JMU’s Center for Multicultural Student Service’s kicked-off their Latinx Heritage Month with a virtual celebration last Tuesday, September 15th. This national event is celebrated annually from September 15th to October 15th and is a chance for Latinx individuals to celebrate their own unique heritages and cultures.
Despite the COVID restrictions, CMSS managed to put together a fun and welcoming celebration for all to enjoy. The event started with a roll call to see who was present and where each student was from. A number of different Central and South American countries were represented, including Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Guatemala. After the introductions, there was a brief dance break featuring some Latin Pop music to keep everyone hyped up and excited for the rest of the evening.
CMSS had a couple different activities planned for students to take part in. One such activity was a Latinx–themed game of Kahoot trivia, featuring questions about Latinx pop culture, history, sports, and culture. It was an enjoyable and educational time for all, and the winners even got free meal vouchers to use at on campus dining halls. There was also a performance put together by JMU’s own Latin dance group, Grupo Candela. The prerecorded video of the group’s routine was played over the Zoom call for all to dance along with.
While the event was a lot of fun, it was also very educational. CMSS worked hard to “drop some knowledge” and educate those in attendance about the reasons behind celebrating Latinx Heritage Month, and its importance to multicultural individuals across the country. They provided some information on the history behind the month of celebration, and even pointed out that the month coincides with a number of Latin American country’s days of independence. There was also a discussion about the origin of the term “Latinx,” and the many other ways someone of Latin American decent may choose to identify.
CMSS provided some information resources for students, including the Latinx Student Alliance and the Madison Hispanic Caucus. Both of these organizations provide forums for Latinx students on campus and are a great way to participate in philanthropy, social events, or just find someone to talk to.
CMSS plans on celebrating Latinx Heritage all month long and has a number of other events planned, like speakers, films, and a Latinx Alumni panel. These events are open to all students, so come by and check them out. For more information on CMSS click here, and be sure to follow them on social media: @jmucmss on Instagram and Twitter!