FORT SMITH, Ark. — The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS) has begun celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
The month-long celebration of Hispanic and Latinx heritage will take place from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
Event-goers can enjoy a nacho bar and salsa dancing under the Bell Tower, esteemed Hispanic speakers as well as a public open forum discussion hosted by the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee.
“UAFS has hosted Hispanic Heritage Month events in the past and celebrated Hispanic culture, but this is one of the first times someone who is Hispanic has chaired the event,” said Cristina Castorena, professional advisor with the R.O.A.R. First-Year Advising Center. “And I think that speaks volumes about where UAFS wants to be. You can see that we have Hispanic culture everywhere, and celebrating people aside from the environment you know them in – like at work or in class – is important because it says 'I see you. I see who you are.'”
UAFS will fly flags along the Smith Pendergraft Campus center and display books in the Boreham Library.
The university will also highlight Hispanic students, faculty, staff and alumni through short profile pieces and day-in-the-life takeovers on its social media pages.
“We are inviting our Latina and Latino community to these events, and our Hispanic students, faculty, and staff, so they feel like this is for them and they feel celebrated, but I also want to include people who do not look like me,” Castorena said. “Everyone is welcome! You are welcome to come out to see and learn and experience, both our food and our culture!”
The following events will take place on the UAFS campus:
Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off!
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Center Breezeway
SALSA at the Bell Tower
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021
7-10 p.m. at the Campus Green and Bell Tower Plaza
Keynote speech by Angela Vivar, M.Ed.
Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021
12:15-1:15 p.m. at the Campus Center Reynolds Room
Coffee, Culture, Conversation – “Cafecito y Pan Dulce”
Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Center Fireplace
Hispanic Heritage Month Open Forum
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021
5:30-7 p.m. at the Campus Center Reynolds Room