To celebrate the Hispanic Heritage Month, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and The College of Communications hosted an event on Thursday night at 113 Carnegie Cinema.
The event started with a video produced by Univision and was titled “The new American Reality” that gave statistics and facts about how Latinos are part of the United States and how the future will be with their influence.
Then, Joseph Selden, assistant dean of multicultural affairs, gave an introduction of the night and said that Hispanics are very unique people.
After that, Nicole Colón-Quintana (senior-broadcast journalism) read a poem in spanish titled “En La Brecha” by José de Diego and explained what the poem meant in English. The poem was about people that fight for an ideal she said.
The speaker of the night was Abraham Amorós, the Pennsylvania Legislative Director for the Laborers’ International Union of North America. He is Puerto Rican and explained why Latinos matter in the political economy and how students can embrace their Latino culture.
He said that Latinos are very important because they will not be a minority in the future, and that’s why presidential candidates are trying to reach to them since the last elections. As a way to help Latinos that don’t speak English, Amorós took many Latinos to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to get their Ids, so they can vote on the upcoming election. For him, that experience has been worthwhile because people thank him for doing that.
“We are a dynamic community. You are going to be part of the success of this country,” he said.
Amorós also explained about how was his experience when he was a student at Penn State. He said that he felt that he did not belong here because there were not many Latinos at Penn State. He changed majors many times and graduated with a major in journalism. He worked in many Pennsylvania newspapers like the Daily Collegian, the Centre Daily Times, York Dispatchand the Keystone Gazette.
“Newsrooms are not diverse as they should. You have a golden opportunity to change that for the future,” he said.
Amorós also encouraged students to stay with the language and try to get Spanish classes so they can learn grammar.
“Spanish is one of the finest languages in the world and it’s a way of marketability,” he said.
For student Natalie Flores (freshman-division of undergraduate studies), the speaker said some things that she can relate with. She is also from Puerto Rico and understood the importance of maintaining her heritage.
“It’s been five years since I went home, so I am happy that I can hear people speaking Spanish tonight,” Flores said.
The event had dance performances by The Mexican American Student Association. They danced a traditional Mexican dance and also a dance genre called “La quebradita.”
Roberto Hernandez (senior-chemistry) danced “La quebradita” and said that they tried to expose a tiny piece of Mexico.
The Penn State Ballroom Dance Club danced salsa and bachata.
To finish the night, Dushawn Roberts (senior-print journalism) danced a Panama folk dance commonly know as a matrimonial dance.