John A. Nunes, PhD

Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month, 2023

Dear Cal Lutheran Community,

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Latinx Heritage Month. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, California Lutheran University will honor the histories, cultures, and contributions of the Latinx community in the United States. We begin our celebration on Sept. 15 by recognizing the anniversary of the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The anniversaries of the independence of Mexico and Chile follow on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.  

As a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), we join the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) in recognizing the contributions of institutions like ours. We will partner with internal and external community members to celebrate HSI Week, underway now (Sept. 11-17). 

As part of both HSI Week and Latinx Heritage Month, we are offering an array of activities and educational programs. These are co-sponsored by the Office of Talent, Culture, and DiversityCenter for Cultural Engagement and InclusionStudent LifeEDU|CALProject CHESS (Collaborative for Hispanics in Higher Education & Student Success); Graduate School of EducationFilm and Television DepartmentEthnic and Race Studies ProgramESPHA (Embracing Spanish for the Professions at Home and Abroad) Grant; Languages and Cultures DepartmentHistory DepartmentArtist and Speakers CommitteeSarah W. Heath Center for Equality and JusticeLatinx Alumni Alliance; and Alumni, Family and Community Relations. All work in partnership with student groups and various departments across campus. 

We are grateful to our students, alumni, staff, and faculty for leaning into the “serving” part of our HSI designation. Our combined efforts have generated a schedule of meaningful programs and services listed in this Latinx Heritage Month Events flyer. We also appreciate, deeply, the collaboration of partners such as the Amgen Foundation, the Ventura County Library, and the nonprofit organization Buen Vecino. 

At Cal Lutheran, our commitment to being an HSI is consistent with the centuries-long efforts of Lutheran reforms designed to increase access to education for traditionally underrepresented students and to welcome the gifts and talents each person brings to our community. This year, 42.5% of incoming undergraduates are Hispanic, so coming together to celebrate HSI Week and Latinx Heritage Month is particularly important and relevant to all of us who live, learn, work at, and partner with Cal Lutheran. 

Latinx Heritage Month is one of six institutional signature events celebrated on campus throughout the academic year. These events have something for everyone: music, traditional food, inspiring speakers, networking opportunities, learning sessions, and more.

It’s a good moment to be at Cal Lutheran — to be a part of inspiring initiatives and constant efforts that will make us a stronger, healthier, and more connected community.

Moving forward together,


Lori E. Varlotta, Ph.D.


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