Latines Unides Leads Discussion on Latinx Identity

October 05, 2020
Latines Unides gathers for group photo
Latines Unides gathers on campus in March 2020.

Latines Unides and the Office of Student Affairs presented a panel discussion on Latinx identity on Sept. 22. Latines Unides is an affinity group that seeks to increase Latinx visibility on campus, raising, sharing, and organizing around issues relevant to its members.

The event, during Latinx Heritage Month that runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, focused on identity, and terms such as Latino/a, Latinx, Latin@, and Latine that reflect the wide range of diversity found across Latin American countries, histories, racial makeup, and cultures. Part of the discussion was dedicated to unpacking these labels, their complexities, and the panelists’ journeys in discovering which terms reflect their identities the best.

Panelists included a mix of SUA students, faculty, and staff—Cindy Chavez ’23; Miki Prunty ’23; Pablo Camus-Oyarzun, assistant professor of Spanish language and culture; Ana Palomar, adjunct Spanish instructor; and Astrid Dorantes, assistant director of the Office of International Student Services.

“The event was meaningful for those of us who identify as Latinx,” said Daniela Soto ’21, one of the facilitators, “but we also believe it was a great space for others who do not identify as part of these groups to learn more about them.”

Said Cindy Chavez: “You cannot assume people’s comfortableness with the word Latinx or any other label. In order to grasp what Latinx identity is, just talk to a friend, ask them what their hometown is and what their experience growing up ‘Latinx’ was like.”