Latine Heritage Month

Bienvenidos! We are excited to celebrate Latine Heritage Month (also known as Latino/a/x or Hispanic Heritage Month) with you! Latine Heritage Month is observed annually throughout the United States from September 15 through October 15. It is a time to honor Latine cultures and communities and to celebrate the past, present, and future accomplishments and contributions of those who are part of the Latine community.

This year, our theme is “La Comunidad” - The Community. This theme encompasses the vast richness, diversity, and care that is found in the Latine community.

Our care and support of the Latine community goes beyond the designated heritage month. We encourage you to continuously honor and celebrate Latine heritage throughout the year. Please visit our ESS ADEI website to find out more about how we support our Latine community and other communities.

A special thank you to the members of the Latine Heritage Month Planning Committee for the time, commitment, care, and work they have provided in organizing a month of events that celebrates and honors Latine heritage.

Latine (pronounced la·ˈ ti· ne) is a gender-neutral form of the word Latino, created by LGBTQIA+, gender non-binary, and feminist communities in Spanish speaking countries. The objective of the term Latine is to remove gender from the Spanish word Latino/a, by replacing it with the gender-neutral Spanish letter E. This idea is native to the Spanish language and can be seen in many gender-neutral words like “estudiante”. –

Calendar of Events

MCC Luncheons

Join us for a free lunch in the Multicultural Center (MCC) social space on the 7th floor of the Viking Union at noon. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome.

Lucas Gutiérrez Senger

Wednesday, September 21 at Noon

Join History of Hip-Hop professor Lucas Gutiérrez Senger to explore the contributions of Latine pioneers to Hip-Hop Music and Culture. We will look at the beginnings of Hip-Hop as a youth culture movement in the South Bronx and celebrate Hip-Hop as Black Music and Culture while exploring the influence of Latine and Afro- Latine contributors from the origins of the art in the 1970’s to today’s chart toppers.

Celebrate Afro-Latinidad

Tuesday, October 11 at Noon

Join the Black Student Coalition as we explore, discuss, and celebrate Afro-Latinidad culture! This lunch and learn will provide the opportunity to examine the representation of Afro-Latinidad in media and entertainment. Come by for an engaging discussion and stick around as we feature a film centering Afro-Latinidad on our big screen!

Book Speaks Library Display

Starting September 23

Engage with us through literature, events, and discussion as we celebrate La Comunidad. Find a display of staff picks on books, literature, and authors near the Hacherl Research and Writing Studio in the Haggard Hall Library. These picks will be available from Western Libraries or found at libraries within our community for you to check out and engage with.

La Fiesta

Friday, September 23 from 6-8pm in Red Square

Enjoy food, music, and dancing in celebration of Latine Heritage Month. Featuring a performance by Juan Galvez. All in the community are welcome to attend.

Educational Sessions

Body Autonomy & Reproductive Justice Panel

Thursday, September 29 at noon in the MCC Multiuse Room (VU 735)

Featuring Aine Brazil of Southwestern Women’s Clinic (ABQ, NM)/Mariposa Fund and Dr. Lourdes Gutierrez Najera (Fairhaven WWU), facilitated by Dr. Melina Juarez (Political Science/WGSS WWU). Panelists will discuss the complexity of abortion care and its links to grander transnational anti-patriarchal and anti-colonial struggles. Food and refreshments will be provided. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome.

Borders, Migration, & Indigenous Sovereignty Panel

Thursday, October 6 at noon in the MCC Multiuse Room (VU 735)

This panel examines the interconnections between migration, state-building, and colonization. Speakers TBA. Food and refreshments will be provided. Events co-sponsored by Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies & American. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome.

Community of Knowledge Panel

Tuesday, October 4 at 4pm in the Viking Union MPR

Join us for a panel discussion where faculty, staff, Western Washington University Alumni, and community members will share their experiences in navigating higher education centering on their intersectional identities, experiences, and positionality. They will converse on topics regarding breaking down gender roles in higher education, professionalism, financial security, community, and holistic health. All in the community are welcome to attend.

WWU Athletics - Latine Heritage Night

Saturday, October 1 at Harrington Field

Women’s Soccer at 4pm, Men’s Soccer at 7pm vs. Seattle Pacific.

A Latine Heritage Month table will be near the entrance to Harrington Field where community members can learn more about the celebration and redeem their free ticket. For more information, please visit WWU Athletics.

Dior Vargas in a leather jacket and thickly woven skirt leaning on a blue couch in front of a window

Keynote Speaker, Dior Vargas, Latina Mental Health Activist

Meet & greet luncheon

Wednesday, October 12 at noon in MCC

Registration required.

Keynote presentation: The Color of My Mind: Perspectives from a Queer Latina Feminist Mental Health Activist

Wednesday, October 12 at 3pm in the VU MPR

All in the community are welcome.

Dior Vargas workshop: Thriving as a College Student of Color

Thursday, October 13 at 1pm in the MCC Multiuse Room (VU 735)

Open to Western students only.

Latine Heritage Month Planning Committee

  • Kayla Barbosa, student leader, AS Productions
  • Jorge Campos Rodriguez, student leader, Latinx Men in Higher Education
  • Ana Cecilia (Ceci) Lopez, Assistant Professor, Director Law Diversity and Justice, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Nia Gipson, Coordinator, Black Student Coalition
  • Jay Granados, Assistant Resident Director, Residence Life
  • Lucas Gutiérrez Senger, Senior Instructor College of Business and Economics, College of Fine and Performing Arts
  • Casey Hayden, Assistant Director of Student Activities, Viking Union
  • Chelsea Joefield, Club Advisor & Program Manager, Ethnic Student Center
  • Melina Juarez, Assistant Professor, Political Science & Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Sofia Lorrando, student leader, Co-Chair Latinx Student Union
  • Daisy Padilla Torres, Director of Access and Inclusion, Woodring College of Education
  • Daniela Rodriguez, student leader, Club Logistics Coordinator, Ethnic Student Center
  • Amy Salinas Westmoreland, Director of Multicultural Student Services
  • Lalo Torres-Ochoa, former Assistant Resident Director

The History of Latine Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe Latine Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. The observation of Latine Heritage Month started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. This month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Information provided by National Hispanic Heritage Month.