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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Published September 6, 2019

Because the founding heritage of vast regions of this country was Hispanic, no account of the past–and no understanding of the present–can be complete if it does not acknowledge that indelible cultural imprint, which is vivid still and will become even more pronounced in the decades ahead.

– Lawrence M. Small, Smithsonian Magazine

CSULB is a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), ranking third in the nation for awarding bachelor's degrees to Hispanic students. The term Hispanic Serving includes campus members and others who identify as Chicano/a, Latino/a, and Latinx. Reflecting our commitment to Hispanic student success, it is fitting that our new academic year begins with a celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Opportunities for Latinx students on our campus continue to grow, thanks in large part to the visionary and persistent efforts of dedicated faculty and staff to boost access, success, and graduation rates. We are doing more than ever before at The Beach to help traditionally underrepresented students graduate with highly valued degrees that prepare them for the next steps in their professional or academic lives.

I am grateful to the many campus groups that continue to guide and support these efforts, while serving as valuable resources for students, faculty, staff, and community members. Especially notable are the Chicano and Latino Studies Department, Raza Student Cultural Resource Center, various student-led organizations such as FUEL and the Latino Student Union, the Latinx Faculty & Staff Association, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, HSI-STEM, HSI Caminos, and the Center for Latino Community Health.

Our campus will be presenting a wide variety of special activities and events to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, and I am excited to share this information with you.

Name of Event: Latinx Heritage Month Celebration Kick-Off and Latinx Student Welcome
Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: University Student Union (USU), Southwest Terrace
Presented by: The Office of Multicultural Affairs, ASI's Beach Pride Center and the Latino Student Union

Name of Event: Latino Mother's Perception of Child's Weight
Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: Social Sciences/Public Administration Building (SS/PA), Room 028
Presented by: Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training

Name of Event: Multiracial and Latinx: Belonging
Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location: University Student Union (USU), Room 304
Presented by: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Project OCEAN

Name of Event: Out of the Shadows: Mixed Immigration Status in the Family
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Location: University Student Union (USU), Room 306
Presented by: Latinas at the Beach

Name of Event: Bienvenida: Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)-STEM
Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019
Time: 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Location: University Student Union (USU), Ballrooms
Presented by: HSI- STEM
RSVP by: Monday, September 16, 2019

Name of Event: “Querida Familia Latinx”: Uniting Against Hate
Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Psychology Building (PSY), Room 150
Presented by: Latinx Faculty and Staff Association

Name of Event: Free HIV Testing with Bienestar
Date: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: CSULB Center Quad
Presented by: Student Health Services and Bienestar

Name of Event: 2nd Annual Gloria Anzaldua Day of Service
(Free Gloria Anzaldua T-shirt while supplies last!)
Date: Friday, September 27, 2019
Time: 8:30 am - 2:30 pm
Location: The Multicultural Center, Faculty Office 3, Room 01
(Meet on campus and commute/carpool to service site off-campus)
Presented by: The Office of Multicultural Affairs
RSVP By: Monday, September 23, 2019

Name of Event: Agents of Change: A Conversation with Ms. Sylvia Mendez*
Date: Monday, September 30, 2019
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: University Student Union (USU), Ballrooms
Presented by: The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Associated Student Incorporated
*Civil rights activist and CSU alumna Sylvia Mendez is a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and the daughter of Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez, plaintiffs in the landmark Mendez v. Westminster School District (1947) case, which paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

As I reflect on the success of our Latinx students and, more broadly, on their contributions to our campus, community, and country, I am filled with pride, gratitude, and renewed hope for the future.

Of course, The Beach does not operate in a vacuum. It is hard to overlook the fact that we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month just a few short, painful weeks after 20 people were killed in El Paso in “what appears to be one of the deadliest hate crimes ever against Latinos.” With hate crimes on the rise, it will probably come as no surprise to hear that in a survey conducted in 2018 by the Pew Research Center, “Half of Latinos say their situation in the U.S. has worsened over the past year,” up from 32 percent soon after the 2016 election.

It bears repeating, particularly at moments like these, that the Hispanic/Latinx presence in America predates by more than two centuries the signing of the Declaration of Independence and precedes both the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 and the arrival of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor in 1620. As Lawrence M. Small notes in Smithsonian Magazine, “The Spanish flag flew over land now within the continental United States until 1821, and the Mexican flag for three decades after that.”

Thank you for taking time to learn about the “indelible cultural imprint” that generations of Latinx people have made on the United States and for helping us recognize and celebrate the countless ways in which Latinx people and culture have uniquely shaped and enriched our campus and country.