Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month at Penn State

September 11, 2020

Penn State student organizations and units at campuses across the commonwealth will be holding virtual or distanced events in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated Sept. 15–Oct. 15. Here’s a look at some of the events taking place at the University’s campuses. Events are free unless otherwise indicated.

In September 1968, the U.S. Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, expanded in 1989 to a month-long celebration of the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

This list will be updated as events are added throughout the month. The University community is invited to send diversity and inclusion events at Penn State for consideration to DiversityEvents@psu.edu.

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY PARK

Sept. 21Julio Ricardo Varela, founder of LatinoRebels.com and co-host with María Hinojosa of “In the Thick,” will participate in Penn State's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, engaging in a dialogue about media representations of Latinos in America today. 6 p.m, via Zoom (email sandoval@psu.edu to request Zoom link).

Sept. 24Tamales Cooking Demonstration — Acclaimed cook David Cantu will broadcast live from his State College kitchen to share, start to finish, his family recipe for authentic tamales. This culinary tradition, popular across many Hispanic cultures, varies by region and even by family. Hosted by the Finance & Business Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Pre-registration is required. 4–4:30 p.m., Zoom.

Oct. 7 — Penn State Education Abroad, in partnership with IES Abroad and the Penn State Spanish Club, will host “A Taste of Latin America: How to Make Chilean Empanadas" — This virtual event will be free and open to any interested Penn State student, faculty, or staff member. The lesson will be given in English by Maricarmen Cortes, Center Director of IES Abroad Santiago, Chile, and we will have the ingredients and cooking equipment list available to registrants in advance for those who would like to prep early and follow along in real time. Attendees are also welcome to just tune in and learn if they don’t have the ingredients/cooking implements available. To register and receive the link to the event, click here. 6-7:30 p.m.

Oct. 8"Immigration and 'The Infiltrators': ​A Virtual Screening and Conversation" — Join us for a virtual screening of the docufiction "The Infiltrators" (2019) and a panel discussion featuring the film's co-director Alex Rivera, director of Penn State Law's Center for Immigrants' Rights Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, and associate professor of English Mary Ellen Higgins at Penn State Greater Allegheny. The film tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center — on purpose, as part of a mission to stop unjust deportations. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, the film tells an incredible and thrilling story in a genre-defying new cinematic language. This event is co-sponsored by the Redesigning Modernities Project and the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. 4:30 p.m. screening and 6 p.m. panel. (Register here to receive the Zoom link. You can also watch the film prior to the discussion through Kanopy.)

Oct. 9 — Screening and discussion of "The Infiltrators," a film by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra — Described as a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who get arrested by Border Patrol, and put in a shadowy for-profit detention center – on purpose. 6:30 p.m. (click here to register for the event).

Oct. 15Myriam Gurba, cultural critic, essayist, and author of “Mean,” “Dahlia Season: Stories and a Novella,” and “Painting Their Portraits in Winter: Stories,” will deliver the 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month keynote address. 6 p.m., via Zoom (email sandoval@psu.edu to request Zoom link).

Starting Oct. 15 — A recording of a speech by Ambassador Peter Romero, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Ambassador to Ecuador and Chief of Mission of our Embassy in San Salvador, and former Assistant Secretary of State of the new Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau, will be made available for viewing. Romero will address Penn State Finance and Business leaders during their fall retreat, relating his experiences to issues of resilience, diversity, equity, inclusion, and organizational excellence. Check back here for the link to the recording, which will be available at the end of the day on Oct. 15.

September 2020-September 2021 "Hispanic Heritage Stories" — The Office of Finance and Business in collaboration with the College of the Liberal Arts has created a website for Hispanic and Latinx faculty, staff and student community members at Penn State as well as others within our community to share their stories: https://sites.psu.edu/hispanicheritage/. Submissions will be open through the remainder of the academic year; Questions may be directed to Tatiana Zwerling at tatiana@psu.edu.

PENN STATE ALTOONA

Sept. 21 — Penn State Altoona will host Colombian American poet, speaker and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez, for a virtual event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Gómez, award-winning author of “Fractures,” “Hijito,” and the memoir “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood," is known for his viral poems, “Where are you really from?” and “What Latino Looks Like.” He starred in HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and Spike Lee’s movie “Inside Man." 6:30 p.m., Zoom. More information is available here.

PENN STATE BERKS

Sept. 16Latin Fest (virtual) — Join the Penn State Berks Spanish Program, the Penn State Diversity Committee, and the Latinos United for Change club for the Berks Kick Off to Hispanic Heritage month. Featuring a virtual cooking demo with Dominican recipes for Empanadas and Morir Soñando, along with a dramatized reading of an original poem by Berks student Genesis Munoz Arias. More information here.

Oct. 16Eighth Annual Penn State Berks Latino Forum (virtual) — Keynote speaker Javier Ávila, a renowned speaker, poet, author and professor, will present “The Trouble with My Name,” in this forum is for students from all Berks County high schools, as well as members of the local Latino community. Registration is required. More information here.

PENN STATE FAYETTE, THE EBERLY CAMPUS

Sept. 22 — Penn State Fayette will host Colombian American poet, speaker and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez, for a virtual event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Gómez, award-winning author of “Fractures,” “Hijito,” and the memoir “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood," is known for his viral poems, “Where are you really from?” and “What Latino Looks Like.” He starred in HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and Spike Lee’s movie “Inside Man." This event is open to Penn State Fayette students, faculty and staff. 12:15–1:15 p.m., via Zoom (contact chad@psu.edu for Zoom link).

PENN STATE HARRISBURG

Penn State Harrisburg library will be promoting via social media the PBS documentary series "The Latino Americans," which will teach more about Hispanic Americans and their history. The series can be accessed here.

PENN STATE LEHIGH VALLEY

Week of Sept. 14The Penn State Lehigh Valley campus community is invited to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month by visiting our Hispanic Heritage History wall display, located in the Centre Hall hallway. Visitors are expected to follow all current Penn State social distancing and masking requirements.

Sept. 23 — Penn State Lehigh Valley will host Colombian American poet, speaker and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez, for a virtual event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Gómez, award-winning author of “Fractures,” “Hijito,” and the memoir “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood," is known for his viral poems, “Where are you really from?” and “What Latino Looks Like.” He starred in HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and Spike Lee’s movie “Inside Man." 12:15-1:15 p.m., via Zoom (link will be sent to students the week of the event).

PENN STATE SCRANTON

Sept. 15Hispanic Heritage Month Kick Off Game Show: Kahoot — Students will be able to play the Kahoot Game on their own or have the option to log on Zoom to play together with others. Noon, via Zoom

Sept. 23 — Penn State Altoona will host Colombian American poet, speaker and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez, for a virtual event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Gómez, award-winning author of “Fractures,” “Hijito,” and the memoir “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood," is known for his viral poems, “Where are you really from?” and “What Latino Looks Like.” He starred in HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and Spike Lee’s movie “Inside Man." 12:15-1:15 p.m., via Zoom (link will be sent to students the week of the event).

Sept. 25 — Penn State Scranton business alumnus Alan Souza, whose family emigrated to the United States from Brazil, will be featured during the National Hispanic Heritage Month virtual kickoff event. Cosponsored by Student Organization of Latinos and Admissions, the event is for current students as well as prospective students in high school. Register through Scranton’s Engage page.

PENN STATE WILKES-BARRE

Penn State Wilkes-Barre is holding a series of conversations in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, "Tuesday Ted Talks, and YouTube" — Join the conversation, or DIVERSIcate (Diversity Educate) on your own. Log in on your psu.edu Zoom at 6 p.m. on the following dates to join the link.

PENN STATE YORK

Sept. 23 — Penn State Altoona will host Colombian American poet, speaker and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez, for a virtual event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Gómez, award-winning author of “Fractures,” “Hijito,” and the memoir “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood," is known for his viral poems, “Where are you really from?” and “What Latino Looks Like.” He starred in HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and Spike Lee’s movie “Inside Man." Hosted by the University Programming Board at Penn State York. For more information, contact Sarah Guillen, associate director of student affairs, at 717-771-4045 or sjm69@psu.edu. 12:15-1:15 p.m., via Zoom.

Last Updated October 02, 2020