Kathryn O’Connor News Editor
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (MCA) hosted celebrations in observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
The annual celebration recognizes the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Heritage months allow individuals to learn more about their cultural background and broaden their perspectives. Sierra Rosbey, the multicultural program coordinator, collaborated with the university and community partners to build extensive cultural programming events.
“As a department, we pride ourselves on supporting people from all cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities,” Roseby said. “We thrive on social engagement by creating hyper-positive experiences while promoting diversity and inclusion. These cultural celebrations provide the opportunity to recognize the complexities and richness of each identity that is on our campus.”
The annual event engaged students across campus. The month-long celebration began with Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Academy Award-winning virtual reality experience CARNE y ARENA, which explored the human condition of immigrants and recounts their harrowing journey. Sammy Figueroa and his Latin Jazz Ensemble also played for students.
“Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month amplifies Latinx voices and shines a light on the Hispanic community, while providing a space for people to remember their past and look to the future,” Roseby said. “As a department, MCA partners with the campus and Omaha community to educate and build awareness by hosting programming events centered around the Hispanic community. This heightens visibility and welcomes others to observe and participate in traditional customs.”
Típico Helado and Salmex Restaurant also participated in the celebration, allowing students to learn about Hispanic Heritage Month while eating their favorite cuisine.
This honoring and support can go beyond this month of celebration.
One of the best ways students can continually support the Hispanic community is to take the time to research important figures and their accomplishments in society.
Many museums feature Latinx installations during Hispanic Heritage Month, while some collections are highlighted throughout the year. Students can also consider cooking classes or reading Hispanic literature, then incorporating what is learned into their life. People can support local Latinx businesses, restaurants and groceries in the Omaha community.
“It’s important for people to be educated about the history and contributions of all cultures,” Roseby said. “The rich history of the world helps us to paint a detailed picture of where society stands today. Through education, people can create a deeper understanding of differences.”