Hispanic Americans lecture about world in their culture

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with music, drinks and street tacos

By Christian Hunick
On September 20, 2018

Photo contributed by Luis Montoya


ASU celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 13 with food, music and a lecture titled “Examining Culture through Evolving Demographics, Public Service, Gender Bias, and the Civil Rights Movement.”

Prior to the lecture, attendees were treated to Hispanic music, refreshments and food including barbacoa street tacos. 

The featured speakers of the night were history department chair Dr. John Klingeman, assistant professor of communications Dr. Leslie Rodriguez, alumnus Jarett Lujan, associate professor of English Dr. Gabriela Serrano, associate professor of political science Dr. Matthew Gritter and AMAS (Association of Mexican-American Students) president Sara Guerrero.

Klingeman described how the Hispanic population is growing in Texas. He explained the importance of understanding the demographic changes.

“For those of us that are going to educate the future of Texas, it is important to know those tendencies because we have to adjust to make sure we provide an inclusive environment at the university level,” Klingeman said.

Rodriguez gave an analysis of how Hispanic Americans respond to discrimination in the workplace through co-cultural theory.

“Co-cultural theory states that minority groups try to strategically communicate with individuals of dominant groups,” Rodriguez said.

For example, when Hispanics felt they were racially discriminated against at work, they communicated with their employer in a non-assertive style with a separating and assimilating strategy. 

Lujan talked about the importance of having officials from a diverse background, speaking from his experience as the 12th student regent on the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents. He also engaged the audience by having them say they are proud of themselves at several points during his presentation.

Serrano explored the topic of Latinas in leadership positions, pointing out the discrepancy in how individuals view characteristics of leaders in Latina verses non-Latina women.

“For Latinas there is always a backlash,” Serrano said. “If there is a Latina in a leadership position that is assertive, independent and takes charge, the backlash is that individuals think she is angry, cold and perhaps even bossy.”

Gritter discussed the history of the fight for civil rights for Hispanic Americans.

Guerrero described how being a part of AMAS impacted her life.

“AMAS is a family to me,” Guerrero said, “If I would have never joined AMAS, I know that I would be a different person today.”

A short Q&A followed.


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