Purdue University Northwest to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with Cultural and Academic Events

September 15, 2021

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a variety of cultural and academic events. Observed annually in the U.S. between September 15 and October 15, the events will examine the history, culture and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities.

“So much of American culture has been influenced by Hispanic culture through food, art and language,” says Catalina Rodriguez, interim assistant vice chancellor for Education Opportunity Programs at PNW. “Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn about and reflect on those contributions, and to recognize, observe and measure that impact.”

Rodriguez, chair of PNW’s National Hispanic Heritage Month committee, hopes to engage faculty, staff, students and the surrounding communities with a wide range of programming. Featuring lectures, discussions, festivals and a movie night, these events will explore different aspects of the Hispanic and Latinx culture and experience.

“This month-long celebration is meant to focus on the rich diversity of the Hispanic and Latinx communities,” stated Rodriguez. “It’s a meaningful way to celebrate our culture, our Latinx students and the community.”

The university will launch the month-long celebration with the seventh annual Mexican Independence Day Celebration at 5 p.m., Wednesday, September 15 at Founder’s Plaza on the Hammond campus. The event, sponsored by the university’s Spanish Club, will feature food, live entertainment and family-friendly activities including dance lessons, games and crafts.  The event is free and open to the public.

PNW’s month-long celebration will culminate with a Hispanic Heritage Festival from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15. The festival, scheduled to be held outdoors in Founders Plaza at PNW’s Hammond campus, will feature free food, live entertainment and family-friendly activities celebrating the diversity and richness of the Hispanic/Latinx community.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the heritage and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities whose ancestors came from Mexico, Central and South America, Spain and the Caribbean. PNW supports and acknowledges the rich Latinx community on campus and in the surrounding areas.

All events are free and open to the public. For additional details and the full schedule of events, visit www.pnw.edu/hispanic-heritage-month.

PNW National Hispanic Heritage Month Events

From festivals and celebrations to educational presentations and inspiring career talks, explore the wide range of events PNW has to offer as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. For more details and the most up-to-date information, please visit www.pnw.edu/hispanic-heritage-month.

To request a disability-related accommodation for these events, please contact the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at edi@pnw.edu or 219-785-5545 five days prior to the event.

7th Annual Spanish Club Mexican Independence Day Celebration: 5p.m., Sept. 15

  • Bring your friends and family and immerse yourself in the Mexican culture. Enjoy delicious food, experience cultural performances and participate in dance lessons, games and other festivities.

Anything for Selenas: 11 a.m., Sept. 21

  • Join the Unidos Club for our second annual Anything for Selenas event as we pay tribute to the Queen of Tejano Music. A day of crafting, pizza and cumbia – Selena style. Design your own Selena hat until “no me queda más” glitter and rhinestones.

Movie Night at Gabis Arboretum: 7 p.m., Sept. 23

  • Celebrate PNW families and honor Hispanic Heritage Month with a movie night featuring the film “Selena.” This event is a collaboration between Student Life and the alumni community.

Looking Local: East Chicago’s Latina/o Histories: 10 a.m., Oct. 1

  • This two-part event explores the rich history of Latinas and Latinos in East Chicago, Indiana.
  • The first part will feature speaker Emiliano Aguilar, a Ph.D. candidate in History at Northwestern University and graduate of PNW. It will familiarize students with various kinds of primary sources, such as City Council Meeting Minutes, newspapers and interview transcripts. The workshop will teach students how a historian interrogates a source and the limitations of these sources.

The Borders of Queer Latinidad: Noon, Oct. 6

  • This event starts a conversation about Queer Latinidad, an imaginary community situated at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and nation and features speaker Ruben Zecena, an assistant professor of English at Texas State University.

Hispanic Heritage Festival: 5 p.m., Oct. 15

  • Come along as we celebrate the diversity and richness of the Hispanic/Latinx community. Free food, live entertainment and family-friendly activities will be offered.