LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2021) — Beginning today, the University of Kentucky Martin Luther King Center, in collaboration with campus partners and student organizations, will honor National Hispanic Heritage Month.
This year, in response to student preference to acknowledge the entire Latin American diaspora, and not only the Hispanic — or Spanish-speaking — communities/countries, the university will stray away from using the phrase "Hispanic Heritage Month" and instead will celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, broadening the month to include a larger population.
“We could not be more excited to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month juntos — together,” said Ruth González Jiménez, Latino student community specialist with the MLK King Center. “Practicing safety measures for the coronavirus, we are thrilled to announce a slew of events to commemorate our heritage in person and virtually.”
For more than 30 years, the U.S. has set aside a month-long period to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of those from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Running from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Latinx Heritage Month will provide the campus community with an opportunity to do just that. Additionally, it will allow attendees to take the time to better understand the complexities and intersectionality of Latinx culture.
“It is our institutional vision to educate and empower our students and greater campus communities to learn about and regain the power to narrate their own stories, while telling the history of those, and particularly, Wildcats who came before us,” González Jiménez said.
UK campus and greater Lexington events include:
Sister Circle and My Brother’s Keeper
Sept. 15 | 4:30 - 6 p.m.
MLK Center, 330AB
Hosted by: Center For Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives
A time for men and women of color to connect with community and one another.
Latinx Heritage Festival
Sept. 16 | 4 - 6 p.m.
Front lawn of UK Main Building
Hosted by: Student Activities Board, MLK Center, Latino Student Union
Join these organizations for an on-campus heritage celebration with food, music, games and prizes.
"(UN)Documents" Solo Show performed by Jesus Valles
Sept. 21 | 5 p.m.
Singletary Center For the Arts
Hosted by: College of Health Sciences
Global Hangout: International Student Panel
Sept. 23 | 6-8 p.m.
Patterson Hall 118/119
Hosted by: The UK International Center
Join the International Student Leadership Team for a conversation about the international student experience at UK. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn how to create a more inclusive community while building connections across cultural differences.
Latino Student Union Meeting
Sept. 23 | 5:30 p.m.
MLK Center, Gatton Student Center
Hosted by: The Latino Student Union
Tapas & Topics: Latinx American Diaspora Dialogue Series Presents: "Latino Languages"
Sept. 28 | 7 p.m.
MLK Center and Social Staircase, Gatton Student Center
Hosted by: The Alpha Omicron Chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority Incorporated, Latino Student Union and the MLK Center
"Flowers for Guadalupe: The Presence of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexican Women's Lives" (documentary film screening)
Sept. 30 | 7 p.m.
Lewis Honors College 135
Hosted by: The Lewis Honors College
The Trouble with My Name: An Afternoon with Javier Avila
Oct. 5 | 3:30 - 5 p.m.
William T. Young Library
Hosted by: Hispanic Studies; Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies; Latino Student Union; and the MLK Center
Oct. 6 | 6-8 p.m.
Hosted by: the Omicron Zeta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Incorporated, the MLK Center and Hay Que Hablar.
Indigenous Peoples Day and "Dia de la Raza"
Oct. 11 | all day
@UK_MLKCenter on Instagram
The LGBTQ Latino: Identity & Gender Expression in Latin America
Oct. 13 | 6 p.m.
Jacobs Science Building 231
Hosted by: The Alpha Omicron Chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated, Latino Student Union and College of Social Work
Festival Latino de Lexington/Lexington Latino Festival
Oct. 15 | 5:30 p.m.
Hosted by: the MLK Center and the Latino Student Union
*Meet at MLK Center to walk over at 5:50 p.m.
To view the campuswide calendar, click here. For more information about Latinx Heritage Month events, contact González Jiménez at email@example.com. The campus community can further connect to the MLK Center by joining the weekly email listserv or following on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
About Latinx studies at UK
In recognition of the significance and importance of Latinx contributions to society, and of the growing Latinx student population, the university has intentionally worked to increase course offerings related to Latinx studies. Last year, a Latinx cluster hire initiative in the College of Arts and Sciences resulted in two Latinx studies faculty hires — in history and Hispanic studies. As Latinx studies grows, the college’s interdisciplinary Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies Program (open to faculty across colleges) has also become stronger.
The Department of Hispanic Studies aims to develop students’ Spanish language skills, to deepen their understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures and literatures domestically and abroad, to sharpen their ability to use critical thinking as they analyze various aspects of Spanish-language texts of all types, and to heighten their awareness of their role as local and global citizens in a pluralistic society.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.