Latino Cultural Center
Purdue's Semana de la Raza

February 16, 2007

Latino Cultural Center celebrates 'Semana de la Raza'

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Latino Cultural Center will share aspects of the Latin culture from Feb. 26 through March 2 at Purdue University's annual celebration of "Semana de la Raza," or Week of the People.

Students chose this year's theme, "La Nueva Cultura," which means The New Culture, said center director Maricela Alvarado.

"This, our third year, has been the best yet for student involvement at the Latino Cultural Center," Alvarado said. "Semana de la Raza, which has been celebrated primarily on the West Coast during the first week of March, is now becoming a tradition at Purdue because the students have embraced this celebration as a way to promote social justice within Latino communities and also as a way to share the beautiful aspects of our cultures."

The celebration, which is free and open to the public, will feature a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 in Beering Hall, Room 2280. Topics will cover economic, political, social and health issues surrounding immigration.

Panelists include Martin Alcala Salgado, deputy consul of the Mexican Consulate of Indianapolis; Juana Watson, senior adviser for Latino affairs in the office of the governor; Ricardo Gambetta, director of Latino affairs for the Indianapolis mayor's office; John Clark Senior, fellow of the Sagamore Institute of Indianapolis and adjunct professor of political science at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis; and Vanessa Villegas Lopez and Rafael Ramirez, both Indianapolis attorneys.

Other events during the week include:

* Feb. 26. 8 p.m. Matthews Hall, Room 210. "Maquilapolis: City of Factories." Documentary on the everyday lives of the women employed by Maquila Factories, which are operated in Mexico under preferential tariff programs established by the U.S. and Mexican governments to encourage the development of industry in Mexico. The documentary will be followed by a discussion led by Kimber Nicoletti of the Communities Against Rape Initiative (CARe). This event is presented by the Latino Cultural Center, CARe and Purdue's Women?s Resource Office.  

* Feb. 28. 7 p.m. Purdue Memorial Union's East La Posada, located in the basement. Slam poet and spoken-word artist Oveous Maximus will perform his hip hop, soul and rap brand of poetry. He was featured on "Showtime at the Apollo," and appeared on HBO's "DEF Poetry" season six and on CurrentTV video "The Millions."

* March 1. 5-9 p.m. Latino Cultural Center, 600 N. Russell St. "Historia Viva" or "Living History." The Latino Cultural Center will help selected students create an audio "time capsule" to leave impressions of current events. Registration is required. For information, contact the center at (765) 494-2530.

* March 2. 7 p.m. Village Coffee House, 100 Northwestern Ave. "Caliente: Circle Around the Sun." Featuring composer-baritone saxophonist Fred Ho and poet Magdalena Gomez, the show is presented by the Latino Cultural Center and the American Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts. Ho is a Chinese-American composer, author, producer, political activist and leader of the Afro Asian Music Ensemble and the Monkey Orchestra. He combines free jazz with traditional Chinese music and has written more than a half dozen operas, music/theater epics, multimedia performances, martial arts ballets and oratorios. Gomez is a performance poet originally from New York City.

Sponsors of Purdue's Semana de la Raza celebration are the American Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts, the Latino Faculty/Staff Association LaFasa, the Latino Cultural Center student organization Embajadores, CARe, the College of Education and the Women's Resource Office.

For information, contact the Latino Cultural Center at (765) 494-2530.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432,

Source: Maricela Alvarado, (765) 494-2530,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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