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Events at West campus celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

September 14, 2009

A theatrical production, appearances by two noted Hispanic leaders, and a night of dancing are on the agenda as Arizona State University’s West campus celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. Events, scheduled from Sept. 15 through Oct. 16, are free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring a donation of non-perishable food to support a drive that will benefit local food banks.

“We’re pleased to offer a range of thought-provoking and entertaining events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month,” says Lucy Berchini, chairwoman of the Hispanic Heritage Committee at ASU’s West campus. “We want to give the campus and the community at large the opportunity to experience the tremendous variety within the Hispanic community.”

The schedule at ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix, is:

Reception and one-act play, “A Boy Named Cesar,” Tuesday, Sept. 15:

“A Boy Named Cesar” focuses on a 10-year-old boy in Yuma, Ariz., who would grow up to become one of the nation’s great civil rights leaders. ASU faculty members James Garcia and Julie Amparano wrote this play about labor leader Cesar Chavez; the production is directed by Terry Earp.

The performance is set for 7 p.m. in Second Stage West, lower level of the University Center Building. Prior to the play, a reception celebrating the opening of Hispanic Heritage Month will be held in the La Sala ballroom, also in the University Center Building. The reception starts at 6 p.m.

An evening with Raul Yzaguirre, Tuesday, Sept. 22:

Raul Yzaguirre is one of the most widely recognized national leaders in the Latino community. As the former president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Yzaguirre has been involved in many of the most critical legislative and public policy issues affecting Latinos during the past three decades. He is now a presidential professor of practice at the Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at ASU, where he continues to follow his mission to improve opportunities for Hispanics.

This event starts at 6:30 p.m. in the La Sala ballroom, in the University Center Building.

Brown bag lunch with Armando Contreras, Wednesday, Sept. 30:

Armando Contreras, the new executive director of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will discuss the recession, the Arizona economy, and how Latino consumers and businesses are making an impact. Contreras has served as director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and as executive director of the Governor’s Council on Small Business.  He also is a member of the board of directors of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise.

This event will be held at noon in Room 265 of the University Center Building.

A Night of Dance, Friday, Oct. 16:

This event features a dance contest in which couples will be judged on their performance of salsa, reggaeton and cumbia dances. At least one member of each couple in the competition must be an ASU student, faculty member or staff member; contact to sign up to compete. Other attendees will have the opportunity to learn and practice their dance steps.

A Night of Dance will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. in the University Center Building’s La Sala ballroom.

For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month events, contact Berchini at or (602) 543-6091.