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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Hispanic Heritage Month empowers Latinas, opens eyes
Nate Britton
Antelope Staff
Photo by Natte Britton
Amber Lewis, a recent graduate of UNK, who is currently a teacher at Kearney High School, explains he hardships Latina women have faced throughout history.
Photo by Nate Britton
Dr. Claude Louishomme, an associate professor of political science, is engaging the audience and the speaker about important things to think about when it comes to Latina womens history. He believes the way people use the word Hispanic makes it to broad for a classification.

Latina women have fought a hard battle trying to have their voices heard. Historically, they found themselves taking a back seat to either the Chicano National Movement or the larger “white” feminist movement both occurring back in the 70s.

However, on Oct. 7 the Latina Women’s History Event at the student union had its largest turnout in years.

The Sisler Room was packed with people of all ethnicities who had ears wide open ready for Iota Iota Iota (Triota), the women’s and gender studies honor society, and Sigma Lambda Gamma's event. The idea was to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by taking a look at Latina women’s roles throughout history.

Guest speaker, Amber Lewis, is a Kearney High  School teacher who recently graduated from UNK with a secondary education degree and a women’s studies minor.

“I think this event is important, because the topic is so often overlooked,” Lewis said. “Most people don’t talk about this on a daily basis, but I do believe it has growing importance in our society.”

Lewis brought up facts about Latina women fighting for feminist issues such as abortion, equal access to education, established child care centers and even abolition of traditional marriages.

Latina women had a hard time being heard because they had to deal with the “trifecta” of issues: gender, race and class. “The oppression seems much more severe to me, because they have to deal with their identities as both women and their race,” Lewis said.

She added we should all be looked at just as people and not for the things that make up our physical appearance.

Rebeca Acosta, an international studies major and  president of Triota said, “This month is Hispanic Heritage Month, and I think it’s important to celebrate Latin history. Events like this one can really open people’s eyes to see women have an important role in history as well.”

She said that she hopes events like this one will help students at UNK become more comfortable with people of different ethnicities. It’s a sad sight to see people form their own groups when usually there isn’t that much diversity within those groups, Acosta said.

“You can’t force people to be friends with other people, but you can point them in the right direction by informing them of their similarities,” Acosta said, “I want to get people to explore other cultures, and I hope to encourage some people with that step.”

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