Latinx Panel Discussion Creates Space to Explore and Connect

November 05, 2021
Tagged as:
Students at Latinx discussion
Mercedes Corrales ’22 and Andy Campuzano ’25 after a student-led panel discussion celebrating Latinx Heritage Month at SUA.

Questions of Latinx identity and its varied expressions were the topic of a panel discussion marking Latinx Heritage Month and highlighting Latinx voices at SUA.

More than 50 members of the Soka community convened in the Ikeda Reading Room and on Zoom for the event on Sept. 30, the second annual collaboration between Latines Unides, a SUA student affinity group, and the Office of Student Affairs.

The panelists included Naiyla Dixon ’25, Sergio Morales ’22, Jessie Ramirez (SUA Graduate School) ’23, adjunct Spanish instructor Alberto Landaveri, and Yolanda Sanchez, office manager for Facilities Management.

Mercedes Corrales ’22 and Andy Campuzando ’25 facilitated the discussion, which explored language and identity, allyship, and social issues. Panelists also shared their personal experiences as Latines, answering questions about identity in the US, stereotypes, and cherished traditions.

Reflecting on their experience as a panelist, Ramirez said the experience motivated them to continue exploring and reflecting on the topics in the future. “The spectrum of experiences and upbringing (in the Latinx community) always amazes me,” they said, “and encourages me to continue learning from listening to others’ stories.”

Many who attended the event said they appreciated the space it created to reflect on one’s own identity while listening to others’ stories of claiming theirs.

“Being at the panel and hearing from everyone and their own experiences was very meaningful to me, especially as I try to navigate my own identity with Latinidad,” said Luna Chavez ’22.

Echoing Chavez, Morales noted that each person has a unique relationship with their intersecting identities. “Some might feel more comfortable with an umbrella term like Latinx or Mexican while others prefer a more regional or local identity,” Morales said. “Others might go for a more political identity like Chicanx, while others might choose not to use labels and just use their experiences instead.”

Reflecting on the joy, variety, and complexity of Latinx identity discussed by the panel, Morales concluded, “Everyone has a different situation, and we should respect that.”

–Mercedes Corrales ’22