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Home > Academics > Undergraduate >
Ethnic Studies
Latinas ¡Presente!

Mills College celebrates Latina/o Heritage Month 2014

September is important for Latinas/os and Latin Americans, as Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua all celebrate their independence during this month. In the US, Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month has for decades officially honored their histories, cultures and contributions. Here at Mills Latina Heritage Month has for years honored Chicanas and Latinas every September through a diverse, month-long series of cultural, social, and community events that particularly celebrate our indigenous, African, immigrant, and activist roots. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Time Line
Month of September, Toyon Meadow

timelineTake a walk through the Latina Heritage Timeline which this year emphasizes the achievement and success stories of today's Latina graduates from Mills and Latinas from the Fruitvale community. Learn about what motivates them and the success they found attending Mills or being part of Fruitvale community.

Kick Off for Latina/o Heritage Month!
12:00-1:00 pm, Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Suzanne Adams Plaza

kick off Latina Heritage MonthWhether it's through guest speakers, workshops, films, music, dancing or poetry, Latina Heritage Month brings you expression through art and activism. Celebrate the kick off of Latina Heritage Month on Adam's Plaza with music, Latina refreshments, and information about all of the events that are planned for this month.

Decolonizing Your Diet with Professors Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel
7:00 pm, Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Student Union

In this workshop, Professors Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel will share public healthLuz Calvo and Catriona Reuda Esquibel research that shows that recent Latino/a immigrants have better health than their American-born children. They will discuss the need for decolonizing our diets through reclaiming ancestral foods, recipes, cooking techniques, and remedios. Our ancestors ate a plant-based diet, with a heavy reliance on nixtamal corn, beans, wild greens, nopales, and other healthy vegetables. They used herbal teas and medicines to cure ailments. They ate in community and gave thanks to Mother Earth. Before colonization and capitalism, food was consider to be sacred and the preparation of food was a spiritual practice. It is time to return to these ancestral ways. Their presentation will include a cooking demonstration and afterwards they will share a small tasting menu of cactus smoothies and vegetarian tacos.

Luz Calvo received her PhD in the History of Consciousness Program at UC Santa Cruz in 2001. She is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies at Cal State East Bay, where she teaches a course entitled, “Decolonize Your Diet: Food Justice in Communities of Color.” Luz traces her food genealogy to her paternal grandparents, who ran a Mexican restaurant in San Fernando, California, from the 1940s through the 1970s. The Calvo business began when the grandparents began selling tacos to the cannery workers, with her grandfather purchasing fresh, seasonal ingredients from the LA Central market, and her grandmother preparing and packaging the tacos.

Catrióna Rueda Esquibel received her PhD in the History of Consciousness Program at UC Santa Cruz (1999). She is an associate professor in Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University. She is the author of With her Machete in her Hand (U of Texas Press, 2006) and has also published poetry, drama, and literary criticism. Her father’s family has lived in northern New Mexico for more than twelve generations. On her mother’s side, her great-great-grandmother, great-grandmother, and grandmother all migrated from Sonora to Los Angeles between 1913 and 1919. Each of these women made a living cooking for Mexican migrant workers and Chicanos/as in Los Angeles. Catriona is interested in diet and diabetes because her father and many of his siblings were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In one generation, as they moved from New Mexico to Los Angeles, their diet went from grass fed beef, home-raised chickens, and home-grown vegetables and local herbs on the ranch to highly processed foods.

Bon Appetit and Latina Heritage Month Celebration Dinner
5:00-7:00 pm, Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Founders Hall

Come and enjoy the company of the Mills community as we sample an impressive variety of delicious Latina and Latin American dishes.

Bamboo PeruSpecial guests Bamboo Peru will be serenading us with authentic Peruvian Andes music during dinner. Jaime Alvaro, leader of the musical group Bamboo Peru, is a Peruvian born of indigenous parents from a village in the Andes, where he spent a great part of his childhood. It was in the Quechuan language that he heard his grandmother recount stories from his ancestors. These stories are reflected in his musical compositions.

Free for students with meal cards, $10.50 for all others.

Red Baby Romaine with Caramelized Pink Pear Apple, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Queso Fresco, Marvel Strip Tomato Vinaigrette

Arugula with Grapefruit Segments, Mango, Balsamic Red Onions, Candied Pecans, Pear Vinaigrette

Cactus with Tomatoes, Red Onions, Cilantro, Jalapeno Peppers, Cotija Cheese, Olive Oil

Sopa de Tortilla: Tortilla Soup [VEGAN]

Crema de Champinones: Cream of Mushroom Soup, Peruvian-Style [VEGETARIAN]

Sopes de Cochinita Pibil: Marinated Adobo Pork with Pickled Red Onion, Cilantro, Habanero-Mango-Lime Salsa, Refried Pinto Beans on sopes (tortilla shells)

El Plato Principal
Churrasco Argentino con Chimichurri: Grilled Arrachera Beef with Red Pepper Sauce

Puerco en Chile Verde: Pork with Chili Verde Sauce

Brazilian Chicken

Plus Spanish Rice, Refried Beans, Roasted Chayote Squash, Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Lemon Sauce, Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Aguas Frescas
Mango y Menta: Mango, Mint

Guayaba, Mandarina y Naranja: Guava, Mandarine, Orange

Horchata: Rice Milk

Lo Dulce y Lo Bueno
Arroz con Leche: Rice Pudding with Caramelized Crème Brule [Vegetarian]

Flan de Cajeta: Butterscotch Flan with Cinnamon [Vegetarian]

Our thanks to Bon Appetit for their preparation of this delicious menu!

Movie Night! "Born in East LA"
6:30 pm, Monday, September 15, 2014, Student Union

Mujeres Unidas invites you to come and enjoy a movie night that explores on the theme of immigration. We will begin by watching "Born in East LA" and then have a quick discussion. What is your relationship with immigration? We'll talk all about it while enjoying some delicious treats!

“While many films spawn hit singles and rock videos, "Born in East LA" was one of the few to come to the screen after both the song and video. After reading about the 1985 case of a 14-year-old American citizen who was snatched up by Immigration and Naturalization workers and sent south of the border, Cheech Marin wrote a song parodying Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" entitled "Born in East LA" and made a video to accompany it. Universal then approached Marin with the idea of writing, directing, and starring in a picture budgeted at $5 million, an offer Marin readily accepted. Rudy Robles (Marin) is a third-generation Mexican-American who is mistakenly carted off with a bunch of "illegals" and sent back across the border. With no identification, Robles is unable to convince the authorities he is an American citizen, and he turns to ne'er-do-well American expatriat (Daniel Stern) for help in his plottings to get back home. While waiting for his chance to get north of the border, her falls for local girl Dolores (Kamala Lopez). This is a surprisingly heartfelt film from Marin, miles away from the mindless drug humor that infected his efforts with Tommy Chong. The film offers some genuinely tender moments as Marin uses Robles situation to explore the plight of Mexicans who long for a better life.” ~TV Guide

“Yo Soy”(I am…) Monologues
7:00-8:30 pm, Thursday, September 18, 2014, Student Union

Yo Soy Latina"A woman-of-color who writes poetry or paints or dances or makes movies knows there is no escape from race or gender when she is writing or painting. She can’t take off her color and sex and leave them at the door or her study or studio. Nor can she leave behind her history. Art is about identity, among other things, and her creativity is political."~ Gloria Anzaldua

Come and enjoy monologues created by Mujeres Unidas’ members as well as Latino/a Faculty and Staff at Mills. These monologues are shared to demonstrate the unique and diverse identities of the Latino/a community at Mills College. You are welcome to share your identity by creating and reciting your own “Yo Soy” monologue(s).

Afro-Puerto Rican Music and Dance Workshop
7:00 pm, Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Student Union

Bring your drums, maracas, and “faldas” (skirts) or lightweight shawls for dancing!!

Bomba is a music and dance genre with roots in West Africa that originated in the sugar cane plantations of Puerto Rico over 300 years ago. The central feature of Bomba is its improvisational “call and response” character. The dancer calls, with her or his moves, for specific accents and figures—“piquetes”—that the lead drummer has to execute on the drum. This occurs in the form of a dynamic conversation where dancers and drummers showcase their skills.

Join Master teachers Héctor Lugo and Shefali Shah for a “hands-on” workshop where we will learn bomba percussion, dance, and songs.

Héctor Lugo is a talented and experienced percussionist, singer, songwriter, and teacher. Hector LugoA native of Puerto Rico, Héctor has performed, recorded, and toured with renowned local and international artists in the Latin, Jazz, and Afro-Caribbean music communities, including, among others, Luis Cepeda and the Los Cepeda Folkloric Ensemble, Bobby Céspedes, Conjunto Céspedes, Luis Romero and Mazacote, John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Pete ³El Conde² Rodriguez, Gilberto Gutierrez and Mono Blanco, the Larry Vukovich Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Venezuelan Music Project, and the Mission Project. He composed music for a theatre piece, Living in Spanish, that has been produced in San Francisco, New York, and Seoul. He has lectured on the history of Puerto Rican music and taught workshops on Latin percussion locally and internationally. Presently, he leads Son Borikua, a seven piece ensemble, dedicated to creating original music inspired in the Puerto Rican folklore. He is co-director of the Bomba and Plena Workshop at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, and a percussion instructor with the Oakland Youth Chorus Music of Our World program.

Shefali Shah leads the dance workshops, teaching basic Shefali Shahsteps, techniques, and modeling piquetes, or improvised movements, which students interpret into their own unique way of expression. Beginners learn the basic steps of each musical form. As dancers progress, they begin to throw piquetes which the lead drummer must interpret and respond to. This conversation allows the movement to be come music, literally.

Shefali has been studying and dancing Bomba since 1999. She currently dances with Son Borikua and Cacique y Kongo. She has performed at "Maestros de Bomba en la Bahía" with members of the Cepeda family and at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival with Grupo Folclórico Paulé. Shefali also trains in Odissi, a classical Indian dance form from the state of Orissa, India, with Bay Area Master Guru Sri Vishnu Tattva Das. She performs with the Bay Area group Odissi Vilas.

“Bailando en el Barrio” Latina Heritage Month Dance
9:00 pm-1:00 am, Friday, September 26, 2014, Student Union

Dance the night away at our wildly popular dance, featuring DJ Agana! Admission: $3.00 donation for Mills students; $5.00 for non-Mills students. Valid CA/College ID required at the door.

MIGRATION STORIES: “If We Don’t Tell Our Stories, Who Will?”
Featuring filmmaker Mike Costa of "Proud to be Cape Verdean"
3:30-5:30 pm, Sunday, September 28, 2014
Danforth Lecture Hall

"One of the most important things I can see as a Cape Verdean in Southern California we have exposed our culture to a community that didn't know we existed."

Cape Verdean filmPlease join us for "If We Don't Tell Our Stories: Who Will?," a dinner program, which will screen "Proud to be Cape Verdean," with a panel discussion with filmmaker Mike Costa and scholars Lourdes Demello (Sociedade Caboverdiana do Nort e de California, SCNC), Domingos Fernandes (Sociedade Caboverdiana do Nort e de California, Public Relations, SCNC), Ricardo Gomes (Professor, San Francisco State University), and Donald Warrin, PhD (Author).

You can view the trailer here.

This event is free and open to the public.

Campus Sponsors: Office  of  the  President,  Social  Justice  Resource  Center,  the  Associated  Students of Mills College,  MLAT:  Mills Leaders Across-borders Together

Dinner Honoring Latina Staff and Faculty
6:00 pm, Monday, September 29, 2014
Reinhardt Alumni House

The LHM Faculty and Staff Appreciation Dinner is an occasion to celebrate and thank the faculty and staff for their donated time and inspiring dedication. This event gives Mujeres Unidas an opportunity to meet Latino faculty and staff and establish relationships that emphasize the value of community within Mills. By invitation only.

Art and Activism: A Means of Cultural and Community Survival
Featuring DJ Agaña
6:00-8:00 pm, Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Student Union

Using a variety of mediums, including aerosol art, turntables, and jewelry, interwoven with her culture, Vanessa Espinoza (aka DJ Agaña) creates and inspires change within the Oakland community. In this interactive workshop, you will MAKE ART to MAKE CHANGE.

Vanessa Espinoza, known as "DJ AGANA", "con ganas" means ones motivation, drive, desire and ambition to hungrily accomplish any task, she is an aerosol artist and a digital audiovisual specialist with a background in jewelry metal arts.
DJ Agana event

While painting with Visual Element as a youth; a large scale mural arts program that provides training for young artists, Agana began educating, mentoring and motivating youth to create public art with a purpose. With a bachelors in animation and special FX, she applies her skills designing interactive educational games and media art applications. For more than a decade she has exercised her knowledge of digital media and creative arts with young Bay Area artists encouraging them to tell their own unique stories through mural painting, film and animation.

Agana has been a member of Few and Far Women since it originated in 2011 and has painted annually with the talented movement in the Wynwood Art District of Miami Art Basel. Agana is a member of TDK, The Dream Krew, originated in Oakland during the early 80's by Mike Francisco "Dream". She was the singular female to be paint the battle word "dream" in the 2013 Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle. Agana belongs to the earliest known organized graffiti crew in the history of aerosol art dedicated to writing, EX-VANDALS 1970, NYC. She is also a member of WOTS crew, Wizards of the Styles from NYC.

Her goal is to reach endless audiences with visual landscapes that cultivate art for thought and action by visually raising current issues and topics that tell untold stories from a female perspective of resilience.

Mujeres Unidas, Ethnic Studies Department, Diversity and Social Justice Resource Center, Associated Students of Mills College and the School of Education.

Ethnic Studies Fund
Mills College Heritage Months are supported in part by the Ethnic Studies Fund. To learn about and donate to the Fund, please click here: Ethnic Studies Fund. Many thanks for your generosity in support of Ethnic Studies and students of color at Mills.

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Last Updated: 9/29/14