In the spirit of Latino Heritage Month, Mesa Cooperativa will be hosting month long events to inform and share with students the literature, art, historical, dance and accomplishments within the Latino culture.
â€œMesa strategically created these certain events to let all students, not just Latino students, get a feel of what Chicano/Latino heritage really is,â€ said Eliza Manuela Ramirez, president of Mesa Cooperativa.
Established in 1991, Mesa Cooperativa is a council that serves as an umbrella for the 14 Chicano/Latino organizations in Cal State Fullerton.
Latino Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and Mesa Cooperativa kicked off the month with Unity Week at Discoverfest. Mesaâ€™s focuses were recruitment, fundraising, political awareness and performances for all to participate in.
â€œPolitical awareness day went well, given the small turnout in previous years,â€ Ramirez said.
Events range from live musical performances telling of the history and impact of mariachi music in U.S. culture, to a dance workshop presented by Ballet Folklorico de CSUF and the Salsa club. The workshops are aimed at teaching the different styles of dance from various regions of Latin America.
â€œThese events were planned to help highlight the importance of generations before and what they accomplished,â€ Ramirez said.
â€œThe History of Mariachi,â€ presented Sept. 27 in the Titan Theater, featured a 12 piece mariachi playing background to a PowerPoint presentation and speaker.
â€œMy goal for Mesa is to attract more latinos to be involved in school and join more clubs,â€ said Saul Cuautle, Mesa Cooperative treasurer. â€œIâ€™m looking forward to the mariachi event and the art.â€
The council also teams up with other departments and resource centers to help out and incorporate the monthâ€™s theme to their respective calendar events. The Womenâ€™s Center showcased Sin Nombre as part of its weekly movie series.
â€œIt was great. We all really enjoyed the film and we had a good combination of students, staff and community members,â€ said Jerri Freeman, office manager and special events coordinator for the Womenâ€™s Center.
The Chicano Resource Center will host â€œExperiences of Latinas in Graduate School,â€ which consists of a panel of Latinas who have recently received their masterâ€™s and doctorate degrees or are currently working on a graduate degree. The panel will share their experiences and give advice to undergraduates interested in pursuing a path in graduate studies.
Ramirez highly recommends two of the monthâ€™s events to all students because of the focus on the importance of history and the effect it has on our society and culture today.
On Oct. 12, Mesa Cooperativa will host â€œDia de la Raza: The Importance of Culture.â€ The visually crafted presentation will be given by Maria Elena Ramirez, and she will discuss topics of colonialism, political ideologies and the Latino culture.
Political icon Sylvia Mendez, of the landmark case battle Mendez v. Westminster, will present â€œA Look at Our Heritage with Sylvia Mendez: A piece of History Forgotten.â€ Mendez will speak of how the historical event plays a significant role in the lives of so many people.
â€œThese two events really emphasize on the political and historical aspect of what people did in the past and how itâ€™s prevalent in the present,â€ Ramirez said.
Mesa will also host its third annual Chalk Mural Contest with this yearâ€™s theme being â€œDiversity: How do you stand out?â€ The contest allows all organizations to create their own mural to show how they distinguish and stand out from the rest.
â€œHonestly, it means a lot to me when people understand different cultures as well as their own,â€ Ramirez said.
Fliers are posted around campus with a full list and dates of the several events being featured this month.