Latinos Unidos’ goal is to promote and educate about Latinx/Hispanic culture through the planning of educational speakers, discussions and events and activities. It’s an inclusive organization open to everyone on campus.
Hispanic Heritage Month events are planned from Tuesday, Sept. 21, to Saturday, Oct. 30. The events are open to everyone to learn and celebrate Latinx heritage.
Latinos Unidos President Zoe Cornwell, a senior majoring in entertainment design animation, said La Espiritista will bring the perspective of growing up in a Catholic household and tell their story of overcoming prejudice and spiritual transformation.
“We have been coordinating with the Qube,” said Cornwell, noting the Qube is UW-Stout’s LGBTQIA+ resource and hub. “We have been trying to get them for a while now.”
The speaker is also sponsored by the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office; women, gender and sexuality studies; Multicultural Student Services, Involvement Center, University Housing and Stout Student Association.
La Espiritista, who is also known as Goddexx, came into their first evolution of queerness at 14 and thought they could no longer be spiritual.
“My shame caused me to demonize myself and I began to drink, developed a vicious eating disorder and fell into various cycles of self-sabotage until my mid-late 20s,” they wrote. “My first experience with embarking on my medical transition to affirm my gender is the moment I began to reclaim my spirit. I remembered that I could be spiritually wise and sexually liberated. That I could feel desire and harness my expression as magic. That I could encompass the expansiveness of all my identities and be divinity embodied — a Goddexx."
Cornwell, of Sheboygan, said the month of activities helps celebrate a period of time when many Latinx countries gained their independence.
“Our heritage is important to us,” said Cornwell, who is of Mexican descent. “It’s great to be able to share our heritage with people. It’s a good way to teach people while they are having fun at an event.”
Vickie Sanchez, Latinos Unidos adviser and student services coordinator in Multicultural Student Services, said Hispanic Heritage Month is important to recognize and make known the culture’s history, contributions and achievements.
“It is unfortunate that there are narratives to history that are excluded and become unheard,” Sanchez said. “Hispanic Heritage Month gives an opportunity to honor those voices and grow in understanding of a cultural group different from our own or perhaps even one that we share.”
Other planned events include:
- Hispanic Heritage Kahoot and prizes, 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 21, Willow and Walnut rooms, MSC
- Piñata-making, 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28, Willow and Walnut rooms, MSC
- Piñata painting, 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 5, Willow and Walnut rooms, MSC
- Movie and sugar skull-making, 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12, Willow and Walnut rooms, MSC
- Loteria and prizes with the Involvement Center, 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30, Terrace, MSC
To learn more about individual events and to register, go here.
“Piñata-making and painting make great craft nights,” Cornwell said. “We will talk about how pinatas are used and their origins, which are actually about the seven deadly sins.”
Stimulating conversation, sharing history
Sugar skulls are tied into the Day of the Dead and represent a departed soul and to honor them. They are decorated with feathers, colored beads, foils and icing to celebrate the lives of the deceased.