Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Purdue celebrates Latino culture

Latino Cultural Center to celebrate Semana de la Raza in March

(Media-Newswire.com) - WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue's Latino Cultural Center will focus on issues of social justice and change from March 2-6 at the annual celebration of "Semana de la Raza," or Week of the People.

The week will include a discussion on protecting women against the sex slave trade and a talk by author and Purdue alumnus Fred Arroyo. Arroyo, an assistant professor of English at Drake University, was recently selected by LatinoStories.com as one of the 2009 top 10 new Latino authors to watch. All events are free and open to the public.

"This week of events serves to highlight issues of social justice, bring to the forefront issues plaguing the Latino community and begin the uncomfortable process of change," said Maricela Alvarado, director of the Latino Cultural Center. "Change in any manner does not come as easy or as fast as we would like, but for all of us to move forward it must come."

The celebration begins at 6 p.m. March 2 with the program "Feminicidio," a panel discussion about the missing women of Juárez, Mexico. The discussion will be followed with a candlelight vigil. This event is co-sponsored by Purdue's Women's Resource Office.

Other events include:

* March 3. 7 p.m. Lilly Hall, Room 3118. The film "Trade," about a teenager captured by sex slave traders from Mexico, will be shown. The viewing will be followed by a discussion on the international sex slave trade industry led by Kimber Nicoletti, director of Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault at Purdue.

* March 4. 6 p.m. Latino Cultural Center. "Redefining Your Roots." Participants will explore their personal heritage through tortilla painting.

* March 5. 7 p.m. Krannert Building, Drawing Room. "Visiting Author Fred Arroyo." Arroyo will discuss and read from his book "The Region of Lost Names," published in 2008 by the University of Arizona Press. He holds his master's degree in creative writing from Purdue. The event is co-sponsored by the Latino and Latin American studies department, Purdue's creative writing program and the English department.

* March 6. 7 p.m. Morton Community Center, 222 N. Chauncey Ave. "Dancing for Change." Various groups will take part in different dance performances. Donations will be taken for the YWCA of Greater Lafayette.

The Latino Cultural Center was established in 2003 as Purdue's first center for Hispanic and Latino culture. The center is a gathering place where people of similar cultures and backgrounds can come together to share events in the university community. The center is open to all interested in learning more about the Latino cultures.

Writer: Clyde Hughes, ( 765 ) 494-2073, jchughes@purdue.edu

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