Joliet Junior College and its Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) will celebrate Latina/o Heritage Month by hosting several programs and activities representing both North and South American Latinos through history and culture. Latina/o Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15, with many programs taking place on JJC’s Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet. All of JJC’s events are open to the public.
Some of the programs have been funded by a $3,000 grant JJC received from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Thanks to the grant, JJC has the rights to show several documentaries from the “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” series. After each documentary showing, a discussion will follow.
Other activities planned include community events about Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) taking place at libraries in Shorewood, Morris and Minooka; a session for students and others to learn about volunteer opportunities in Bolivia; a display featuring Latin authors at the JJC Library; a Latino American festival; and an interactive storytelling event that will teach audience members about the Aztecs.
More than 20 percent of JJC’s student population is Latina/o. Within the next few years, the college and community’s Latina/o population is expected to grow. JJC Latino Student Support Specialist Martha Villegas Miranda hopes to educate both students and community members about Latino heritage during these activities.
“It’s important for our Latina/o students to better understand their history. Too often, Latina/o history is not taught in schools,” she said. “These programs will help others learn about the culture and the contributions our Latina/o ancestors have made to this country.”
The following events are scheduled at JJC to celebrate Latina/o Heritage Month:
Tuesday, Sept. 15, Noon, The Bridge
El Grito De Unidad – United the Americas Through Our History, Culture and Music
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m., A-1061
Film: Latino Americans History: 500 Years of History; discussion with Dr. Berta Arias, JJC professor emeritus
Friday, Sept. 18, 1:30 p.m., Picnic Grove
Latinos Unidos Mixer
Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m., Shorewood-Troy Public Library
Friday, Oct. 9, 7 p.m., Morris Area Public Library
Saturday, Nov. 7, 11 a.m., Three Rivers Public Library
Dia De Los Muertos: Celebrating and Remembering; Presentation and cultural activity led by Martha Villegas Miranda; please contact the local library to sign up.
Wednesday, Sept. 30, Noon, Joliet Junior College Library
In The Shadow of the Andes (Learn about opportunities to volunteer in Bolivia)
Friday, Oct. 2, 2 p.m., A-1061
Film: Latino Americans History: 500 Years of History; discussion with Professor Elizabeth Petree, English and World Languages
Monday, Oct. 12, 1:30 p.m., A-1002
Latino American Festival
Thursday, Oct. 15, 12:15 p.m., the Bridge
Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, Joliet Junior College Library
¡Leer Es Poder! Library Display During Latin Heritage Month