Southeast Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month


hspheritagemnthSoutheast Missouri State University is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through Oct. 15 with a range of campus-wide and community events.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is not just a date on the calendar, it should be a time for us as a community to celebrate the people, histories and the cultures of Latin America. This is our second year officially acknowledging Hispanic Heritage month as a campus community and I’m very excited to continue this celebration this academic year,” said Sonia Rucker, coordinator of Institutional Equity and Diversity. “Occasionally, individuals outside of a particular culture can feel uncomfortable asking questions or inquiring about a person’s heritage or traditions, but this is the perfect opportunity to seek out knowledge and share in an experience outside those you normally participate in.”

She said the month-long observance celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observance started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting which began Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 15.

Activities planned during Hispanic Heritage Month at Southeast are:

  • An exhibit titled “Estamos Aqui (We Are Here)” is on display through Oct. 23 in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast’s River Campus. “Estamos Aquí (We Are Here)” features contemporary serigraphs by 40 artists who took an opportunity to learn a specialized silkscreen print technique from a collaborative Austin-based residency. Many of the artists are speaking from the Latino/Chicano perspective, and the resulting portfolio of prints expresses their celebrations, sorrows, challenges, popular culture and personal experiences. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. For more information on the exhibit, visit
  • “Servicio para Salud: Culture, Language and Culture Matter,” a discussion of the need to provide quality healthcare for Latinos in a holistic framework, will be presented Sept. 21 by Dr. Linda Garner, assistant professor of nursing. The presentation will be given from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Crisp Hall Room 125.
  • A presentation titled “Latino Celebrations: My Quinceanera and Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)” will be given Sept. 28 by Jasmine Verduzco and Dulce Maldonado Munoz. The event is scheduled for noon to 1:30 p.m. in the University Center Heritage Room.
  • “Adelante! The Spanish History of the Region” will be presented by Dr. Debra Lee-Distefano, professor in the Department of Modern Languages, Anthropology and Geography, on Oct. 1 and 2. The talk will be given from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2-3 p.m. Oct. 2, both at the Red House Interpretive Center, 128 S. Main, near the riverfront in downtown Cape Girardeau.
  • A talk by visiting artist Fidencio Duran, an award-winning artist from Austin, Texas, and creator of the “Estamos Aqui (We Are Here)” exhibit, will be held along with a reception at 6 p.m. on Oct. 6 in the Crisp Museum at the River Campus. The artist’s talk is sponsored by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, the Department of Global Culture and Languages, and the Crisp Museum.
  • Mandalit del Barco, arts correspondent at NPR West, is scheduled to speak Oct. 10 at Southeast as part of the 2016-2017 Speakers Series. The presentation is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom and is free and open to the public. del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. She has also covered street gangs, Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on“All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” “Weekend Edition,” latino” and

Additional reading and material that highlights Hispanic Heritage Month at the national level is available at