The Florida State University community is preparing to gather in honor of its Latinx members and their contributions as the campus observes a significant historical milestone.
FSU will host its 3rd Annual Latinx Cultural Celebration Friday, Oct. 8. The theme for this year’s celebration is Una Comunidad Diversa, or “a diverse community.”
“The theme is meant to magnify the presence as well as the contributions of Afro-Latinx and Indigenous students, faculty and staff while planting the seed of permanence on FSU’s campus, which is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution,” said Maria-Paula McIntyre, celebration committee chair.
The goal of the Latinx Cultural Celebration is to bring the university and Tallahassee communities together to enhance cultural awareness, increase knowledge and build connections to and across the Latinx community. As an added health and safety precaution, this year’s event will take place outdoors in a block party-style format in conjunction with the Hispanic/Latinx Student Union’s Affiliate Fair.
The celebration will feature Latinx culture, music and food, as well as the opportunity to meet members of campus and community organizations — serving students, employees, and community members — related to Hispanic and Latinx culture and identity.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at the Integration Statue and Legacy Walk, 75 S. Woodward Ave.
This celebration is especially significant as it commemorates the recorded 100 years of Hispanic/Latinx students at Florida State University. Rosalia Gonzales is considered to be the first Latinx student to graduate from the Florida State College for Women in 1921. Through Oct. 31, members of the FSU community can nominate an undergraduate or graduate student for the Rosalia Gonzales Award, which recognizes contributions related to sharing and upholding the principles and ideals of the Latinx culture.
Friday’s event correlates with the United States’ observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The month celebrates and remembers the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens and immigrants whose ancestors came from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Central and South America, and Spain.
Since 2004, FSU’s Latinx population has increased from about 4 percent to about 20 percent as of 2020.
The event is sponsored by the Latinx Cultural Celebration Committee, which is comprised of students and employees from the Center for Leadership & Social Change, the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, the Division of Student Affairs, the Human Resources Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, the Latinx Faculty/Staff Network, the Hispanic/Latinx Alumni Network, the Hispanic Graduate Student Association, the Hispanic/Latinx Student Union, and the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication.
About the Center for Leadership & Social Change
The mission of the Center for Leadership & Social Change is to transform lives through identity development, leadership education and community engagement. The center runs more than 30 programs for students, faculty and staff to develop skills to create positive, sustainable change in their communities.