SUNY Oneonta’s academic quad was filled with vibrant, colorful flags, booming Latin music and smiling faces as the college kicked off Latinx Heritage Month with a parade Thursday, Sept. 15.
President Alberto José Cardelle carried a Cuban flag and led about 50 students, faculty and staff members from the pillars by the Welcome Center down the steps to the quad and in a circle. It was a chance for students to represent their country and/or show their support for their Latinx friends and colleagues.
Speaking into a megaphone before the parade, Dr. Cardelle spoke about the importance of honoring the cultures, contributions and resilience of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities around the world. While it’s a time to celebrate, he said, it’s also a time to remember the struggles of Latinx people who continue to fight for change in our country and communities.
The parade was just one of the events on campus organized by the Office of Equity and Inclusion and others to mark Latinx Heritage Month. Other highlights include Sept. 15 and Sept. 22 screenings hosted by the Students of Color Coalition of the popular Disney movie “Encanto” with a discussion of mental health within the BIPOC community and how it is depicted in the movie. There will also be a Latinx Heritage trivia night on Oct. 5.
“Thank you for coming out and being here,” Professor E. Howard Ashford told the crowd that gathered in a large circle after the parade. “We’re hoping this is the first year of an annual tradition here at SUNY Oneonta.”