Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month at Fordham

Through music, food, coffee, dance and crafts, students gain the opportunity to learn more about Latinx culture



Latinx Heritage Month is still in full swing despite the pandemic, with events happening online and in-person.


Fordham’s Latinx Heritage Committee and Student Organization of Latinx (SOL) are hosting online and hybrid events throughout the month to celebrate and uplift the Latinx community during Latinx Heritage Month. Latinx Heritage Month occurs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to recognize the accomplishments and influences the Latinx community has contributed to the United States. The committee is hosting events ranging from cultural exploration to open discussions about issues that the Latinx community faces. They plan to take participants through Latin America and explore its rich history through cooking classes, panels, trivia and more.

Past Events:

9/17 – La Noche de Baile:

The committee hosted a hybrid dance workshop with Candela Latina, Fordham’s Latinx dance group, to explain the cultural and historical backgrounds of and demonstrate different dances. For example, salsa originated in the 1900s in Cuba and was popularized in the 1950s by Cuban exiles and Puerto Ricans in New York City. The Afro-Caribbean-influenced genre spread internationally in the ’80s, followed by reinventions of the music by contemporary artists, including Marc Anthony, La India and Victor Manuelle, who began to mix salsa with pop. Another style of dance, bachata, emerged from the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. The genre was banned by Rafael Trujillo, an anti-Black dictator, from 1930-61. The Dominican elite viewed the genre as low-class, leaving it solely to be played in bars and brothels until the ’80s, when it became popularized. For those who may have missed out on this event, you can go to Fordham Latinx Heritage’s Instagram post to learn about the origins of salsa and bachata in more depth.

9/23 – Latinx X LGBTQ+ Dialogue:

The Latinx X LGBTQ+ Dialogue event was led by Lincoln Center Cultural Programming Coordinator for Latinx Heritage Month Kaylin Bridglall, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’21, and featured Latinx Heritage Month committee member and Asst. Arts & Culture Editor for The Observer Vicky Carmenate, FCLC ’23, and alumna Angel Quiah-Londoño, FCLC ’20, as panelists. 

They discussed gender, sexuality, culture, religion and identity and followed with a Q&A session. Quiah-Londoño explained how impactful it was to be asked questions based on her experiences. “It felt like not only were they listening, but they seemed to understand the things that I go through based on the questions. One of them asked what it’s like to date, and I feel like they asked that knowing that it’s hard, so that was nice,” she said.

Bridglall said the event was a “very open, honest and candid conversation that allowed the participants and panelists to explore the intersectionality of these identities … Overall, it was a very intimate safe space to tackle difficult topics and it was all thanks to the amazing panelists.”

9/24 –  Let’s Talk about ICE:

Annabel Filpo, FCLC ’23 and  the event planner for SOL, led a discussion over Zoom regarding current events with the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The discussion was used as a safe space for the attendees to share issues they have experienced with immigration, as well as to draw connections about the intersectionality of racial issues in America today. 

“We focused on the abolition of ICE. We talked about how connected it is to the corrupt prison system,” Filpo said. “It was a very fluid conversation that covered a range of topics that ended up connecting society’s view of immigrants and immediately deeming them to be criminals and lower class and not even worthy of basic human rights.” The committee also directed attendees to their #AbolishICE story highlight to learn more.

In an attempt to make the celebrations all-inclusive, the upcoming events are designed to accommodate everyone’s interests. The past events were very successful, leaving the committee feeling proud and excited for what is to come.

Upcoming Events:

9/30 – Un Viaje de Café:

Time and Place: Outdoor Plaza, 12-2 p.m.

This event is taking place on International Coffee Day. The committee invites the attendees to “take a trip around the world” with a coffee tasting sourced from various Latin American countries. During the tasting, there will be a discussion focused on the history of Latin American coffee.

10/1 – ¡Vamos al Cine!:

Time and Place: 12th Floor Lounge, Lowenstein Center, 6-8 p.m., Hybrid Event

The committee is hosting a movie night. On their Instagram story, students were asked to choose between the films “Selena” (1997, dir. Gregory Nava), “Instructions Not Included” (2013, dir. Eugenio Derbez), “Qué León” (2018, dir. Frank Perozo) and “Frida” (2002, dir. Julie Taylor). “Selena” was the winner.

10/5 – ¡Cocinemos Juntos!:

Time and Place: Online, 7 p.m.

The committee will “travel” around Latin America through a series of cooking and baking classes. Students are encouraged to request any recipes they are interested in trying. 

For this upcoming event, Sofia Ubilla, FCLC ’21, a Latinx Heritage Month committee member, will show attendees how to make pastelitos de guayaba, a delicious puff pastry with a sweet, fruity filling that originates from Cuba. She will also be making a sweet beverage to complement the dessert. The ingredients will be announced in advance on the committee’s Instagram page, @fordham_latinx

The committee plans to continue to post cooking tutorials on its Instagram throughout the year, but if ¡Cocinemos Juntos! is a success, they would love to host more events. There are already tutorials posted on its Instagram highlights for how to make tres leches and cuatro leches. Tres leches is a Mexican cake that is soaked in condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. Ubilla added an optional fourth type of milk, dulce de leche, to make cuatro leches. Ubilla takes you through the process step-by-step, from making and soaking the cake to the assembly.

10/6 – Afro-Latinidad Panel Discussion:

Time and Place: Online, 2-4 p.m.

An open dialogue will be held through Zoom regarding Afro-Latinidad’s role in Latinx culture. The event will be facilitated by Juan Carlos Matos, vice president for student affairs for diversity and inclusion, and the panel will consist of student representatives from a variety of cultural clubs. Attendees are encouraged to view this meeting as a safe space to express their stories or obstacles they have faced regarding their culture and identity. The @fordham_latinx page on Instagram has made several posts to inform students about Afro-Latinidad.

10/13 – Latinx Open Mic Night:

Time and Place: Online, 7 p.m.

This event is open to the entire Fordham community, but it is intended to provide a creative outlet for Latinx artists. Stories, songs, poems and more are encouraged to be shared. The performances can be original or honoring the work of other Latinx artists. The committee is accepting inquiries and submissions for this event on its Instagram account.

10/15 – Cultural Trivia Night:

Time and Place: McNally Amphitheatre, 2-4:30 p.m., Hybrid Event 

Test your knowledge of Latinx pop culture, food and history during this Kahoot trivia night. Prizes will be awarded to the first place winners for each round, each receiving a gift certificate to varying Latinx-owned businesses. It is a perfect opportunity to have fun and show your support for local businesses in the community while engaging in some friendly competition

Bridglall shared, “The committee is very excited about creating fun events and safe spaces for the Latinx students at Fordham to celebrate and appreciate their culture. We love the work that we do and the events we host.” She also thanked those in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and its graduate intern, Lilibeth Ramos Flores. “We want to be a voice and resource for the Fordham Latinx community. We hope to celebrate the month with the true Latinx spirit and passion,” Bridglall added.