Sep 13, 2019
Strengthening bonds between local Latinx families, HSU Latinx students, and the local community, HSU’s El Centro Académico Cultural Centro will celebrate Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month with Convivio de Bienvenida, a Convivial Welcome.
The campus and the local community are invited to Convivio de Bienvenida at Arcata’s Redwood Park on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 12-4 p.m.
The event will feature family-friendly activities such as hikes in the Redwoods (led by Latino Outdoors), music, free food, basketball, door prizes, fun science and engineering challenges, and information from various community organizations. Co-sponsored by El Centro, Cumbre Humboldt, and Equity Arcata, the event is designed to foster community building by highlighting HSU campus resources and community opportunities that will raise awareness and empowerment within the local Latinx community.
This event is part of El Centro’s Fiestas Patrias, a month-long series of events in recognition of Latinx/Hispanic Heritage month. It is also a kickoff event for National Hispanic Serving Institutions Observance week, which also recognizes the achievements and aspirations of the Latinx community.
Located on Humboldt State University Campus, El Centro is a space, a strategy, and a community that works with all students in navigating pathways to success that honors and respects their cultural and historical trajectory.
Formerly known as the Latinx Center for Academic Excellence, the program recently changed its name after consulting with student focus groups to better reflect students’ contemporary views of culture and identity, says El Centro Coordinator Fernando Paz.
For one thing, not all students who share in the heritage from Latin-American nations identify as Latinx, a gender-neutral identifier. The new name also speaks directly to the program’s stated mission of enriching intellectual discussions at the center, specifically the effort to provide a welcoming space of encuentro (encounter) where students can explore and express shared values, differing experiences, distinct histories, and multi-dimensional identities.
“It is not our intention to tell students how to identify,” Paz says. “Rather we invite students to explore and decide for themselves whether they chose Latinx, Chicano, Hispanic or any other form of self-identification.”
Founded in the summer of 2015, El Centro is committed to student success with a responsive approach, which includes the development of academic, intellectual, personal, and professional growth.
El Centro is one of five Cultural Centers of Academic Excellence, which include the African American Center for Academic Excellence, the MultiCultural Center, and the Indian Tribal & Educational Personnel Program (ITEPP).