Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated with Series of Free, Public Events

By Tom McLaughlin

Rutgers University–Camden is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month – observed nationally from September 15 to October 15 – with a host of free, public events.

The monthlong celebration is highlighted by an evening with civil rights icon Dolores Huerta on October 12 and a symposium taking a look back at the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico and the implications for future development on October 15.

Tuesday, October 2
Compartir la Investigación (Sharing Research)

Rutgers University–Camden Vice Chancellor Jason Rivera will host a series of faculty and staff-led Ted talk-style lectures on various research projects focusing on Latinx communities at a time to be determined in the Multi-Purpose Room.

Wednesday, October 3
Ritmo Latino: Fundraising Night at the Victor

Ritmo Latino will host an evening of food, fun, and fellowship from 9 p.m. to midnight at The Victor. Guests must be 21 or over to participate. A portion of food and beverage purchases will help support Ritmo Latino programming.

Thursday, October 4
The Big Read: Explore In the Time of the Butterflies
Family-Friendly Kick-Off Event

The Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts will host The Big Read kickoff celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. off-campus in Northgate Park, located at Sixth and Elm Streets. The celebration will feature a storyteller, art activities, book discussion group sign-ups, and giveaways. Each participant will receive a copy of Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies or an age-appropriate companion book.

Tuesday, October 9
Cafe Con Leche

The Latin American Student Organization will host a Latin-themed café-style event featuring coffee and desserts from Latin American countries from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in the Raptor Roost, located on the ground floor of the Campus Center.

Wednesday, October 10
Spanish Trap and Trivia
Spanish Trap-Inspired Kahoot! Trivia Game

Ritmo Latino invites participants to join in a Kahoot! trivia game inspired by the history of the Spanish Trap music genre from 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. in the Viewing Room, located on the ground floor of the Campus Center. Participants will be asked questions about artists, the country origin of various songs, and the names of various tunes throughout the game.

Faculty Lecture Series: In the Time of the Butterflies featuring Professor Holly Blackford

Holly Blackford, a professor of English, will lecture on the beautiful imagery in the novel In the Time of the Butterflies at 5:30 p.m. in the Rutgers University–Camden Alumni House, located at 312 Cooper Street.

Friday, October 12
Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother Film Screening

Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Phoebe Haddon will host a screening of the documentary Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.

The film explores the life of Dolores Huerta, who is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.  A reception will follow.

“Sí Se Puede!: An Evening with Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta”

Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Phoebe Haddon will host “Sí Se Puede!: An Evening with Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta” from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room, located on the main floor of the Campus Center. Huerta has spent most of her life as a political activist, fighting for better working conditions for farmworkers and the rights of the downtrodden. Co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, now the United Farm Workers, she will chronicle her experiences and offer her thoughts on the importance of activism today.

Monday, Oct. 15
“A Year After Maria: Current and Future Challenges in Puerto Rico” Symposium

The Community Leadership Center at Rutgers–Camden will host a Hispanic Heritage Month symposium, titled “A Year After Maria: Current and Future Challenges in Puerto Rico,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.

The symposium will take a look back at Hurricane Maria’s devastating effect on Puerto Rico and how the storm triggered a critical process to identify new methods of reconstructing and revitalizing communities and people’s lives. Speakers will discuss how to reimagine, reinvent, reshape, and rethink Puerto Rico around the issues of education, health, energy, and the economy.

For more information regarding Hispanic Heritage Month events, contact Mike Sepanic at (856) 225-6026.

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