Published on September 14, 2021 by Morgan Black  
HILSA leaders
Leaders of Cumberland School of Law’s Hispanic Law Students Association (HILSA)

Dating back to 1968, Hispanic Heritage Week was first implemented by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Then, President Ronald Reagan expanded the recognition to a month-long celebration of the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

September 15 through October 15 was selected for the commemorative month because eight Latin American countries celebrate their independence days during this time span including Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.

During the coming weeks, many Samford University organizations will commemorate the month through special events, lectures and more. 

Kick-Off Fiesta

September 15, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
Ben Brown Plaza

Samford students, faculty and staff are invited to a fiesta hosted by the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives to kick off the recognition month.

Hispanic Law Students Association (HILSA) Meeting

September 16, 11 a.m.
Angel Patio

Cumberland School of Law's Hispanic Law Students Association (HILSA) will hold its first meeting of the year to welcome its new members while celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with different cultural foods and desserts.

Latino Student Organization (LSO) Meeting and Salsa Dance Night

September 21, 6–7:30 p.m.
Harry’s, University Center

Samford students are invited to a salsa dance night and meeting with the Latino Student Organization.

Film Showing and Discussion

September 29, 3–4:45 p.m.
Christenberry Planetarium, Propst Hall Room 140

The Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives invites Samford students, faculty and staff to a film showing and discussion. 

Culture in the Caf

October 4, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
The Caf, University Center

The Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives and Samford Dining invites students, faculty and staff to join them for National Taco Day.

Cultural Lens Film & Speaker Series: The Deportation Machine

October 7, 6 p.m.

Samford’s Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives will partner with UAB’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the University of Alabama’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for a discussion of The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants by Adam Goodman.

Lunch and Learn Seminar

October 13, 12 – 1 p.m.
Brock Forum, Dwight Beeson Hall Room 131

Samford students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives to a lunch and learn featuring guest speaker Daniel Carroll, professor at Wheaton College. Carroll will speak on the rich tradition of biblical interpretation in the Latino/Latinx tradition. 

In addition to these events intended to increase cultural awareness, the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives encourages the Samford community to read Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change by Rogelio Sáenz and Maria Christina Morales. Dieter A. Waldvogel, assistant professor in Samford's Howard College of Arts and Sciences, uses this book in his Latin America Culture II (Spanish 317) course. He describes it as an “easy-to-read comprehensive overview of the contributions made by Latinos and the challenges they face in education, health, work, religion, politics and other social institutions.” The book may be found on Amazon.

“Understanding systems and the way they affect members of our community is an important step,” said Jenée Spencer, Samford’s director of diversity education and development. “This allows us to identify ways we can use our access, talents and passions to advocate for the needs of others.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.