A long-standing Stony Brook University tradition, Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) is celebrating its 32nd year on campus, focusing on stories and experiences that reflect this year’s theme: “Dos Mundos/Two Worlds.”
Throughout the celebration, Stony Brook will recognize Hispanic and Latinx Americans that have made distinguished contributions to the United States in all major fields. It will also showcase community leaders, faculty, staff and students, encouraging the community to not only look back and celebrate the past, but to “honor the journey ahead with all its painful identities, surprises and resilience that now paves the path or bridges two worlds.”
The Hispanic Heritage Month committee is collaborating with the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery on this year’s event. The gallery — located on the first floor of the Staller Center for the Arts — is currently hosting a highly praised photography exhibition entitled, Dos Mundos: (Re) Constructing Narratives that features many Latinx artists. It was curated by En Foco, a non-profit that supports U.S.-based photographers of African, Asian, Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander heritage.
“The Hispanic Heritage month planning committee is truly excited to be collaborating with the Stony Brook University’s Zuccaire Gallery for our 32nd annual celebration,” said Dorothy Corbett, senior academic advisor/counselor, EOP/AIM and the Hispanic Heritage Month chair. “Using the theme ‘Dos Mundos’ for this year’s celebration is ideal because the gallery presentation is exploring the Latinx experience through art and relaying a timeless reality for Latinos in America and around the world. We are all really looking forward to hearing the artist’s perspectives on ‘Dos Mundos’ and sharing in the discussion.”
The Hispanic Heritage Month opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday, October 6, from 1 to 2:30 pm in the Zuccaire Gallery. Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Judi Brown Clarke will speak at the event, along with Dos Mundos artists Erika Morillo and Danny Peralta. Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis will read the proclamation. The event will also feature student performers, food tasting and other festivities.
Guests must register to attend as seating is limited to 100 guests at the gallery. At the end of the opening ceremony, registered guests will enjoy a preview of the new Latin concept “La Olla,” sponsored by the Faculty Student Association (FSA) and coming to the SAC Food Court.
FSA is also welcoming two guest chefs who will offer authentic cuisine for students, faculty and staff to enjoy. Chef Julieta Ballesteros, owner and executive chef of La Loteria in New York City, will be cooking modern Mexican cuisine on Tuesday, October 5, at East Side Dine-in from 11 am to 2 pm, and at West Side Dine-in from 4 pm to 7 pm. Her menu includes guacamole, salsa and chips, buffalo brussels sprouts tacos, salmon sikil-p’ak, elote and butternut squash.
CulinArt chef Evelyn Reyes will be cooking Dominican and Puerto Rican cuisine on Tuesday, October 12, at East Side Dine-in from 4 pm to 7 pm. Her menu includes pollo horneado, garbanzo guisadas, arroz amarillo, plantanos fritos and ensalada de aguacate y tomate. Learn more at Campus Dining.
The event schedule also includes Salsa Dance Night in the SAC Ballroom at 7 pm on September 18, an Art Crawl with free tours of campus art galleries from 1 pm to 3 pm on October 23 and a Zoom discussion with artist Antonio Pulgarin at 4 pm on October 28. View the complete schedule of events at the HHM website.
The Hispanic Heritage Month closing ceremony and annual awards will be held Monday, November 1, from 3 pm to 5 pm in SAC Ballroom A.
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was expanded by president Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period from September 15 through October 15. September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively, and Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this period.
Hispanic Heritage Month, one of many events that support the Stony Brook University Equity, Inclusion and Diversity initiative, is hosted in collaboration with the Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee – LatinX 365 (faculty, staff and students); Faculty Student Association (FSA); Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives (DI3); Office of Multicultural Affairs; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; and the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery.