El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – New Mexico State University’s Chicano Programs is inviting all campus members and the public to come together and join festivities honoring the Latinx community and its cultural contributions to NMSU.

The Chicano Programs will host an open house and welcome-back cookout Friday, Sept. 10, with NMSU  Black Programs outside Garcia Center on the Las Cruces campus.

Students can stop by the lawn area facing Chamisa Village between noon and 2 p.m. to learn about the two programs, meet staff and enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, vegetarian options and tacos from Chachi’s Mexican Restaurant.

Chicano Programs will then host “Salsa and Salsa” from noon to 2 p.m. on Sept. 15 with Black Programs, the American Indian Program and Doña Ana Community College’s LatinX Heritage Month committee. The event will feature live Zumba salsa dancing and free salsa samples from several local restaurants on the Corbett Center Student Union outdoor stage.

NMSU’s new vice president for equity, inclusion and diversity, Teresa Maria Linda Scholz, will also speak at the Sept. 15 event. This year marks the first time NMSU will commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month with a diversity leader.

“Being under Dr. Linda Scholz’s office now, I think it’s a great opportunity to continue growing and becoming more visible,” said Judith Flores Carmona, interim director of Chicano Programs. “We’re now front and center of everything we do as an institution to promote the work of equity, diversity and inclusion.” 

Flores Carmona said collaborating with NMSU’s other diversity programs on upcoming events was a natural fit since “we embody other identities, not just our race.”

“I think it’s so important not to box people in one category,” she added. “All the diversity programs are open to all students because we want to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of students, given all of the multiple identities that they embody.”

Later this month, writer and educator Roberto Lovato will visit NMSU to give a lecture as part of a Pluriversity Imaginary Collective talk sponsored by Chicano Programs, the Honors College, the Office of the Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Stan Fulton Endowed Chair.

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