Several community events are set to mark Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 across Northwest Ohio and Michigan.
The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library got an early start on Saturday, Sept. 13 with its free Viva La Vida! (Live Life) celebration at the Main Library downtown.
The event focused on the health and wellness of the Latino community, so ProMedica provided a health presentation for youth; the National Latino Peace Officers Association of Northwest Ohio did safety-related fingerprinting of children; the University of Toledo College of Medicine’s Dept. of Physician Assistant Studies students conducted health screenings for attendees, including blood pressure checks and lifestyle questionnaires; and Elaina Hernández led a Zumba class on the library lawn. Dina Villa of El Tipico restaurant led a presentation of preparing health foods.
Miss Ohio Latina 2015 Vanessa Avalos also made an appearance and Jacob Estrada and Los Mariachis Locos performed in the afternoon. The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC) and Adelante hosted information and activity booths at the event.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the music, culture, food, and traditions of the Hispanic heritage and honors the independence of several Latin American countries.
September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico, and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Columbus Day (Día de la Raza), which is October 12, also falls within the 30-day period celebrated as Hispanic Heritage Month.
The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library also will host award-winning author and speaker Juana Bordas at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 26 in the McMaster Center at Main Library, 325 Michigan St. Ms. Bordas, winner of the 2014 Nautilus Book Award for multicultural/indigenous literature and the 2014 International Book Award, is scheduled to speak on the topic Leadership for a Multicultural Age.
Ms. Bordas, who emigrated from Nicaragua when she was three years old, wrote the book, Salsa, Soul and Spirit–Leadership for a Multicultural Age, which won the 2008 International Latino Book Award for Leadership. Her 2013 work, The Power of Latino Leadership, received both the 2014 Nautilus Prize for best multicultural book and the 2014 International Latino Book Award.
Ms. Bordas also will serve as the keynote speaker later that same evening during the 25th Anniversary Diamante Awards hosted by the University of Toledo. That event is being held at the Premier Banquet Hall, 4480 Heatherdowns Blvd., 6-10 p.m. Ms. Bordas will participate in a book signing that evening.
“Honoring the Legacy of César Chávez” will be held Saturday, Sept. 20, 1-5 p.m., at the Historic Ohio Theatre and Event Center, 3114 Lagrange St., Toledo. El Corazón de México Ballet Folklorico will perform at 1 p.m., followed an hour later by a panel discussion on the life and legacy of César Chávez. Panelists include retired college professor/poet Dr. Manuel Caro, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) Senior Attorney Mark Heller, and Farm Labor Organizing Committee Founder/President Baldemar Velásquez. The free event is being co-sponsored by the Mexican Consulate.
A César Chávez biopic will be shown in the Ohio Theater at 2:30 p.m. Crafts for children will be provided during the film, which will be followed at 4 p.m. by a question-and-answer session with the panel. A repeat showing of the César Chávez film will be offered on Sunday, Sept. 21at a cost of $4.
Bowling Green State University will host its 21st annual Latino Issues Conference on Thursday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., 202 Student Union Ballroom. The conference is free for BGSU students, while faculty/staff and outsiders will be charged the cost of the conference luncheon.
The conference will consist of a Latino Cultural and Community Showcase, conference luncheon with a yet-to-be-announced keynote speaker, and educational sessions. The first Latino Issues Conference (LIC), held in 1995, was an opportunity to dialogue about the future growth and needs of the Hispanic/Latino community in an “inclusive discourse for the 21st century.” The primary mission and focus of the conference is to explore, identify, and research those issues impacting/pertaining to the needs of the Hispanic/Latino community. Those interested in more information can contact Ray Plaza by calling 419.372.2642.
The University of Toledo will host a number of Hispanic Heritage Month events open to UT students and the general public, including:
Thursday, Sept. 25: Cocina Latina, 7 to 9 p.m., International House Multipurpose Room. UT’s Latino Student Union (LSU) will demonstrate how to prepare Hispanic dishes.
Tuesday, Sept. 30: Latino Idol, 7 to 9 p.m., Student Union Ingman Room. The Latino Student Union will hold its annual competition where contestants sing in Spanish.
Wednesday, Oct. 1: Salsa on the Steps, noon to 4 p.m., in front of the Student Union.
Thursday, Oct. 2: Artist Reception, 5 to 7 p.m., Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, Tucker Hall, Room 0168. Meet local Hispanic and Latina artists who have works on display through Friday, Dec. 5, in the Eberly Center for Women.
Monday, Oct. 20: Latino Student Union Open House, 6 to 8 p.m., Student Union Room 2592. Stop by for light refreshments and to see what the organization has to offer.
There are several Hispanic Heritage Month events just a short drive away in Michigan as well:
Monday, Sept. 15: A.L.S.A.M.E. conference in Adrian, Lenawee County, a conference for students.
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 4 p.m.: a flag-raising ceremony at Adrian City Hall with Mayor Jim Berryman, followed by a 7 p.m. Hispanic Heritage Celebration dance at Adrian College, Caine Student Terrace.
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6 p.m.: César Chávez Commemorative Dinner, Radisson Hotel, 111 N. Grand Ave., Lansing. Keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Juan Andrade, CEO and president, U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, Chicago. Individual achievement awards and scholarships also will be presented.
Thursday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m.: Celebrando el mes de la Hispanidad, Davenport University Lettinga campus, Sneden Auditorium, 6191 Kraft Ave. SE. This event features guest speakers, drumming and dance, and an art showcase.
Saturday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.: Tres Leches Comedy Fundraiser, Kingdom Ministries Center, 3000 W. Miller, Lansing. This event is a Latino family-friendly comedy show featuring Cleto, Danny, and Roman, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the César Chávez arch in Lansing’s Old Town.
Monday, Sept. 22, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: 27th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff, Siena Heights University Ledwidge Ballroom, Adrian, to be followed by a Fiesta food and dance celebration, 4-6 p.m., featuring the music of Los Hermanos Villegas.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: 5th Annual Michigan Hispanic Legislative Advocacy Day, State Capitol, Lansing. There will be a public forum with legislators and a free authentic Mexican lunch on the Capitol lawn.
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 11:30 a.m.: 2014 Amigos de SER Business Recognition, 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit. This event is an annual luncheon recognizing business entities on the local/national level who have partnered with SER to provide Detroit workers with long-term employment and equip local businesses with qualified employees.
October 30-Nov. 1: 25th Anniversary Conference Celebration, East Lansing Marriott Hotel, 300 M.A.C. Ave. The conference theme is “Latinos in 2050: Restoring the Public Good.” Nationally-known and emerging scholars/researchers will present and participate in panel discussions on health disparities, business ownership/entrepreneurship, service delivery gaps, and other topics/issues. The two-day conference is $175, $100 for students. Julian Samora Research Institute, 517.432.1317.
A complete Hispanic Heritage Month calendar can be found on the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan website: www.michigan.gov/hlcom.