Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Somos Latinos" ---- Latino / Hispanic Heritage Month Reception (by MISPO)

The Office of Multicultural and International Student Programs Office (MISPO) hosted the Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month reception.  Denisse Giron, a sophomore in History major, was the host of the program and she also shared her experience of growing up as a Latina.  She asked us the question: “What makes you who you are?”  She defines the Latino/Hispanic experience “as the travelers, moving to better their lives; the dancers, feeling the beat to a good Cumbia o merengue in their souls; the teachers, passing down their language to their children and grandchildren to remind them that family is not something they can run away from.” Her words were inspirational and powerful—and solidified the community of diverse backgrounds within the Latino/Hispanic community.

Osman Canales, our Keynote speaker, is originally from El Salvador.  Now, Osman is a student at SUNY Old Westbury College with Major in Politics Economic and Law.  He is the Founder of Long Island Immigrant Students Advocates ---- an immigrant youth group committed to advocate for higher education for immigrant students on Long Island and immigrant rights.  He is one of the 2012 honorees of the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN).  He devoted his free time to learn about the DREAM Act and volunteer as an Immigrant Rights Activist.  In his speech, he gave us a lot of examples of struggles of those who are undocumented and how they are trying to fight for their rights. He was especially passionate for undocumented students who grow up and pursue their life and dream in the States.  Osman quoted Martin Luther King Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and he asked us to join him to get involved in our community for immigration rights.  Osman’s motivational speech was not only to give the audience the reality that how the lives of those who are undocumented are under current immigration law, but also ask us to think deeply how we can fight to ensure all people can pursue their dreams without any limitation in this immigrant country.

At the end, members of HOLA (Hofstra’s Organization of Latin Americans) performed a beautiful Bachata dance to the song called Propuesta Indecente.

Throughout this reception, the Latino/Hispanic community was celebrated while also giving the opportunity to learn and understand more about Latino/Hispanic community.  

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific event. Osman is so passionate and dedicated to this cause. So glad he was able to share his experiences with us. Very inspiring.