In recognition of its growing population of students of Hispanic and Latinx heritage, A-B Tech is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month for the first time.
As of this fall, 14.3% of A-B Tech’s academic students and 41% of students enrolled in English Language Acquisition and high school equivalency programs identify as Hispanic or Latinx.
The US observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in August 1988 to cover a 30-day period from September 15 through October 15. Americans celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Columbus Day, or Día de la Raza, also falls within this 30-day period.
A-B Tech scheduled a variety of activities throughout the month, including:
- Latin-inspired Dance Lessons with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office
- Hispanic Heritage Month Documentary Series, Oct. 9-12, 2023, Ferguson Auditorium (Visit abtech.edu/HHM for a list of films, dates, and times)
- “No Limits” radio show on October 11 featuring Enrollment Director Sandra Brown, who was born in Colombia, and local activist Yolanda Bopp. Listen live at 11 a.m. on WRES 100.7 FM or hear replays on WRES or at abtech.edu/no-limits.
- Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Skull Decorating for Students, Oct. 11, 12-1:30 p.m., Beech Tree Deck
- ALAS (Asheville Latin Americans Achieving Success) Scholarship Information Session for students with Alikhan Salehi and Sandra Brown, who serve on the ALAS Board of Directors, Thursday, Oct. 12, 12:30 p.m., Ferguson Auditorium
- Information from the Global Education Committee about Hispanic heritage and local events
- Student success stories in English and Spanish on social media
- Locke Library book display
- Features in the Trailblazer Talk student newsletter and Tech Talk employee newsletter