Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI)

North Foundation Hall, Room 104
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309
(location map)
(248) 370-4404
[email protected]

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m

Ernesto in SMTD's green room

Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a national recognition of the culture, contributions and heritage of Hispanic Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

It is a long-standing tradition at Oakland University to recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month during the month of September to celebrate the history, politics and culture of Hispanic people, locally and globally.

HHM PhotosHHM Videos


2023 Hispanic Heritage Month Events

Hispanic Film Festival
Come join us for a curated selection of films depicting the multiple realities that conform Latin America. From the always ongoing cultural syncretism, to the challenges of internal migration, to the struggles facing Ecuador, this year's film selections are guaranteed to help you deepen your understanding of the Hispanic world. Make sure to join us on October 5 for a live Q&A with award winning director Marc Wiese.

Thursday, September 14 | Jueves 14 de Septiembre

Opening Ceremony
Las Vidas Negras Importan: Decolonizing Latinx Heritage Month
Presentation of Paul Lopez Oro,
This is an interdisciplinary talk centered on the long histories of exclusion and generational legacies of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism within Latin American & U.S. Latinx communities. His work focuses on an array of topics including anti-blackness within the Latino community & Latin American Studies. His fields are sociology, history, and planning. He also was a public school teacher in NYC.
Oakland Center, Gold Room A | Noon - 1 p.m.
Sponsored by College of Arts and Sciences, Sigma Delta Pi, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and OU Student Congress

Thursday, September 21 | Jueves 21 de Septiembre

Hispanic Film Festival Viewing of La Frontera Infinita
Oakland Center, The Habitat | Noon
Register at the 2023 Hispanic Film Fest page
Sponsored by Department of Modern Languages, School of Engineering, SHPE Oakland University

Friday, September 22 | Viernes 22 de Septiembre

Movie Night featuring Selena
Oakland Center, The Habitat | 5 - 6:30 p.m.
Sponsored by HALO

Wednesday, September 27 | Miércoles 27 de Septiembre

Loteria Night (Mexican Bingo)
Oak View Hall, Main Lobby | 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Sponsored by University Housing, Residence Life Association

Thursday, September 28 | Jueves 28 de Septiembre

Hispanic Film Festival Viewing of Tiempo de lluvia
Oakland Center, The Habitat | Noon
Register at the 2023 Hispanic Film Fest page
Sponsored by Department of Modern Languages, School of Engineering, SHPE Oakland University

Friday, September 29 | Viernes 29 de Septiembre

Milagro Danza Folklorica
Join us for a performance of passionate dancers who dedicate their time, passion and talent to showcase traditional dances from Mexico.
Oakland Center, The Habitat | 6 p.m.
Sponsored by HALO

Saturday, September 30 | Sábado 30 de Septiembre

Community Service Project at Hispanic Outreach Center
Work alongside Hispanic Outreach Center students and mentors to prepare their facility and grounds for the fall. Lunch provided to those who sign up: Hispanic Outreach Center Volunteer Sign-Up Form.
Meet at the Hispanic Outreach Center, 76 Williams, Pontiac, MI | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Wednesday, October 4 | Miércoles 4 de Octubre

LatinxERG And Rec Well Mental Health in Brown Communities Discussion with OU faculty and community agencies while spending time with Fur Angels (Therapy Dogs)
Oakland Center, The Habitat | 11:30-1:30 PM
Sponsored by LatinxERG And Rec Well

Thursday, October 5 | Jueves 5 de Octubre

Viewing of This Stolen Country of Mine with a live Q&A with award winning director Marc Wiese
Oakland Center, The Habitat | Noon
Register at 2023 Hispanic Film Fest page.
Sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages, School of Engineering, SHPE Oakland University

Tuesday, October 10 | Martes 10 de Octubre
Hispanic Heritage Month Book Club

Featured book: Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Join us as we celebrate Hispanic and Latinx authors! Though we will be highlighting the featured work of Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez, reading the book is not required to attend this event. We will provide an opportunity for folks to share their favorite Hispanic and Latinx authors and/or works.
Oakland Center, Lake Michigan | Noon – 1 p.m.

Thursday, October 12 | Jueves 12 de Octubre

Closing Ceremony
Profiles of Excellence Event-Chingona 101 Panel
Get a master class on how to redefine the term "Chingona" pronounced cheen gō ná/ from bossy to fierce in celebration of community leaders who exemplify what it means to be a Chingona in male-dominated fields.
Oakland Center, Gold Room A | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sponsored by LatinxERG

Although the event is in-person, we created a Zoom link, in the event you want to share among your networks.
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 990 1482 0033
Passcode: 779191

Reflections on the Changing Goals and Values of Higher Education: Creating Space and Agency for an Inclusive Campus with Dr. Ruth E. Zambrana
Dr. Zambrana, a leading scholar and award-winning author, has published widely on health and racial inequity, with concentrations on women's health, maternal and child health, socioeconomic health disparities and life course impacts on the health and mental well-being of historically underrepresented minorities. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a recipient of the 2011 Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award (American Sociological Association).
RSVP here. 
Oakland Center, Banquet Room A | 6:30 p.m.


2023 Hispanic Heritage Month Committee

  • Guadalupe Avalos, Hispanic American Leadership Organization, Vice President
  • Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo, Modern Languages & Literature, Spanish, Associate Professor
  • Aura Cazares, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Jimena Garcia, Oakland University Student Congress
  • Nicole Lucio, Chair- Center for Multicultural Initiatives, Assistant Director
  • Pedro Marin, University Housing, Residence Director
  • Jean Ann Miller, Office for Student Involvement, Senior Director
  • Rebecca Mercado Jones, Department of Communication and Journalism, Communication, Assistant Professor, LxLA-ERG
  • Cecilia Saenz-Roby, Modern Languages & Literature, Spanish, Associate Professor
  • Luis Villa Diz, Biological Sciences, Assistant Professor

2023 Hispanic Heritage Month Sponsors

  • Center for Multicultural Initiatives
  • Office for Student Involvement
  • Hispanic American Leadership Organization
  • Spanish Club
  • Sigma Delta Pi
  • Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
  • School of Engineering
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Oakland University
  • University Housing, Residence Life Association
  • Oakland University Student Congress
  • Latinx Employee Resource Group
  • University Recreation and Well-Being