Waubonsee Community College will host several programs to educate and raise awareness about Latinx heritage during the National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week and National Hispanic Heritage Month. These hybrid events will commence with the college’s new Latinx Resource Center (LRC) staff meet and greet.
The Latinx Heritage Month events will honor the impact and influence that Latinx culture has had on American society. These events are open to members of the community and will be offered virtually and in-person from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Limited space is available for in-person events.
- ¡El Proceso es Bonito! “The Process is Beautiful” Meet the new LRC Team: Waubonsee Community College’s LRC has been some years in the making. Learn more about the proceso “the process” from becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution, obtaining a Title V grant, and creating resources for students, family, and the community. Meet the staff managing the center via Zoom on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m.; Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
- “Curanderismo: Traditional Medicine Approaches in the Latinx World for Times of Stress and Anxiety” will be a virtual discussion on Monday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. Learn how the Latinx cultura “culture” is full of medicinal remedies and practices. Explore different medicinal practices from a renowned curandero, Cheo Torres.
- Celebración de las Culturas Latinx “Celebration of Latinx Cultures” will be on Oct. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. Immerse yourself in the Latinx culture by experiencing a kermes at the Aurora Downtown Campus. The kermes will be full of music, dancing, activities, art, food, and more. Attendees will learn about many Latinx countries and their diverse traditions. This event is in partnership with the City of Aurora’s First Fridays.
- Poet Jacob Saenz: A virtual reading and discussion with Waubonsee’s Multicultural Literatures of the U.S. Class will be on Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. At this event, Saenz will read and discuss his work in the contexts of reading and writing poetry, literary analysis (form, content, and subject), Latinx identity, masculinity, urban life, heterosexual love and relationships, and/or literary traditions. Held via Zoom.
- Poet Jacob Saenz: Throwing The Crown Reading and Discussion will be on Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. Hear the author read from his work and have a conversation with Waubonsee English faculty member, Dan Portincaso, about the development of his journey as a poet and about the writing craft. This will be a hybrid presentation.
- “Can’t Stop our Blackness: Black Latinx Narratives and Resisting Erasure” will be a virtual event about the Afro/Black Latinx people on Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. Rosa Alicia Clemente, community organizer, producer, independent journalist, and scholar-activist, will talk about her experience affirming her racial and political blackness as an Afro/Black Puerto Rican woman, and her works that uplift movements that are inclusive of Black diasporic people.
- “Indigenous Pláticas: Exploring and Reconnecting with Indigenous Philosophies and Practices” will be a hybrid discussion with Francisco Escobar, education and content creator. Francisco, a descendant of the Aymaran people, is a cultural reconciliation advocate who believes educational practices and spaces can revitalize one’s ancestral culture in the 21st century. His service experience with educators in New York City, Chile, and Panama will provide a rich learning opportunity for all.
- “Pride: Orgullo in My Heritage and Sexuality” is a hybrid panel presentation on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. The discussion will focus on intersectionality and how being a member of two marginalized communities is tough. Panelists will share their experiences and struggles of living in a conservative Latinx culture while exploring their identity and coming out to their friends and family.
- De Mi Concina, A La Tuya “From My Kitchen to Yours” will be an online, community-based cookbook that features different Latinx dishes shared by members of the Waubonsee community. Everyone is invited to view previously submitted recipes and submit new ones.
- Latinx Experiences Today Posterboards: Catch a glimpse of the Latinx experience by visiting the poster board displays during a rotating schedule on each of Waubonsee’s four campuses from Sept. through Oct. 15.
Visit the Latinx Heritage Month webpage for more information about these events and to receive instructions on how to submit and view recipes.
As a Hispanic Serving Institution, Waubonsee recently hired a full LRC staff to lead the center and support more than 30% of the college’s Latinx students. Franklin Ortega-Palaguachi, Latinx Resource Center Manager, switches between Spanish and English to describe his passion for the Latinx Heritage Month programming, “Identidad y cultura son semillas del corazón que se siembran en el mundo para cultivar educación. ‘Identity and culture are seeds planted in the heart that can grow a world in which education can be cultivated.’
Ortega-Palaguachi believes the LRC, located on the Aurora Downtown Campus, will provide more than just resources, support services, community engagement, and educational experiences to support student's academic and social success; it will be the comunidad “community” students need to address common barriers to go from success to completion, including paying for college, balancing family and school, and navigating immigration.
The official grand opening of the LRC will take place later in the fall semester after a renovation project. Students or community members who would like more information about the LRC’s services or programming can email LRC@waubonsee.edu.