Latinx Heritage Month raises money for nonprofit organization at border


The Latinx Heritage Month celebration took place in the Lion’s Den. Anissa Gardizy / Beacon Archives

By Casey Bernhard, Staff Reporter

Five resident assistants welcomed students to the third annual Latinx Heritage Month Celebration in the Lion’s Den on Nov. 25, an event put together to raise money for organizations that help those struggling with immigration issues at the border. 

Resident assistant and senior Chantal Encalada said Latinx Heritage Month is an annual event to celebrate heritage and raise awareness about important issues affecting Latin culture.

“One of the biggest things we wanted to do this year is give back to the community,” Encalada said. “There’s a huge immigration issue at the border right now, so we’re trying to figure out ways that we can help from here.”  

According to Encalada, the RAs will donate to RAICES, a nonprofit organization that provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.

The organizers said they had hoped to sell raffle tickets to raise money, but when they found out that they wouldn’t be able to due to state law, they decided to offer students the opportunity to donate money, food, or clothing instead.

The raffle tickets were still given out at no cost to students. Encalada said she hoped students who won prizes will donate to the cause. 

During the event, attendees were invited to enjoy food catered from local Latin-American restaurants while Latinx students performed spoken word, song, and dance. Behind them, a slideshow played featuring paintings, photographs, and other works by Latinx artists.

Latinx Heritage Month takes place from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 every year; however, organizers said they believed the celebration was too important to only be contained within a month. The event was the third of its kind at Emerson, and Encalada said she hopes it will continue to grow.

“My biggest hope for next year is for people to come enjoy our food and know that we make it with so much love, so much care, and so much passion, but also to stay for our words,” she said. “Especially if you’re trying to be an ally for this community, know that we are more than just our spices.”

Encalada said that she believes events such as the Latinx Heritage Month Celebration are important because they give students with different identities the opportunity to be heard.

“It does take a lot of work, and sometimes you don’t have a big crowd, but I know that the person who was performing had a platform, and that’s what matters,” she said. “I want people [of all] identities to know that they’re not alone.”