The seventh annual Spanish Language Celebration will be held March 22-23 at Palm Beach State College to recognize one of the world’s most common languages while addressing biculturalism and topics concerning Latinos.
Themed “Latino Americans: History, Culture and Legacy,” the event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. each day in the BioScience Technology Complex and the Library Learning Resource Center at the Palm Beach Gardens campus. It will include panel discussions, forums, musical performances and presentations with higher education scholars and community leaders. It is free and open to the public.
A panel discussion titled “The Immigration Trump Card: A Discussion on Immigration Policy,” is among the highlights March 22. It features immigration attorney Aileen Joseph; Dr. Jeannett Manzanero, director of the Dr. Kathryn W. Davis Global Education Center at PBSC; and Jupiter Councilman Jim Kuretski. In addition, PBSC history Professor Sean Smith will present “Hispanic-America: Historic Roots in U.S. History and Culture” and Robert Van Der Velde, campus associate dean of academic affairs, will partner with Dr. Anita Kaplan, dean of the bachelor degree programs, to discuss “Merging the Past and Present: A Journey through Modern Cuba.”
March 23 will begin with a presentation by Keysi Montás, associate director of the Department of Safety and Security at Dartmouth College on “New Latinos: Inserting Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans into the American Consciousness.” Highlights also include a panel discussion on biculturalism in South Florida featuring labor attorney Isidro Garcia, PBSC English Professor Maria Garcia-Landry and Deema Gichi, a PBSC library assistant. There also will be a discussion on the history of the Tango and Bachata dances.
The Spanish Language Celebration was launched in 2010 by former PBSC Professor Patricia Betancourt, and it has continued under the leadership of Spanish Professor Emmanuel Alavarado.
This year’s celebration is partially funded by a $3,000 grant from “Latino Americans: 500 Years in History,” a nationwide public programming initiative produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. PBSC was among 203 organizations nationwide selected to participate.
Alvarado said the celebration will benefit students and the local community by widening and promoting intercultural understanding. “We’re hoping to bring to the foreground the influence and impact that the Latino population has had in U.S. history and contemporary American society,’’ he said.
For the complete schedule, including times and room locations, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/events/spanish-celebration.