The University of North Georgia (UNG) is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a variety of events that are open and free to the public.
The Latino Student Association (LSA) on UNG's Gainesville Campus and the Department of Spanish in cooperation with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) will be sponsoring a series of events to celebrate and promote Hispanic culture and history.
On the Oconee Campus, a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will be held on Sept. 28 at noon in room 522. There will be a variety of traditional food and music from Latin and Hispanic countries to accentuate the educational opportunities at this event.
The UNG Spanish department held a kick-off event hosting artist Stanley Bermudez and a display of his tropical art on the Gainesville Campus. To celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Spanish department will sponsor La Voz en Español, "The Voice in Spanish," a singing contest where each campus will hold auditions for singers Oct. 5-7, and the finalists will perform in the Student Center on the Gainesville Campus. Contestants will sing in Spanish and are judged by six judges on musicality, language skills, pitch and rhythmic accuracy, and vocal quality.
Throughout September and October, LSA will display posters of famous and influential Hispanics and Latinos around the Gainesville Campus, as well as posters showcasing the organization's events for Hispanic Heritage Month. Each year LSA organizes multiple events to highlight the influences and accomplishments of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States including an open house, a cultural exposition, traditional celebrations, a debate, and a gala.
Roany Casas, vice president of membership for LSA, believes the organization to be an empowering gateway to develop members into leaders in the Hispanic and Latino communities.
"Immigrants, doctors, lawyers, military personnel, and educators from these communities have cultivated enormous gains for Hispanics and Latinos through socialization and education," Casas said
LSA held an open house on Sept. 7 and co-sponsored a voter registration workshop with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials to discuss the importance of Hispanic and Latino voters.
Upcoming events include:
- Oct. 5 - Mundo Latino Expo Cultural: Traditional dancing, food, music, and presentations displaying different Latin American countries
- Oct. 10 - LSA Potluck: Members will give presentations on the importance and meaning of being part of the Latino-Hispanic community
- Oct. 12 - Speaker Michelle Sanchez Jones, Hall County candidate for State Representative
- Oct. 19 - Hispanic Heritage Month celebration hosting David and Angela Araya, founder of HoPe, who will provide members with inspiration and experience
- Nov. 2 - Dia de Los Muertos celebration
- Nov. 12 - Black and White Gala
- Nov. 30 - Posada Christmas Celebration
For more information about MSA, including details of upcoming events, visit http://ung.edu/multicultural-student-affairs/.
This article has been updated to include the Bermudez display and La Voz en Español, and to include events on Oct. 12 and 19.