- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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Pitt expands Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month offerings
Four years ago, the Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month (LHHM) became a university-wide celebration – a charge lead by Gina Garcia, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations and Policy in partnership with the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Since 1968, LHHM has been recognized by the federal government and celebrated across the United States from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as a means of acknowledging the historical and cultural contributions of Americans who identify as Hispanic/Latinx.
Throughout the month, events sponsored by various campus organizations, including Latino Student Association (LSA) and the Hispanic Latinx Professional Association, to name a few, will be open to the university community. LSA hosted a kick-off event on Saturday, Sept. 18, on the William Pitt Union lawn.
This year's celebrations see the addition of the Latinx Connect Conference. The three-day virtual conference, scheduled for Oct. 14-16, aims to move the community beyond "celebrating" Latinxs and calls for "empowerment and justice for the Latinx community,” cites the event page.
The conference invites students, educators, community leaders, political advocates and others to engage about Latinx identities, cultures, contemporary issues and more.
The LSA Community Engagement Chair, Julianna Menendez, finds that expanding LHHM to include Latinx Connect will empower those who don't identify as Latinx or Hispanic to engage and "feel they have space to ask questions freely without judgment," she says. "People are more inclined to be learning about history and culture and our presence here at Pitt. I'm excited about the discourse and to celebrate people from all Latin American countries. It's good to see the university allow this to grow over the years.”
At the start of the semester, LSA hosted a film festival which saw their membership increase from 16 people to over 170 in one night. "They are all excited about the invitation to the festival," adds Menendez.
Register now for Latinx Connect and, until Oct. 31, submit to the Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Artifact Showcase.