Our Heritage Month wraps with day of festivities

Our Heritage Month closing ceremony
Our Heritage Month closing ceremony
(Photos by Jeff Fitlow and Gustavo Raskosky)

Rice closed out Our Heritage Month with a fun-filled day of events at the Rice Memorial Center Oct. 15. The day began in the Grand Hall where nearly 200 people gathered for “Nuestra Herencia,” a program filled with music, dance, fellowship and food.

The program’s title translates to “our heritage,” which was an appropriate fit as it provided a spotlight for three student groups to share their culture: Mariachi Luna Llena, Los Búhos del Norte and Rice Salseros. The crowd responded to each group’s performance with loud applause, singing, gritos and spontaneous dancing throughout the room.

It was followed by an intimate gathering at Farnsworth Pavilion for a closing roundtable with a panel of Houston activists who shared details about their work in the Latine community: Cesar Espinosa from FIEL Houston, Gina Pacheco from Oganizacion Latina Trans in Texas, Angelica Razo from Mi Familia Vota and author and educator Icess Fernandez Rojas. Students Angye Ávila Martínez and Isabella Gonzalez moderated the discussion, which also included remarks from Our History Month co-chairs Faith Neyra and Luziris Pineda Turi, Vice Provost of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alex Byrd and Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice (HACER) co-president Melissa Cantú.

The panelists discussed urgent issues each of the speakers’ organizations face and their approach to handling them; the importance of the younger generation’s involvement in social change and advice on how to participate; and activism’s rewards.

The events were sponsored by Multicultural Community Relations, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and HACER.

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