Students, faculty and staff gathered in Theatre Two at 199 Chambers on November 4 for an opening ceremony of BMCC’s Hispanic Heritage month.
This year’s theme, Hybrid Landscapes, celebrates the diversity of the Hispanic Community. Events are planned throughout the month of November with a closing ceremony scheduled for December 2.
The event’s Co Chair, BMCC Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice Professor Jose Haro and Academic Literacy and Linguistics Professor Rosario Torres welcomed the audience, followed by more remarks from Vice President Robert Diaz.
Diaz, who is executive director of the BMCC Hispanic Heritage month event, pointed to the regional and cultural diversity within Hispanic community in the United States.
“There will be a lot of music, art and educational events that convey our community’s diversity available to you, and I hope you’ll be able to enjoy them,” said Diaz.
The ceremony featured a jazz performance led by BMCC student and singer Kimberly Vargas who was accompanied by musicians Yasushi Nakamura and Yotam Silberstain.
Academic Literacy and Linguistics Professor Katherine Figueroa presented this year’s Latino Hero, the late Chilean poet-diplomat Pablo Neruda. That was followed by BMCC Students: Isamar Benitez, Dhafne Jorge, Diana Muñoz, Carla Viviana Rivadeneira, Jade Brown, Mitzi de la Rosa and Allen Avent who all read poetry by Neruda as well as some original work.
After the ceremony, Professor Haro said that by celebrating Hispanic Heritage month, BMCC is not only recognizing the background of a majority of its students, the college is also celebrating their passions and in many ways, how they view the world.
“Hopefully, by doing these sorts of events, and getting more students involved in campus activities, maybe we can continue to get our graduation rates up even just a bit higher,” said Haro.
Professor Torres said she was thankful that so many BMCC students had shown up for the month’s kickoff.
“This month is about letting people know about the rich diversity within the Hispanic Community and how the bigger Hispanic community connects to many other ethnic groups,” said Torres.
A Mexican Altar de los Muertos was created by Modern Language Professors Suárez-Coalla and Perdomo and is on display in the department, Room N601.