Latinx Heritage Month kicks off Friday at ECC
Elgin Community College's Latinx Heritage Month will include in-person, outdoor celebrations this year, with events built around the 2021 theme "Somos La Fuerza y Esperanza: Together We Rise."
The month's events begin with the first outdoor Latinx Heritage Month Kick-Off Celebration from 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, in the green space behind Building C (Renner Academic Library), 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. The 'Fiesta en la Yarda' will feature the movie "Selena" outside on the lawn with a guest appearance by Selena drag queen Venus Carangi and a performance by Ballet Folklórico Huehuecoyotl, a nonprofit established in 1996 and an in-residence ensemble of the ECC Arts Center.
Tacos and churros will be provided by two local Latinx food trucks, and free activity kits will be handed out. The kickoff event will also hold a mobile vaccine clinic available to all community members who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The event is free and open to the community.
"This year, the committee wanted to focus on bringing the community back together to bring hope for the future in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, especially with all that our world has gone through this past year," said Gaea Atta, coordinator of student life and member of the LHM committee.
"Last year's programming was more focused on the difficult issues our society was facing with topics like the pandemic, civil unrest, and presidential elections. This year, we wanted to look forward and showcase how we can bring the Latinx community back together and celebrate our rich Latinx culture. 'Somos La Esperanza' means 'We are the hope.'"
Other events, both in-person and virtual, during Latinx Heritage Month include the following:
• Latinx Conexión: College Hacks for Excellence Fair: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, Jobe Lounge, Building B. The fair offers opportunities to connect with various ECC campus departments and resources as well as network with prominent Latinx leaders from ECC. Advisers will be available to provide information and resource about transfer options to four-year institutions.
• Teatro Que Importa: Virtually, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. Register at tinyurl.com/lhmteatro2021. Produced by the ECC Theatre Department, this virtual staged reading of "Augusta and Noble" by Carlos Murillo tells a story set in a vibrant Latino community in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, where 12-year-old Gabi begins asking questions about her heritage, including the truth about her parents' journey across the border to the U.S. The reading is followed by a discussion with the cast.
• BFH 25th Anniversary: Dance, Express, Inspire! 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, ECC's Blizzard Theatre. Visit elgin.edu/arts-center/events for ticket information. Celebrating 25 years as a nonprofit organization in Elgin, Ballet Folklórico Huehuecoyotl's (BFH) mission is to engage and inspire future leaders in realizing their potential through artistic expression and community engagement. The performance features a diverse array of folkloric dances that demonstrate the uniqueness of each cultural region and style in Mexico.
• Can't Stop Our Blackness: Black Latinx Narratives and Resisting Erasure: Virtually, 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7. Regiser at tinyurl.com/lhmafrolatinx. Rosa Clemente, community organizer, producer, independent journalist and scholar-activist, speaks in this virtual event about the Afro/Black Latinx and her experience affirming her racial and political Blackness as an Afro/Black Puerto Rican woman. This event was made possible through a collaborative effort between ECC, Black Hawk College, College of DuPage, College of Lake County, Harper College, Joliet Junior College, McHenry County College, Moraine Valley Community College, Richland Community College, and Waubonsee Community College.
ECC's Latinx Heritage Month celebration is sponsored by the Latinx Heritage Month Committee, Office of Student Life, Performing Arts Center, and the Organization of Latin American Students. For information, call (847) 214-7370 or visit elgin.edu/lhm.