Texas Tech University

University Hosts Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month Discussion Series

Amanda Castro-Crist

September 28, 2020

Discussion panelists

The series includes three virtual discussion panels with local experts who will speak about issues affecting the Latinx community.

Texas Tech University's Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month committee will launch a new virtual discussion series today (Sept. 28). The series includes three discussion panels that will focus on issues affecting the Latinx community: representation, health in the Latinx community and immigration.

Making up the committee, sponsored by Dell Technologies, are members of several Latinx student groups, including the Hispanic Student Society, Jolt and Unidos Por Un Mismo Idioma. The committee is chaired by Dalia Guerrero Villalobos, who serves as the Latinx representative for the Texas Tech Student Intersectional Leadership Council.

"We decided on these topics because hosting one single conversation would not cover the complexities of each topic, which have had an impact on the quality of life of Latinxs in Texas and the United States," said Guerrero Villalobos, a senior double major in general studies and global studies. "Although others may enjoy our food, culture, music and people, it is important to have these conversations because we need to acknowledge and educate ourselves about the struggles and disparities that Latinx people from various walks of life face. The more educated our community and others are, the faster the change will come."

The first discussion, "Latinx Representation," will be at 5 p.m. today (Sept. 28) and will include an introductory message from former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke. The panelists are Jorge Iber, a history professor and associate dean of student affairs for College of Arts & Sciences; Christy Martinez, community organizer and Latino Lubbock publisher; and Judge Aurora Chaides-Hernandez, Lubbock Justice of the Peace – Precinct 3.

The panelists will discuss voting trends in the Latinx community, the importance of completing the U.S. Census and debunking census misconceptions that limit Latinx participation; population increases of Latinx people in Texas and the U.S.; and the importance of community engagement. Attendance is free and open to the public. Attendees may join the discussion on Zoom using the Zoom ID 930 3210 5549.

The second panel, "Health in the Latinx Community," will take place on Oct. 5, and will focus on the impact of COVID-19 in the Latinx community and the experience of working in health care as a Latinx person. Panelists also will discuss mental health, health care misconceptions, language disparities and lack of health insurance in the Latinx community.

The final panel, "Immigration Issues Affecting the Latinx Community," will be held on Oct. 12. The panelists will discuss recent changes to immigration policies, conditions in for-profit immigrant detention centers and how federal policy changes have affected the Latinx community.
Panelists' information and Zoom IDs will be shared for the second and third panels at a later date.

"I hope people gain a new perspective after participating in these conversations," Villalobos said. "Although we might not immediately change mindsets or improve livelihoods, we hope these conversations are continued on campus and in the city of Lubbock."