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Published: 9/16/2013 - Updated: 7 months ago

Music, stories, speeches set for Hispanic Heritage events

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Northwest Ohio kicked off its Hispanic Heritage Month celebration early this year, but many activities are still to come.

Events include award banquets, cultural events, a health fair, an issues forum focusing on topics such as Latinas and leadership, educational opportunities for youth, and a community film series.

Greg Guzman, president of Herzing University’s Toledo campus, said he is glad to see more schools and communities doing more to recognize the contributions of Latinos.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is an important way for the Latino community locally to remember their roots,” he said.

Herzing this year joined several other regional colleges and universities in the Diamante Scholarship collaboration, which helps provide deserving students an opportunity to obtain a higher education. The Diamante Awards ceremony was Friday.

“As the region’s only Latino college president, I take great pride in helping to mentor and assist young Latinos to better themselves,” Mr. Guzman said.

Upcoming events include:

Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez will be the keynote speaker at the University of Toledo’s kickoff celebration from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Union’s Ingman Room.

Ms. Lopez will speak of her personal journey as a Latina graduate of the University of Toledo and former Latino Student Union President. This free event is open to the community and refreshments will be provided.

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s 15th annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will honor independence for the Latin American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.

Storyteller Lindsay Bonilla will retell the Mexican folktale The Ram in the Chile Patch today through Wednesday at various locations. Today’s times include 4 p.m. in the children’s department of the Main Library downtown and at 7 p.m. at the Reynolds Corners branch.

Tuesday she will be at Mott Branch Library at 4 p.m. and at Heatherdowns Branch Library at 7 p.m., and Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Kent Branch Library and 7 p.m. at Oregon Branch Library.

A Latino Heritage Celebration will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 24 at Bowling Green State University’s Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

The Adelante Latino & Community Resource Center is tentatively scheduled to host a Latino Community Health Fair at 2 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Adelante Center, 520 Broadway.

Adelante also will host the Cesar Chavez Humanitarian Award at 6 p.m. Oct. 3 at Toledo’s Forrester’s on the River, 26 Main St. The event will recognize community leaders who are impacting the Latino community of Toledo and will feature food, a cash bar, and music. For information, contact the organization at 419-244-8440.

La Conexion de Wood County, which formed within the last year, will host an open house at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at Grounds for Thought, 174 Main St., Bowling Green.

Beatriz Maya, one of the group’s leaders, said the event will feature music and poetry readings, community speakers, and provide an opportunity for the group to share its mission.

The group’s overall goal is to make community resources better available to Latino residents, organizers said.

During its brief existence, the group has collected and distributed books to migrant children with the help of the Wood County Public Library and provided various youth enrichment programs, Ms. Maya said.

“We’ve been very busy,” she said. “But we’ve had a lot of local cooperation.”

Tiffin University, which began its Hispanic Heritage Month celebration early — Sept. 4, will continue with a cultural talent show at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 in Osceola Theatre in the Gillmor Student Center and salsa dance lessons at the same location at 3 p.m. Sept. 28. Both events are free and open to the public.

Perry Nause, assistant professor of management and chief diversity officer at Tiffin University, said the school decided to start its cultural celebration early because students wanted enough time to schedule all the activities they have planned.

Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson as Heritage Week, Ms. Nause said.

President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration from a week to a 30-day period.

Hispanic Heritage Month is now celebrated across America annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Their independence from Spain was declared in 1821.

Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain on Sept. 16 and Chile marks its independence from Spain on Sept. 18.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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