Raza Heritage Month will celebrate achievements of Latinx

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An essay contest will reward $500 to the first-place winner.

By Austin P. Taylor

ataylor160@student.alamo.edu

The Mexican-American studies center has set up events for what was once known as Hispanic Heritage Month, now changed to Raza Heritage Month.

The changes came after the planning committee voted to be more inclusive to all who fall under the latinx community. The word latinx was created to be more gender neutral and open to all who come from Latino backgrounds.

Raza Heritage Month will kick off 12:15-1:30 p.m. Sept. 17 with a presentation by Dr. Christopher Carmona, creative writing professor from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

Carmona will be discussing his book “El Rinche: The Ghost Ranger of The Rio Grande,” a Chicano superhero story set during early 20th century when Texas Rangers were removing Mexican Tejano’s from their land.

In a Sept. 14 interview with The Ranger, Carmona said he spent five years researching the background information for the book.

“A lot of the research was going and listening to this oral history,” Carmona said. “It was important to me to create a positive fictional hero.”

The college’s Mariachi, Estrellas Del Alamo, will perform at the opening ceremony.

The Campus Activity Board will present a Salsa Day 11 a.m-1 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Fiesta Room where students will compete in a salsa making-competition and learn to perform the salsa dance.

This college will hold a Peace Day conference noon-1 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Fiesta Room. A representative of RAICES, a legal group dedicated to serving this country’s immigrant population, will speak at a “Know Your Rights” session.

The Antojitos Festival is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 26 in the mall.

These events are open to the public.

“It is important to inform and celebrate what Mexican-Americans have contributed to this country,” Professor Mariano Aguilar said.

An essay contest will open at the start of Raza Heritage Month. “Can’t Cage a Dream: U.S Immigration Policies” is the theme.

The first place prize is $500, second place $300, and third place $200.  Every student at this college can participate.

The entry deadline for the essay contest is 3 p.m. Oct. 18.

On Sept. 10, the Mexican-American studies center held an open house.

“We want informed citizens to know and learn about latinx history and apply that knowledge to the present.” Dr. Lisa Ramos, the Mexican American studies coordinator said.

The Mexican-American studies were introduced in 2016. There are currently seven courses ranging from ENGL 2351, Mexican-American Literature; to HUMA 1311, Mexican-American Fine Arts Appreciation.

The Mexican-American studies staff hoped to encourage students to take at least one class under this field of study.

For more information, visit the Mexican-American studies center in Room 100 of Chance Academic Center.

Students who need information about the essay contest should contact Alexander Bernal or Dr. Patricia Portales, English professors, at 210-486-0649.

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