‘Identities Beyond Borders’ explained in Latino studies lecture


Bridgette Fox

Attendees surrounding the piñata at El Grito as one participant attempts to break it open. The celebration of Latino Heritage Month will continue through mid-October, with events planned over the next month by the Latino Resource Center.

Latino Heritage Month began Sept. 15 and lasts for a whole month to celebrate the past generations’ traditions and accomplishments who came from Mexico, Spain, Central and South America. 

NIU has begun celebrating Latino Heritage Month. The Latino Resource Center has already hosted many events for Latino students to participate in and show their cultural pride.

Jonathan Rosa, an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, hosted his lecture “Latinx Languages and Identities Beyond Borders” via Zoom on Thursday This event informed students and faculty about language concepts, race and popular debates about Latino people. 

“Latino is an ethnical category, not a racial category,” Rosa said. 

Rosa explained that Latinos can actually belong to any race. Latinos may find it difficult or unhelpful to express their racial identity using traditional U.S. racial groups, depending on the situation. 

“For years, the Latino population has been spreading across the country,” Rosa said. “Latinos are raising the population in the future.”

The Latino population is one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States. Latinos are embracing their ethnicity and finding ways to grow with their group.

The event that Rosa hosted had a turnout of 30 students and staff members. 

The 50th anniversary of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School and the broader work of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center will be honored during a two-day workshop on Sept. 23-24 in Humboldt Park, Chicago – the multilayered Paseo Boricua neighborhood.

A community tour and workshops on subjects like health, housing, education, business, economic development, arts and culture will be part of Day One. On Day Two, there will be a plenary session and groups of academics and community leaders who will discuss topics like developing successful communities.