Penn State Berks celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Starting in mid-September, the college will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and host a variety of events.

Starting in mid-September, the college will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and host a variety of events; each event is intended for a specific audience, including prospective and current students, the campus community, and the general public.

Unity Day, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 12:15 p.m., Perkins Plaza

Penn State Berks will hold its Unity Day celebration, an annual Penn State event that brings students, faculty, staff and community members together to celebrate diversity. All Unity Day activities are free and open to the public. Light refreshments featuring cuisine from different world regions will be served. In addition, Spanish students will have a station where they will offer chocolates to those who can correctly identify the capitals of Latin American countries.

Latin Fest, Monday, Sept. 24, 5 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room

An annual event celebrating the Latin heritage, Latin Fest is free and open to Berks students, faculty and staff. The event includes food tasting, a fashion show and a live presentation of “But We´re Still Here” by Barrio Alegria. Spanish students will share their knowledge of the Mexican holiday El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Julio Cepeda, Cuban artist, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2:30 p.m., room 109, Franco Building

After three years of efforts by community volunteers, including faculty and staff from Penn State Berks, Cuban artist Julio C. Cepeda Duque finally arrived in Berks County in mid-August. His Made in Cuba exhibit, featuring found objects, will run from until Oct. 12 at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading. Cepeda will serve as a guest speaker in a Penn State Berks Spanish course on Sept. 26. This event is only open to Berks students.

Bárbara Mujica, Thursday, Sept. 27, 5 p.m., room 244, Gaige Building

The Spanish and Theater Programs at Penn State Berks present Teresa de Ávila: The Woman, the Novel, and the Translation with Georgetown University Professor Emerita Dr. Bárbara Mujica. This event is free and open to the public. Mujica’s novel Sister Teresa, based on the life of Saint Teresa de Avila, was adapted for the stage at the Actor’s Studio in Hollywood and published in Spanish in November 2017. Mujica is director of El Retablo, the Spanish-language theatre group of Georgetown University and a member of the board of directors of GALA Hispanic Theater.

Latino Forum, Friday, Oct. 12, 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

The sixth annual Latino Forum is open to Berks County high school students and members of the local Latino community. This year’s theme is “Aspire, Succeed, Celebrate.” The forum will feature a panel comprised of the college’s Latino alumni and current Latino students. Attendees will also have an opportunity to participate in a breakout session titled “From Aspiration to Success" facilitated by Waldo Alvarado, Director of Equity and Diversity, Reading School District. After lunch, closing remarks will be delivered by Daniel Egusquiza, founder and director of Barrio Alegria.

Bilingual Story Telling, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 3 p.m., Lauer’s Park Elementary School

In cooperation with the college’s Common Reading Program, Spanish students will travel to Lauer´s Park Elementary School to present a bilingual reading of Huevos Verdes con Jamon (Green Eggs and Ham).

For additional information on these events, contact Donna Chambers, assistant teaching professor of Spanish at 610-396-6332 or via email at dmc6004@psu.edu.