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DeSales Honors Latin/Hispanic Heritage Month

by Janelle Hill Oct 11, 2021

The DSU campus community is coming together to honor and celebrate Latin/Hispanic Heritage Month. 

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) hosted a special virtual discussion—The Latinx Experience—as part of its Let’s Talk DEI Series. 

The panel discussion featured Scott Blair, DeSales’ associate vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion; Naomy Diaz-Sierra, a graduate assistant in the Office of DEI; Dra. Vivian Robledo, director of student services and minority affairs for the Bethlehem Area School District; and Donray Bennett, associate director for admissions at Kutztown University. 

Robledo, who was born and raised in southside Bethlehem, distinguished between the different terminology. The word Hispanic, she said, came about in the 1970s to identify people who spoke Spanish. The word Latino is used to describe the population connected to Latin America, which includes the Brazilian population, and it also connects to the Caribbean. 

New terminology includes Latinx, which is a nonbinary, gender-inclusive definition for identity within the community. Latine, according to Robledo, is an even more inclusive word used to describe a group without gender. Robledo stressed that the preference should be left up to the person. 

“I prefer being called Puerto Rican or being called Vivian,” she said. “That’s how you should treat everybody—let people describe themselves.” 

Other topics in the discussion included colorism, race, and equity. The Let’s Talk DEI Series continues with Indigenous Peoples Day—Why it Matters on October 11 and Access and Opportunity—What Does Student Accessibility Mean at DSU? on October 26.