Hispanic Heritage Month celebration begins Sept. 14

Sept. 14, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Tacos, the tango and traditions will be the order of day when Slippery Rock University's Office for Inclusive Excellence hosts a Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff event from 12:30-2 p.m. today in at the Quad. In the event of rain, festivities will be moved to the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

Hispanic Heritage month

Attendees will have the opportunity to dine on Hispanic favorites such as tacos, Spanish rice and churros, compliments of AVI Fresh, while enjoying an authentic atmosphere augmented by Latino jazz music. Students may also enjoy "maps and facts" tables or try their hand at creating paper flowers, a Mexican tradition that is also enjoyed on Cinco de Mayo and the Day of the Dead.

"We really wanted to create an experience that was both educational and authentic to the culture," commented Keshia Booker, assistant director of Multicultural Development in the OIE.

The month's celebrations will continue with a Latin dance class at 12:30 p.m., Sept. 19 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. Instructors from the Arthur Murray Dance Center of Pittsburgh will lead dancers during the free event.

"I find that is important to really take the time to celebrate this month because it gives our Hispanic and Latino students a chance to take pride in their culture and expose others to a diverse culture in an engaging way," said Booker.

Hispanic Heritage Week was first observed in 1968 under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson following legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward Roybal of California. The celebration was later expanded to cover the 30-day period from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Sept. 15 was chosen as the start date for the month-long celebration since it is the anniversary of independence for a number of Latin American countries including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Planning for additional Hispanic Heritage Month events is ongoing. Interested attendees are encouraged to check the University calendar at http://www.sru.edu/events for listings.

MEDIA CONTACT: Maizee Zaccone | 724.738.2091 | mxz1016@sru.edu