Southeast’s Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins Today


Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, with a variety of events and activities commemorating Hispanic heritage and culture.

“This is an excellent time to bring awareness to Hispanics’ rich, multi-faceted heritage,” said Sonia Rucker, vice president for equity, access and behavioral health at Southeast. “This annual commemoration allows us to recognize their contributions through music, art, culture, history and food to our national and regional story, and especially to the Southeast campus.”

This year’s celebration kicks off today, Sept. 15 with Hispanic Heritage Opening from noon-1 p.m. on Normal Avenue between Academic Hall and Kent Library with live music and free food.

Celebration events continue Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. with the screening of “El Canto Del Colibri” in the University Center Ballroom A. This documentary explores the relationships between Latino immigrant fathers and their LGBTQ family members.

Hispanic Heritage Month is also an opportunity to recognize the many contributions of individuals with Hispanic heritage, said Rucker.

This year’s celebration also highlights the “Brindando Educación con Acceso,” or Believing Everyone Can Achieve (BECA) Hispanic/Latino scholarship established in 2019 through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

“The scholarship helps address the disparity in the number of Hispanics who attend college and the overall population in Missouri,” Rucker said. “The scholarship is part of ongoing effort by Southeast to assist students of Hispanic/Latino descent to achieve their education goals.”

The recipient of the BECA scholarship will be a student of Hispanic or Latino heritage who graduated from a high school in the United States. Applicants must write a 300-word essay showing significant affiliation with Latino/Hispanic culture and address why it is important to have Latinidad representation within the Southeast community.

Approximately $5,250 has been raised toward a goal of $10,000 needed to endow the scholarship. To support the BECA scholarship, visit

For more information about Southeast’s Hispanic Heritage month events and activities, visit the Southeast’s Division of Equity, Access and Behavioral Health Facebook page.