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Spoken Word Artist, Photographer Part of Hispanic Heritage Month

Spoken Word Artist, Photographer Part of Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted: September 29, 2015

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), Buffalo State is hosting two dynamic artists on campus to help relay the Hispanic experience.

Actress, writer, singer, and spoken word poet Caridad “La Bruja” De La Luz will present “Spoken Word Artistry” on October 1 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Fireside Lounge; she also will headline Open Mic Night from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in Assembly Halls 1 and 2.

De La Luz has been featured on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry and she wrote and performed in Boogie Rican Blvd., the Musical, which was presented at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater off-Broadway among other venues. She also hosts the “How Can I Change the World?” writing workshops at the East Harlem Tutorial Program and is a frequent performer at schools, universities, jails, hospitals, and community centers nationwide.

Award-winner photographer Jose Galvez will present the keynote address, “Aqui Estamos, Here We Are,” on October 7 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Bulger Communication Center, South. Galvez won the Pulitzer Prize for his work documenting Latinos in Southern California for the Los Angeles Times. He also served a photo editor for actor Edward James Olmos’ “Americanos” project — a book, video and CD titled “Latino Life in the United States.” Additionally, Galvez’s photographs have been published in three books.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

This marks one of many years that Buffalo State has participated. The Equity and Campus Diversity Office is spearheading this year’s celebration, along with the Residence Life Office and the campus’s Grant Allocation Committee.

It kicked off on September 15 with a social media photo campaign in which students posted photos of themselves and their friends celebrating their Hispanic heritage. And on September 22, Angelica Keen, academic retention specialist at Cornell University, delivered the talk “Taking Back Our Name: Honoring the Inter-sectionality of the Latino/Hispanic Identity.”

“We want to make sure we’re doing what we can not only to represent but also to celebrate all members of our campus community,” said Jason O. Parker, diversity program coordinator with the Equity and Campus Diversity Office. “We are excited about the caliber of speakers we were able to secure and the activities we created as a cross-campus collaboration.”

According to the 2010 Census, 16 percent of the U.S. population is of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13 percent of the total. population. Likewise at Buffalo State a growing percentage of students identify as Hispanic or Latino. In fall 2014, enrollment figures revealed that 11.3 percent of undergraduates and 4.7 percent of graduate students identified as Hispanic, up from 6.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, in 2010. 

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