Beginning Sept. 15, Northern Arizona University is celebrating Hispanic, Latina/o/x Heritage Month with a collection of events hosted by NAU’s Office of Inclusion. Through these events, NAU strives to honor the culture, history and diversity of individuals in the Latina/x/o community.
Hispanic, Latina/x/o Heritage Month was first celebrated in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was later expanded to cover a full month, lasting until Oct. 15, in 1988.
“The most important thing to me about Hispanic, Latina/o/x Heritage Month is recognizing the contributions of my history, culture and achievements that we have brought to this country,” said Vidal Mendoza, assistant director of Hispanic, Latina/o/x Initiatives at NAU. “As a Latina, staying connected with my roots is a huge part of my identity that I own with pride. Unfortunately, identifying as Hispanic or Latina/o/x isn’t necessarily looked upon with a smile or admiration. But even so, I am proud of identifying as a Latina, Mexicana or Chicana. I love my brown skin, rich culture and community. The diversity within our people is so vastly different and beautiful all at once.”
The monthlong celebration at NAU is planned by a variety of on-campus groups and partners. and other student clubs and organizations work together to create an inclusive celebration for all Lumberjacks.
“The overall goal I have for celebrating Hispanic, Latina/o/x Heritage Month on campus is for students who identify that way to know they have a community of support here at NAU,” Mendoza said. “Being a predominantly white institution is a huge culture shock for our Hispanic, Latina/o/x students, and many find it intimidating. Cultural representation is something I valued as an NAU student, and I am sure many students today still feel the same.”
All members of the NAU community are invited to attend the events happening across campus.
“You will quickly get pulled in by our collectivist nature and familial tendencies, it will be hard to stay away,” Mendoza said. “Faculty and staff can get involved by attending our events and encouraging their students to attend. We have a vast array of events that are planned. Some even may be an extra credit opportunity!”
Schedule of events
Sept. 15, all day
Social Media takeover “What does Hispanic/Latinx Heritage mean to you? @unidosnau on Instagram
Sept. 16, 6-8 p.m.
Latin Dance Night: Noche De Baile, International Pavilion
Sept. 22, 6-8 p.m.
Lotería-Bingo Night: Union Fieldhouse Room 135
Sept. 30, 6-8 p.m.
Discovering Modern History with Ethnic Studies: SBS West Room 200
Oct. 1, 4-5:30 p.m.
Latinos También Escriben: Cline Library
Oct. 7, 6-8 p.m.
Latin Gallery Night with Muxes Spotlight: IMQ Center
Oct. 13, 5-6:30 p.m.
Meet and Greet with NAU President: IMQ Center
Oct. 16, 1 p.m.
NAU Football Hispanic Heritage Game: J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome
Purchase game ticket and exclusive “Los Lumberjacks” T-Shirt at loslumberjacks.com
Masks are recommended at all events.
Students can continue to get involved by reaching out to the Office of Inclusion: Multicultural & LGBTQ+ Student Services by phone, (928) 523-5656; email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or by contacting Vidal Mendoza directly at (928) 523-1489 or email@example.com.