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Hispanic Heritage Month 2008

On September 15, academic institutions and cultural groups nationwide embarked  on a month-long celebration of Hispanic heritage and culture.  Initially begun as a week-long observance in 1968, National Hispanic Heritage Month was expanded in 1988 to 30 days.  September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration to include the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.


Some activities involving U.S. campuses and organizations include the following:



Illinois State University.

·          Suzanne Oboler of John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY, will speak Thursday, Sept, 18, on “Latino, Hispanic. The Consequences of Ethnic Labels in Contemporary U.S. Society” at Bone Student Center.  Oboler is a professor of Latin American and Latina/o Studies.

·         Diversity Retreat sponsored by Diversity Advocacy at Aurora University in Lake Geneva, Wis.  The retreat will be from Sept. 19-21.


Grand Valley State University

·         “Latino Voices, Latino Votes” lecture on Sept 17.  Maria Echaveste, lecturer-in-residence at the University of California-Berkeley Law School, will address the increasing Hispanic population in swing states and the Hispanic vote.

·         Hispanic Art Experience on Sept 18, showcasing works by local artists. 

·         “Race, Ethnicity, Nationality and Identity” on Oct. 6. Laura Arcila Villla, visiting professor of philosophy, discussed Latin American philosopher Jorge J.E. Gracia and his analysis of the concepts of race, ethnicity, and nationality and how they help to shape identities.


BENTONVILLE, Ark              

The Walmart Foundation  will present the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) with $1 millions to assist in providing more college financial aid to the Latino community. 

Wal-Mart’s will also launch a Spanish-language website,, aimed at facilitating and empowering parents and students to access information on higher education and school funding..




 Southwestern Illinois College

  • Hispanic Heritage Trivia on Oct 1.
  • Diversity CHAT on Oct 14.


Payless Shoe Source Launches Inspiring Possibilities Initiative

Payless Shoe Source will ask shoppers to help raise money for the Payless Inspiring Possibilities Program to support the future of Hispanic youth.

Through the new program, Payless will sell a limited-edition Trilogy necklace and will donate 100 percent of the net profits of necklace sales, with a minimum donation of $35,000, to a new scholarship established with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF).


Purdue University

Regional and state officials and the Indianapolis Mexican Consul will participate in the inaugural Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month dinner and dance at the Purdue Memorial Union’s North and South ballrooms on Sept. 21.

The event, which raises scholarship funds for students who provide service to the Hispanic/Latino community, is a collaboration of the United Businesses Serving Community organization and the Purdue Latino Cultural Center.

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