Buffalo State will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15–October 15 with a series of Latino-influenced films, performances, and a roundtable discussion featuring several campus faculty members. All events are free and open to the public.
Marko Miletich, assistant professor of Spanish and translation, spearheaded the celebration in concert with the Modern and Classical Languages Department, Equity and Campus Diversity, the Inclusion and Equity Office, and the Music Department.
“These contributions have been integral to the prosperity and values of the United States. With Buffalo State’s mission of diversity and inclusion, it only makes sense that we recognize our Hispanic students, faculty members, and alumni during this important celebration.”
Originally known as Hispanic Heritage Week, the celebration began in 1968 as a weeklong commemoration of the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. Since 1988, it has been recognized as a monthlong celebration starting on September 15 and running through October 15 that recognizes the contributions of the ancestors of American citizens who hail from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South and Central America.
“These are all contributions that have been integral to the prosperity and values of the United States,” Miletich said. “With Buffalo State’s mission of diversity and inclusion, it only makes sense that we recognize our Hispanic students, faculty members, and alumni during this important celebration. We hope to make this a yearly event.”
Miletich said he collaborated with campus colleagues to plan activities that would appeal to students, campus professionals, and community members. One that should be particularly enjoyable for students is a Jeopardy-style game show in which Miletich will pose Hispanic-focused questions to students. The full lineup of events is as follows:
- Screening of the movie In the Heights on Thursday, September 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Assembly Hall.
- Salsa-merengue demonstration led by Fanny Olaya, ’20, a graduate of the Spanish program, on Friday, September 16, from noon to 2:00 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Assembly Hall. September 16 is also Mexican Independence Day, commemorating Mexico's declaration of independence from Spanish rule in 1810.
- Student game show, led by Miletich, on Thursday, September 22, from 12:05 to 1:40 p.m. in Bulger Communication Center 214.
- Screening of the film Tortilla Soup on Thursday, October 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Assembly Hall.
- Ritmos Latinos/Latin Rhythms, a collaboration between Buffalo State music students and students enrolled in SPA 309: Culture and Civilization of Latin America, on Thursday, October 13, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Ciminelli Recital Hall. Led by Miletich and Holly Bewlay, associate professor of voice, students in SPA 309 will provide detailed introductions to three classic Latin songs that the music students will perform.
- A Latin Roundtable, featuring Bridget Chesterton, professor of history and social studies education; Gliset Colón, assistant professor of exceptional education; Steve Peraza, assistant professor of history and social studies education; Patrick Ravines, professor and director of art conservation; and Talia Rodriguez, associate director of civic and community engagement and associate director of West Side Promise Neighborhood, on Friday, October 14, from noon to 2:00 p.m. in Bacon Hall 115.
The Faculty-Student Association provided funding for the monthlong celebration.
Photo credit: Detail of Hispanic Heritage select photos, by David Valdez. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.