Latinx Heritage Month 2021

Mills College Latinx Heritage Month (LXHM) is celebrated mid-September through the end of October and is sponsored by the Ethnic Studies Program in the Department of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the Associated Students of Mills College. LXHM events are organized by students in our Latinx student organization(s), with support from faculty and staff. We are looking forward to fall 2021 in-person events, following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. We hope to also offer some of our events via Zoom, so check back for registration information.

Traditional Medicine For Everyday Traumas, with Batul True Heart
Friday, September 17 | 12:00–2:30 pm | Free with Mills Email ID
Live via Zoom | In-person Mills College Location TBA

These days, trauma, or susto as it’s known in MesoAmerican Indigenous thought, happens every day. Everything from the startling sound of fireworks exploding in the city, to seeing our fellow human relatives houseless and hungry in the streets, to living through a global pandemic…much like our ancestors, we are exposed to shocking and traumatic events every single day. From an Indigenous perspective, whenever we are exposed to traumas like these, a piece of our soul leaves. This "soul loss" can cloud our natural essence and leave us feeling like a shell of ourselves. So what did our ancestors do to maintain balance when chaos and violence was happening all around them? What traditional methods and medicines can we utilize everyday to help us meet and move difficult emotions so we can be liberated and free? In this two-and-a-half-hour workshop with Batul True Heart (they/them/aapo) you will learn about:

  • Emotions from an Indigena perspective (los trece aires)
  • How to heal by working with the elements (herbs, flowers, water, earth, smoke, wind, and fire)
  • The imperativeness of relationship and reciprocity with all living things
  • How to make and maintain altars (as an extension of ourselves)
  • Everyday home-ceremonial practices using plants and prayer

Our workshop offering is a part of a broader curriculum at Casa Tia Luna, a healing medicine house in the Bay Area. Batul True Heart (they/them) is a Yo'eme (Yaqui), Mexican and Panamanian-American (of Indigenous, African, and Spanish descent) Queer and Two-Spirit Curanderismo practitioner, community herbalist, caregiver, and death doula.


Immigration and Its Impact on the Latinx Community (Great Minds, Brave Spaces Series)
Wednesday, September 29 | 5:30–6:30 pm

Too often do we talk about policies without acknowledging and dealing with their impact on the community. Mario Paredes, who practices immigration law, will discuss how the fight for immigration reform impacts communities, particularly the Latinx community. We invite you to join us in a lively conversation to understand better the issues and ways to get involved. Please email thecenter@mills.edu with any questions.


Lonche Y Loteria: Kickoff for Latinx Heritage Month
Thursday, September 30 | 12:00–1:00 pm | Campus Tea Shop

Please join our Mills College community as we kickoff our LatinX Heritage Month programming with an opening welcome, and fun for the whole community, including loteria and prizes! Music! And More! Come by, ALL are welcome!


Alliance for Fair Food: Organizing Farm Workers
Monday, October 4 | 11:00–12:45 pm
Live via Zoom and In-person at Mills College

Join Ethnic Studies Professor Amy Argenal in welcoming this United Nations-recognized human rights organization led by migrant farmworkers from Guatemala, Mexico and Haiti, working to eliminate the exploitation and extreme abuses that are endemic to our agricultural industry. Organizers will share their perspectives as those who have worked in the fields, and the conditions faced by farmworkers in the US agricultural industry—including abuses such as sexual harassment and forced labor—and the transformative changes that must continue.


Veggie Mijas & the Power of Activism with Amy Quichiz:
Food Wise—Exploring Food Ways Beyond the Margins

Thursday, October 7 | 6:30pm | Live via Zoom and In-person at Mills College

In alignment with their mission on the experiences and knowledge of Black and Brown women in decolonizing our diets, this event focuses on first-generation, queer, poc students at Mills College. Veggie Mijas started in August 2017 as an instagram page for college students that wanted easy recipes that folks can make in their dorms and small kitchens. The access to food became a general issue for most people living off and on campus. After, Amy Quichiz had the idea of creating Veggie Mijas as a collective to share recipes and create community with other vegans of color throughout the US. Veggie Mijas then became a women of color/trans folks of color/gender non-confirming collective for folks that are plant-based or are interested in a plant-based lifestyle that have marginalized identities and/or experiences with food insecurity/food apartheids. The first potluck was located in Bronx, NY in March 2018 and now we have 11 active chapters throughout the United States.

Cofounder Amy Quichiz began her career as an activist while an undergraduate student at Syracuse University, where she majored in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology. She is committed to bringing awareness to the Latinx community and fighting against gender violence, sexual assault, gender and sexual inequality, queer discriminations and racial issues. Amy also articulates theories and personal experiences into writing pieces that cover topics such as whiteness, radical self-love from brown girls, mental disabilities in Latinx households, Latinx body issues, borderland identities and radical queer love. As an outgrowth of her activist work, she formed Veggie Mijas, a women of color collective that highlights the importance of veganism through the lens of those with marginalized identities. Through this collective, she has opened new chapters in several states and cities and is organizing vegan folks of color in a national perspective.


Queer LatinX Bachata: Healing Danza & the Joteria
Thursday, October 14 | 6:00–8:00 pm | Registration Required
Live via Zoom, & In-person at Mills College

Queer LatinX Bachata with In Lak’ech Dance Academy. A hybrid online and in-person introductory platica on Bachata and LGBTQ+ community wellness, followed by a Bachata workshop. In Lak’ech Dance Academy co-creates a community of queer, trans, and ally dancers in order to celebrate our resilience, nurture our collective strength, and heal from oppression. Through their visibility and artistic expression, they redefine the Afro Latin Dance community as a safe and affirming space for all gender identities and sexualities. See www.inlakechdance.com.


The Tradition of Day of the Dead and Its Origin in the Indigenous Cosmovision, with Maestra Veronica Iglesias
A Mills College Viewing Circle & Community Feast
Sunday, October 24 | 3:00-5:00 pm | Free with Current Mills Email ID
Live via Zoom with In-person Mills College Location TBA | Registration TBA

Join new student organization CasaTiaLuna@Mills a campus viewing circle for this online platica about the tradition of the Day of the Dead in Mexico, its Indigenous prehispanic origins, and how, because of the need of the Indigenous people to adapt their spirituality to the Catholic tradition, they had to make a syncretic mix between their ancestral traditions and the new imposed religion. We will talk about the pre-Hispanic indigenous cosmogony, the levels of the world, the existence of the souls of human beings, and the places where it resided when it was not incarnated. We will also talk about the importance of honoring the ancestors, its relationship to the agricultural cycle, and the similarity with the European pagan spirituality that was also absorbed by the Catholic religion. We will talk about the different ways in which ancestors are honored in different areas of Mexico and Central America. See registration page for more information about the circle, Maestra Verónica Iglesias, and Casa Tia Luna.


Altar Building for Dias de Muertos
Friday, October 29 | 2:00 pm | Tea Shop

The Mills Community is invited to share the Dia de los Muertos tradition of building an altar to celebrate passed loved ones. Clubs, departments, and offices are welcome to bring supplies to set up their own altars in the Tea Shop Dining Room. There will also be decorations and crafts you can make there. Hot Xocolatl (cocoa), coffee, and pan de muerto will be shared.


LatinX Heritage Month Feast at Founders
November 2 | 5:00 pm-7:00 pm | Founders Hall
Free with Meal Plan, or $12 to guests

Join our Mills community for a special campus dinner service at Founders Hall as we celebrate the closing of Dia de los Muertos and the end of a month of fabulous programming. We will have raffles, music, and special program acknowledging our community of LatinX staff and faculty, our heritage month organizing committee and student groups who made it all happen. Special Menu: Salvadorean Pupusas, served with curtido and salsa roja, Pork Posole, Calabasitas con Nopales, Grilled Elotes & Esquites, Mexican Tamales, Salvadorean Casamiento, Jamaica & Horchata, Flan and Churros.

For more information, please contact our Ethnic Studies staff at ethnic@mills.edu.