In celebration of September’s Latina/o Heritage Month, Mills College will be hosting a series of events including a movie, dinner, monologue, and dance which are open to the public. Latina/o Heritage Month celebrates countries such as Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua for gaining their independence and honors the history and culture of these countries.
Latina/o Heritage Month is sponsored by Mujeres Unidas, the ethnic studies department, Diversity and Social Justice Resource Center, and the Associated Students at Mills College. Mujeres Unidas is an organization at Mills College that helps build a sense of belonging to Chicanas, Latinas, and allies by addressing their needs through community building, sharing their culture, and recruitment on campus.
Déborah Berman Santana, ethnic studies professor, explains in an email what Latina/o Heritage Month is and encourages all community members to take part.
“Latina/o Heritage Month is a US-wide celebration of Latin American and Latino history, politics and culture.” Santana wrote in an email. “Here at Mills, we particularly focus on the struggles and achievements of Latinas, and invite the entire campus to participate.”
Santana is also eager about attending the events for Latina/o Heritage Month.
“I am excited about all of them,” Santana said in an email. “But if I had to pick one, it would be something brand new for Mills, the “Decolonize your Diet” workshop on Chicana/Indigenous health and food.”
“Decolonizing your Diet” is a new workshop this year during which Professors Luz Calvo, an associate professor of ethnic studies at Cal State East Bay, and Catrióna Rueda Esquibe, an associate professor in race and resistance studies at San Francisco State University, will talk about public health research that demonstrates that recent Latina/o immigrants have better health than American-born children.
Berenice Mosqueda, a Chicana who is a senior at Mills, said that she enjoys the Latina/o Heritage Month Celebration Dinner because it gives her a sense of belonging while at school.
“I like how they have the Latina Heritage Month Dinner at Founders because it reminds me of being at home and helps me connect with my culture even if it’s just for a meal,” Mosqueda said.
Latina/o Heritage Month Dinner will be held at Founders Commons on Wed., Sept. 10 and will showcasegrilled arrachera beef with red pepper sauce, pork with chili verde sauce, and Brazilian chicken.
The film “Born in East LA” will be shown in the Student Union at 6:30 pm on Mon., Sept. 15. The film centers around immigration and stars Cheech Marin, Daniel Stern, and Kamala Lopez. The screening will be followed by a brief discussion.
The “Yo Soy” (I am) monologues will occur Thurs., Sept. 18, at 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Student Union. The monologues shared have been written by Mujeres Unidas’ members and Latino/a Faculty and Staff at Mills. The monologues shared will show the diverse identity of the Latino/a community at Mills College.
Numerous other events will be held throughout September. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
The upcoming events for Latina/o Heritage Month are:
Decolonizing Your Diet with Professors Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibe
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, Student Union
Bon Appetit and Latina Heritage Month Celebration Dinner
5:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, Founders Hall
Movie Night! “Born in East L.A.” 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 15, Student Union
“Yo Soy” (I am) Monologues
7:00-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, Student Union
¡BOMBA! ¡BOMBA! ¡BOMBA! ¡BOMBA! Afro-Puerto Rican Music and Dance Workshop 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, Student Union
“Bailando en el Barrio” Latina Heritage Month Dance
9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m., Friday, Sept. 26, Student Union A dance featuring DJ Agana. Admission: $3.00 donation for Mills students; $5.00 for non-Mills students. A valid CA ID/College ID are required at the door.
Dinner Honoring Latina Staff and Faculty
6:00 p.m., Monday, Sept. 29, Reinhardt Alumni House