EMCC celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with free community events, theme "Shaping the Bright Future of America"

Hispanic Heritage Month events include performances, speakers, arts, and more.
Hispanic Heritage Months

Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC), one of the Maricopa Community Colleges, celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15 with a full calendar of related events. Art exhibitions, traditional food offerings, lectures, and films are just some of the on-campus events that offer opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to learn more about the Hispanic culture.

This year’s theme, Shaping the Bright Future of America, emphasizes the direct influence that heroic and valiant Hispanic trailblazers and community figures can have on the paths of EMCC students. Speakers like Marcelino Quiñones emphasize how life achievements, that include obtaining a higher education and acting in-service to the community, can create well-rounded individuals who in-turn support and affect the lives of others in positive ways. As EMCC celebrates its 25-year anniversary, the milestone is an impetus to continue striving to show students how to pursue positive, beneficial goals to help build strong communities, as well as supporting their efforts in all ways possible. These diverse Hispanic Heritage Month events are more than just an historical overview, but informative and inspiring bridges to bright futures.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually in the United States to provide both historical and current looks at the contributions and achievements of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This observational period started as a weeklong event in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, and was extended to a full month in 1988. The September 15 start date is important because it is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

All of the Hispanic Heritage Month events take place on the EMCC campus, located at 3000 North Dysart Road in Avondale; they are free and open to the public. Please contact EMCC Student Life at 623-935-8807 for more information.

Wednesday, September 27

Cesar Chavez Luncheon

Estrella Conference Center from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

EMCC’s Annual Cesar Chavez Luncheon will commemorate Cesar Chavez’s life and contribution to society with special speakers. Contact Student Life at 623-935-8807 for details and to RSVP.

Tuesday, October 3

Artist Reception for Tato Caraveo

Plaza Gallery from 10:00-11:00 a.m.

See the Phoenix artist Tato Caraveo’s work and hear how he explores different styles and mediums. From charcoal drawings to oil paintings to large scale mural project, there is a whimsical and romantic nature that threads through his collective body of work.

Wednesday, October 4

Salsa y Salsa Event

Student Union from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Treat your taste buds to salsa! Sample a variety and vote for the best. Bring your dancing shoes to learn Salsa dancing.

Thursday, October 5

Marcelino Quiñones: “What’s Your Story?”

Estrella Conference Center from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Actor, activist and Director of Youth Outreach at St. Vincent de Paul, Marcelino Quiñones speaks about education, civic engagement, and how the understanding of Latino culture can benefit the state and country. He has appeared in lead roles with Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Tempe’s Childsplay, Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, Teatro Bravo!, and New Carpa Theatre. His service to the community has garnered him many awards, including appearing on the cover of Time Magazine in 2012, in an issue that covered the importance of the Latino vote.

Thursday, October 12

Shrine Box Workshop

Plaza Gallery from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Learn how to make a shrine box that you can display for Dia De Los Muertos. The annual holiday celebrates those who have passed on; the shrine box is a gift to them containing special and sacred items.

EMCC is proud to be one of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI). Last year, the United States Department of Education selected the college for grant funding through the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program. EMCC’s proposal was created by a team of faculty members and submitted to the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program’s rigorous review process. The efforts outlined in this successfully-funded proposal match the program’s multiple purposes of expanding educational opportunities for Hispanic students who are currently enrolled, as well as to perpetually increase the Hispanic student population on campus. Additionally, since 1994, Hispanic/Latino faculty and staff have supported the Maricopa County Community Colleges Latino Scholarship Committee – along with others from colleges district-wide – to raise nearly $250,000 for Latino student scholarships. 

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Estrella Mountain Community College is one of the 11 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. EMCC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 14,000 students annually. The flagship campus is located on Thomas and Dysart roads in Avondale and is home to the SouthWest Skill Center. Classes are also offered online and at EMCC’s Buckeye Educational Center, located in downtown Buckeye, Ariz.