From Staff Reports
Clayton State University has a number of events scheduled as part of its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
The events, sponsored by the university's Department of Campus Life, Diversity Educational Experiences for Peers educators, the Campus Events Council and the Hispanic Student Association, kick off on Wednesday with a "Salsa Dance Party."
Hispanic Heritage Month started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, according to University Spokesman John Shiffert. The observance was expanded in 1988 under Ronald Reagan, he said, and Sept. 15 was chosen as the start date because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
"Hispanic Heritage Month is the period to recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture," Shiffert said.
Wednesday's Salsa Dance Party on Clayton State's Morrow campus will be sponsored by the Campus Events Council and the Hispanic Student Association, and will offer those in attendance free, professional dance instruction along with Latin food. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., in the Student Activities Center, in ballroom C.
The university's official kick off to Hispanic Heritage Month will be held Sept. 15 from 11:30 a.m., to 1:30 p.m., on the university center quad. The "Lakers Fiesta" will include live music from the Latin band, Tahino, authentic Latin food and games.
The event is sponsored by the Department of Campus Life and the Diversity Educational Experiences for Peers group.
On Sept. 23, the Hispanic Student Association will host a "Nacho Fund-raiser" from 11:30 a.m., to 1 p.m., on the university center's Main Street. Nachos will be $2.
The same night, the group will host a movie event from 7 to 9 p.m., in Student Activity Center ballroom C.
On Sept. 29, the Hispanic Student Association will host its Hispanic Cultural Show, from 7 to 9 p.m., also in Student Activity Center ballroom C. The event will feature live performances showcasing various aspects of Hispanic culture.
The Campus Life Department and Diversity Educational Experiences for Peers will host a conversation on immigration on Oct. 7 from 6 to 7 p.m., in activity center ballroom C. The discussion, "Immigration: Helpful or Hurtful to America?" will focus on the growing national debate over illegal immigration.
Clayton County's population of about 272,000 people includes more than 30,000 Hispanics, according to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates compiled by the Atlanta Regional Commission in late 2008. The Hispanic population in Clayton is nearly double the 2000 population of 17,728, according to the data released by ARC.
In Henry County, the Hispanic population has more than tripled from 2000. Census data shows an estimated 9,240 Hispanics lived in Henry in 2007, and 2,692 in 2000.
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