University celebrates Latinx/a/o Heritage Month 2021

September 8, 2021
Image of university banners along North Street
Updated poster for Latinx Heritage Month 2021

Fitchburg State University will celebrate Latinx/a/o Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 with a series of events and programs organized around the theme “Be proud of your past, Embrace the future.”

From a parade of nations represented in the university campus community to thought-provoking discussions featuring faculty members and invited guests including celebrated journalist Maria Hinojosa, the month's offerings will engage and inform, as well as entertain. Most of the programs are free and open to the public, though face coverings are required at indoor events.

Beyond the events listed below, there will be a display of Latinx books in the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library throughout the month.

Among the highlights of the month:

  • The programs begin with a parade of nations at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15 on the main quad, showcasing the diversity of the campus community. The program will also include a performance by the university’s concert choir.

  • At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, Professor Ben Railton from the English Studies Department will present a talk entitled “Why We Should All Read Mexican-American Author Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton.” The discussion, in Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall, will look at the author and how her work can enlighten all of us.

  • There will be a virtual discussion on Leading for Change at Hispanic Serving Institutions at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22 featuring Dr. Gina Ann Garcia, a leading scholar on Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), which are colleges and universities that enroll at least 25% Latinx undergraduate students. She is a scholar activist committed to disrupting the status quo of postsecondary education by bringing attention to the ways higher education has historically been committed to whiteness and regularly reinforces white narratives and white standards. The discussion can be joined online at

  • The history of Latinos in Massachusetts will be spotlighted when guest speaker and radio host Jose Masso presents “We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30 at Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall.

  • The university’s Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness will host the latest installment of Fitchburg State’s series of Courageous Conversations at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5 with an analysis of the film “In the Heights,” focusing on media representation of Black people and antiblackness in Hispanic Latinx cultures. The program will be held in the main lounge at Hammond Hall.

  • The evolution of the term “Latinx,” and its value and limitations in cultural politics and representation, will be explored in a virtual talk presented by Assistant Professor Karina Bautista of the Humanities Department and Assistant Professor Diego Ubiera of the English Studies Department at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8. The event will be held online at

  • The month’s events close at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 with award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa and her presentation “At the Root of Things: Breaking the Invisibility of Latinos/as/xs in Our Society.” The talk will be given in the main lounge of Hammond Hall. The university choir will also perform at the event. Hinojosa is the anchor and executive producer of Latino USA on National Public Radio, and the founder, president and CEO of Futuro Media Group. Maria Hinojosa's appearance is made possible in part through the generous support of the Newman Center Trust.

For a full listing of events, please visit