional call to arms on the eve of Mexican Independence Day and is a massive, synchronized call that dates back to 1810 and the fight for Mexican Independence from Spanish rule. El Grito is commemorated and reenacted in cities and towns, in plazas or zócalos all over Mexico, and in Mexican embassies, consulates, and by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans worldwide.

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The university will hold the following events for National Hispanic Heritage Month:

  • Sept. 15-16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. RAFFMA Festival de Calaveras. Pick up calaveras in Lot M. Celebrate the art of calaveras! Participants are invited to express themselves through art and design by signing up to decorate a Calavera. Participants will have approximately two weeks to decorate and then return the completed calavera to RAFFMA on Sept. 28 and 29. The decorated calaveras will be showcased in the virtual Festival de Calaveras Oct. 5-15. The virtual exhibition will take place on the RAFFMA website and @RAFFMAcsusb social media. Registration and more information about this event can be found on RAFFMA’s Festival de Calaveras webpage.
  • Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The Coyote Series Celebrates: Hispanic Heritage Month. Associated Students Inc., and the CSUSB LatinX Center will conduct a social media campaign featuring student stories and student art. @asi_csusb @csusb.smsu
  • Sept. 15-Oct. 15, all day. The Palm Desert Dance Club will hold a Latin Dance tutorial, where they will teach their followers different dances each week. Visit their Instagram @pdcdanceteam2020
  • Sept. 15-Oct. 15, all day. Heritage Heroes: Celebrating Hispanics of the College of Natural Sciences. Facebook @CSUSBNaturalSciences; Twitter @csusbcns; Instagram @csusbnaturalsciences
  • Sept. 16, 2-3 p.m.  “La Llorona and Rhetorical Haunting,” by Miriam L. Fernandez, an assistant professor of English. A discussion on the representations of La Llorona (“The Wailing Woman” or “the Cryer”), a legend about a woman who drowned her children and mourns their deaths for eternity, roaming Latin American areas as a ghost or apparition. Sponsored by the Faculty Center for Excellence. Visit the “La Llorona and Rhetorical Haunting” event page.
  • Sept. 17, 9:30 a.m.-noon. 50/50 Movement. Commemorating 100 Years of the 19th Amendment – Women’s Right to Vote! In celebration of the 100th year since women have had the right to vote, CSUSB is hosting its 50/50 Movement event with state Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes as the keynote speaker. The event is sponsored by CSUSB Human Resources. Visit the 50/50 Movement event webpage to register for the event.
  • Sept. 17, noon-1:30 p.m. El Sazón LatinX. Test your knowledge on LatinX cuisine by participating in an interactive Kahoot game. The event is sponsored by the Association of Latino Faculty, Staff and Students (ALFSS). Visit the El Sazón LatinX event site.
  • Sept. 22, noon-1:30 p.m. Conversations on Diversity, “Advancing Criminal Justice Reform: Through the Lens of Diverse, Lived Experiences,” with Dolores Canales. Director of Community Outreach with The Bail Project, Canales will talk about the national organizations work to combat mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system – one person at a time. The talk is sponsored by the University Diversity Committee. Visit the committee’s webpage for more information.
  • Sept. 23, 6-7:30 p.m. Expresión con Danyeli. An evening of expression and culture. Featuring Danyeli Rodriguez, a spoken word artist and keynote speaker. The event is sponsored by ASI and the LatinX Center. The event will be held on Zoom. Visit the Expresión con Danyeli event page.
  • Sept. 24, noon-1 p.m. “Worry Less Workshop.” A stress management workshop followed by a worry doll do-it-yourself project. The event is sponsored by the Student Health Center and the Palm Desert Campus. Visit the “Worry Less Workshop” event page.
  • Sept. 24, 5-6 p.m. ¡Bailamos! Join ALFSS as they tour Latin American dances and their history featuring demonstrations of salsa, bachata, and tango. Register online for the ¡Bailamos! event.
  • Sept. 28-29, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Festival de Calaveras – Drop Off. Participants of the RAFFMA Festival de Calaveras can drop off their decorated calaveras in Lot M. The decorated calaveras will be showcased in the virtual Festival de Calaveras Oct. 5-15. The virtual exhibition will take place on the RAFFMA website and @RAFFMAcsusb social media. Registration and more information about this event can be found on RAFFMA’s Festival de Calaveras webpage.
  • Oct. 1, 2-3:30 p.m. “Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration.” Alfredo Corchado, an award-winning author, journalist, and immigration expert, will discuss his latest book, “Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration,” and then participate in a question-and-answer session. Sponsored by the John M. Pfau Library. Visit the “Homelands” event page.
  • Oct. 1, noon-1 p.m. Afro-LatinX Open-Verse. Come and open up your voices, ideas, poetry, and lyrics. Sponsored by ALFSS. Register for Afro-LatinX Open-Verse.
  • Oct. 5, 5-6 p.m. Virtual Lotería. Students are invited to play Lotería, a game of chance referred to by many as Mexican bingo. But rather than using balls with numbers on them, Lotería uses a deck of cards containing images of game characters. The game will be played on Zoom. For more information, visit the Virtual Lotería event page. The game is sponsored by the Rancho Mirage Student Center and ASI.
  • Oct. 5-15. RAFFMA Festival de Calaveras – Celebrate the Art of Calaveras. The decorated calaveras will be showcased in the virtual Festival de Calaveras. The virtual exhibition will take place on the RAFFMA website and @RAFFMAcsusb social media. Registration and more information about this event can be found on RAFFMA’s Festival de Calaveras webpage. The calaveras will be auctioned during Dia de los Muertos week (Oct. 27-Nov. 2) to raise money for ALFSS student scholarships.
  • Oct. 6, 1-2:30 p.m. LatinX Cuentos. Join the LatinX center along with the Rancho Mirage Student Center and the Undocumented Student Success Center in a discussion about our voice, our beliefs, leyendas, and our cuentos. Visit the LatinX Cuentos event page.
  • Oct. 6, 2-3:30 p.m. “The Case of Joe Campos Torres and the Moody Park Riots.” Carlos Calbillo, a Houston-based filmmaker, will discuss the 1977 police murder of Joe Campos Torres, a 23-year-old Vietnam-era veteran. The killing sparked the Moody Park “riots” and served as a catalyst for reform in the Houston Police Department. The talk is sponsored by the John M. Pfau Library. Visit the Case of Joe Campos Torres event page.
  • Oct. 7, 2-3:30 p.m. Dish it out with LatinX, API, and Kappa Delta Chi Sorority. Join a virtual program discussing dishes from various Latinx cultures and influence from other cultures. Sponsored by the LatinX Center, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority and the Asian Pacific Islander Center. Visit the Dish it out with LatinX, API, and Kappa Delta Chi Sorority event page.
  • Oct. 8, 10:30-11:45 a.m. Virtual Bingo with the Ombuds. Learn more about the CSUSB Ombuds office as part of National Ombuds Day. Visit the Virtual Bingo with the Ombuds event page for more information.
  • Oct. 8, noon-1 p.m. LatinX LGBTQ+ in Media. Join a virtual discussion on LatinX LGBTQ representation in today’s media. Sponsored by ALFSS. Register for LatinX LGBTQ+ in Media.
  • Oct. 8, noon-1 p.m. “The Curious Case of LatinX Immigration.” A talk will be held on the social trust argument, a nationalist argument in favor of stricter immigration policies as a way of obtaining community cohesion and social welfare. José Jorge Mendoza, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Washington and co-editor of Radical Philosophy Review, will be speaking using the case of LatinX immigrants to showcase a problem with the social trust argument and highlighting how this argument has been self-defeating in the U.S. and argues instead that a defense of immigrant rights would be a more consistent way of obtaining the stated aims of social trust. The talk is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy. Visit “The Curious Case of LatinX Immigration” event page.
  • Oct. 8, 7-8 p.m. “Cuerpos, sueños y palabras: Más allá de las Fronteras” – “Bodies, Dreams and Words: Beyond Borders.” Join a talk by Sandra Lorenzano, narrator, poet and non-fiction writer. She is the director of Culture and Social Communication for the Gender Equality University Organization at UNAM, as well as coordinator of Culture and Immigration, an international project between UNAM, UNESCO, and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Lorenzano collaborates regularly with media outlets throughout Latin America with the press, radio, and on television. The talk is sponsored by the Department of World Languages & Literatures and Acto Latino. Visit the “Cuerpos, sueños y palabras: Más allá de las Fronteras” event page.
  • Oct. 13, 9:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Southern California Consortium of Hispanic Serving Institutions – Fall Meeting Town Hall. The keynote speaker is José Jorge Mendoza, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Washington and is co-editor of Radical Philosophy Review. He is also the author of “The Moral and Political Philosophy of Immigration: Liberty, Security, and Equality” and his articles have appeared in venues such as the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Public Affairs Quarterly, Critical Philosophy of Race, and Philosophy in the Contemporary World. The Town Hall is sponsored by Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD), Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Excelencia in Education, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the Campaign for College Opportunity. Visit the Mt. San Jacinto College Latinx/Indigenous Alliance in collaboration with the CSUSB event page.
  • Oct. 13, 2:30-3:30 p.m. “Guadalupe Gutierrez’s Espinas y rosas and its Spanish Double,” by assistant professor of English, Vanessa Ovalle Perez. Ovalle will talk about Latina writer Guadalupe Gutierrez from San Francisco and how she could publish a novel, “Espinas y rosas” (1877), which was incredibly rare in the Spanish-language press of 19th-century California. Sponsored by the Faculty Center for Excellence. Visit the “Guadalupe Gutierrez’s Espinas y rosas and its Spanish Double” event page.
  • Oct. 14, 2-3:30 p.m. Ethnic Studies & Affinity Centers. Learn about ethnic studies and why it is important in our lives now more than ever. Join this program to learn about minoritized communities in the United States and how you can engage academically with this career path. The event is sponsored by the Ethnic Studies Program & Cross Cultural Center. Visit the Ethnic Studies & Affinity Centers event page.
  • Oct. 15, noon-1 p.m. – “Mi Voto, Mi Voz, Mi Vida” – “My Vote, My Voice, My Life” is a youth-centered voter-registration drive; educational and inspiring, including topics such as: why our voices matter, registration, how/where/when to cast your ballot, the different types of elections and when they occur, etc. Our main objective is to encourage voting in the November election. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is the featured speaker. The event is sponsored by ALFSS, LEAD, ASI, the Office of Community Engagement, Mi Familia Vota, Rock the Vote, and the Chicano Latino Caucus of San Bernardino. Register at the Mi, Voto, Mi Voz, Mi Vida registration page. 

Hispanic Heritage Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Los Angeles) and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. The commemorative week was expanded by legislation sponsored by then-U.S. Rep. Esteban Edward Torres (D-Pico Rivera) and implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). The bill died in committee, but in 1988, U.S. Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois re-submitted an amended version, which was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988.

Sept. 15 of every year was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa RicaEl SalvadorGuatemalaHonduras and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821. In addition, MexicoChile and Belize celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16, Sept. 18 and Sept. 21, respectively.

For more information, visit the CSUSB Hispanic Heritage Month website.

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