Each year since 1968, the U.S. dedicates Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as National Hispanic (Latinx) Heritage Month to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of citizens with ancestry in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The three campuses of Pennsylvania Western University will once again join these festivities for the third annual Latinx Heritage Month – with on-campus and virtual events for the campus community.

This year, the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Latinx committee will kick off the celebration with “Café con Leche: A Panel Discussion about Latinidad,” at 1 p.m. Sept. 15. The live panel, moderated by Edinboro faculty member Dr. Stephanie Diez-Morel (social work), will explore how culture impacts our daily lives and will feature Latinx faculty from Edinboro, California and Clarion universities.

Panelists include Dr. Diez-Morel, Dr. Sheila Lorenzo de la Peña (Edinboro, art therapy), Dr. Andrea Vargas Cencich (California, humanities), and Dr. Sandra Trejos (Clarion, economics).

To participate in the panel and following Q&A, access PennWest University’s Zoom link. To view the panel in its entirety, visit PennWest University’s YouTube channel for the live broadcast.

The U.S. collectively celebrates the significance of Sept. 15 as the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

“We are honored to embrace the past achievements of these communities by sharing the current narratives of folks here at PennWest,” Diez-Morel said. “The focus of this year’s events will be on exploring ‘Latinidad’ and how culture impacts all our lives. "

PennWest’s Art Therapy program welcomes participants to the Edinboro campus studio from 4-6 p.m. Sept. 15 for a special student-led Hispanic Heritage Month open session in Butterfield 105, 310 Scotland Road.

All students from PennWest schools are invited to attend “Latinx Motivational Speakers” from 11 a.m. until noon on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Doctoral candidates in the criminal justice field will discuss their keys to success in the field.

Participants include Maria Hernandez Green, crime analyst; Eli Herrera, treatment specialist at Federal Bureau of Prisons; Sam Santiago, police chief in Shirley, Mass.; and Ron Camacho, police chief in Chambersburg, Pa.

Join the live Zoom chat, hosted by the Hispanic Student Association (HSA) and the Doctor of Criminal Justice program.

PennWest California will also host two Latinx movie nights from 6-8 p.m. in the Vulcan Art Gallery on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 – hosted by the HAS and Cal Catholic. The September viewing of “Real Women Have Curves” will also include a spa night, while the October viewing of “The Official Story” – also hosted by the PennWest California Art Club – will feature traditional craft making.

Events for Hispanic Heritage Month will conclude on Friday, Oct. 14, with “Noche de Salsa” a salsa-dancing event with Marlon Silva – an instructor from Pittsburgh. The event – which is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. (location TBD) – will also include music, dance and traditional food.

PennWest’s campuses at California, Clarion and Edinboro are proud to share the expertise of faculty and students in the 2022 Latinx Heritage Month. For more information about these and more events, visit PennWest’s Facebook.