Fall 2023 Events

From Heat to Heritage: A 10,000-Year History of Chilies in the Prehispanic Americas

Friday, November 3, 2023 | 5pm6:30pm | Taylor 405, The Union

Join us on a sizzling journey through time as we uncover the spicy history of chili peppers. From their fiery origins in the Americas to their global impact during the Columbian Exchange, these peppers have left an indelible mark on our world and on our plates. Dr. Katherine Chiou will discuss their origins, their important places in ancient lifeways, and their fascinating journey—and enduring impact—through the ages.


Leyendas de mi tierra (Stories from Home)

Sunday, October 29, 2023 | van departs at 11am | Gala Hispanic Theater

Dr. Fawn-Amber Montoya and Kwyn Townsend Riley are taking a group of JMU students to the dance performance Leyendas de mi Tierra (Stories from Home) at the Gala Hispanic Theater in Washington, DC. The performance focuses on the stories of people in the southwestern United States. LAXC and POSC have sponsored a post-performance lecture by Dr. Myrriah Gomez, author of Nuclear Nuevo Mexico, which will discuss the impact of building the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. If you would like to attend and travel with HON and LAXC, please RSVP by filling out this form. The van will leave at 11am on Sunday for the 2pm performance and will return Sunday evening.

Stories from Home is a series of dances embodying the oral traditions of Nuevomexicano, Chicano, and Mexican American communities in the American Southwest. Choreographer Yvonne Montoya, a 23rd-generation Nuevomexicana, and an all-Mexican American cast of dancers draw upon personal histories and ancestral knowledge including stories from Montoya's great-grandmother, grandmother, great-aunts, and father. With palpable theatricality, moving spoken word, a movement aesthetic informed by vibrant ancestral and contemporary sources, and universal themes of love, family, and home, Stories from Home brings largely underrepresented Southwest Latino American experiences and histories to the stage.

The Ghandi Center is a sponsor of the performance. This will lower the cost for JMU students, faculty, and staff to $15 per ticket.

Please contact Dr. Montoya (montoyfa@jmu.edu) if you have any questions.


Queer Teach-in

Wedenesday, October 4, 2023 | 4:30pm | Madison Union 256

Attend a day of lectures, workshops, performances, art, exhibits, and actions that center queer content. Bring your JAC for admittance. Contact Kristen Kelley kelle8km@jmu.edu


Migration, Religion, and Peacemaking in El Salvador

Monday, October 2, 2023 | 4:30pm | Burruss 0144

In a country affected by climatic change, lack of food in the basic food basket (BFB), common crime and gender-based violence, migration and corruption, Noemí is working to address these issues though a culture of peace programs.

Noemí Sánchez studied Business Administration from the University of El Salvador and serves on the Board of Directors of the Calvinist Reformed Church of El Salvador. She has put her faith and skills into practice by organizing youth workshops and community activities promoting peace and teaching peaceful inter-personal skills.


Crafting Commemorations: Dia de Los Muertos in the Shenandoah Valley

Thursday, October 5, 2023 | 5:30pm–7:30pm | The Union Ballroom

Join this community as we expand our conversations about how JMU can create and support spaces that are authentic and respectful to honor Día de los Muertos in our communities.
Learn more about the Crafting Commemorations event on the JMU Libraries event page.

Latinx Keynote Speaker and Reception: Dr. Abel Chaves

Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | 6:30pm | The Union Ballroom

Abel Chavez  is president of  Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. He is a first generation college student, and the son of Mexican immigrants. Dr. Chávez  completed his BS in Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado Denver, an MBA from the University of Houston, and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Colorado, Denver. Before becoming president of OLLU, he was the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success at Western Colorado University.
Learn more about the Latinx Keynote Speaker event on the Event Calendar.

DEEP Impact Dialogue: Celebrating Hisapnic Heritage Month

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 7pm | SSC 1075

Come join the DEEP Impact Diversity Educators for a conversation for Hispanic Heritage Month!
Learn more about this DEEP Impact Dialogue event on the Event Calendar.

Latinx Faculty Panel and Lunch

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 | 11am–1pm | SSC 1312, CMSS-SOGIE Suite

Come into the CMSS Latinx Student Lounge to hear from three Latinx professors at JMU. This panel and conversation will include a time to learn from faculty, engage in conversation, and share lunch together.

Salsa & Salsa Latinx Heritage Month Kick Off

Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 6:30pm–7:30pm | UREC 129

Join CMSS, The Honors College, and Madison Hispanic Caucus in kicking off Latinx Heritage Month at JMU! Salsa & Salsa is an opportunity to make & try different salsas (with chips!) and dance some salsa! Join faculty & students to celebrate Latinx culture and identity in the United States.


Spring 2023 Events

U.S. Democracy and the Latino/a/x Community

Thursday, April 6 | 5pm | Hartmon Hall, Rm 2021

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Sergio Gonzalez from Marquette University, who will be speaking alongside a panel moderated by Dr. Robert Aguirre (Dean of the College of Arts and Letters) and consisting of faculty, community members, and advocates. Panelists will discuss political complexities of Latino/a/x communities and what that means for democratic engagement locally, nationally, and in terms of advocacy. 


LAXC- MHC Open House Week

March 27-30 | Times Vary | Moody Hall, Rm 102

LAXC is excited to announce our first ever Open House Week! All students are invited to participate in the variety of events we're hosting which are listed below. Enjoy brunch and lunch on us on Monday and Tuesday! Tie-Dye your own LAXC t-shirt (all materials will be provided and supplies are limited) on Wednesday! Get cozy and acquainted with our space and watch Disney's Encanto with us on Thursday, while we play different games like Uno and Lotería! 


Monday, March 27 | 11-2pm | Moody 102: Brunch will be catered from JMU Dining.

Tuesday, March 28 | 3-5pm | Moody 102: Come and enjoy tacos from Mi Pueblito Grill.

Wednesday, March 29 | 5-7pm | Moody 102/ Quad: Tie-Dye your own LAXC t-shirt for free! We'll wash your shirts too and have them available for you to pick up in the LAXC lounge by the end of the week! All materials will be provided including the shirt, but supplies and shirts are limited.

Thursday, March 30 | 7-9pm | Moody 102: Get comfy with LAXC and join us for our first game night! We'll be playing different games like Lotería and Uno and watching Disney's Encanto. Snacks and light refreshments will be provided too.


Conversations w/ the Experts: The Latino/a/x Experience as a Research Topic 

March 3 | 1-4pm | Holland-Yates Hall

Invited experts, Benny J. Andrés, Sarah Deutsch, and Daniel Morales, will share their current research topics and the variety of audiences where their work has reached can be models for undergraduate students. In small discussion groups, experts and JMU students will engage in an informal brainstorming session about research topics and experience regarding Latinx populations.

Fall 2022 Events

Civic Engagement Beyond Voting & Citizenship 

November 2 | 3-4pm | The Union, Taylor 405

Join JMU Civic, JMU LAXC, and JMU SLI for a film followed by a facilitated discussion on civic engagment and what it looks like wgen voting isn't an option! Popcorn will be provided!


SOMOS JMU Latinx Conference 

October 28 | 8:30am- 3pm | Festival Conference and Student Center

The Madison Hispanic Caucus and College of Arts & Letters will bring Latinx Virginia stakeholders together to network and share calls for action. 

The conference will offer various panels and presenters discussing current trends in Latinx topics such as: social justice, health, identity, representation, and how this population is reshaping the demographic in the Commonwealth and in the nation!


Honoring Día de los Muertos in the Shenandoah Valley

October 25 | 6:30pm-8pm | Rose Library, 3rd Floor- Flex Space

Join us Tuesday for Crafting Commemorations: Honoring Día de los Muertos in the Shenandoah Valley! This event, featuring Estela Knott, will discuss how to celebrate the holiday as well as reflect on its cultural significance. 


2022 Hispanic Film Festival 

September 21-25 | Times Vary | Court Square Theatre Harrisonburg, VA

Court Square Theatre is proud to announce the 2022 Hispanic Film Festival!
These films have been carefully selected by Karina Kline-Gabel and the JMU Foreign Language Department to inform, entertain, and celebrate the Spanish language and Latinx cultures. Co-sponsored by JMU Honors College and JMU LAXC.
Fall 2021 Events

The Global Civil Rights Movement 

December 2 | 7-9pm | Festival Ballroom A

Join the Department of Philosophy and Religion for this symposium on the global civil rights movement, co-sponsored by the Office of the Associate Provost for Diversity; the College of Arts and Letters; the Department of Justice Studies; the Cohen Center for the Humanities; the Department of History; the Center for Civic Engagement; the African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies Center; and Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean (LAXC) Studies, featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Iliana Yamileth Rodriguez. The event will be held in Ballroom A in Festival on East Campus from 7-9pm on December 2.


Exploring Día de los Muertos: Creating 'Altar'ed Spaces

November 11 | 7-8:15pm | Zoom

Join us for a virtual discussion of Día de los Muertos and its evolution in U.S. society. Participants will discuss the history and commercialization of Día de los Muertos and the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. Register: https://conta.cc/3GtOoijThis event is organized by students in HUM 252H, SCOM 447, and HON 200 and co-sponsored by the JMU's Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue, JMU Honors College, and JMU Libraries.


Warming the Campus Climate

October 25 | 4pm | Zoom

Join university leaders for a discussion on recruitment and retention of BIPOC faculty and students featuring Dania Matos, J.D., Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion at the University of California, Berkley; Dr. Nina HA, Asian Cultural Center Director at Virginia Tech; and Kwadwo Assensoh of the Campus Center on Diversity and Community at the University of Oregon. This is a Discussions on Diversity event sponsored by AAAD, LAXC, APIDA, & The Office of the Provost.


Meet, Greet, Sip with AAAD and LAXC - Faculty Only

October 20 | 5:30-7pm | Pale Fire Brewing Co

Join us for a social gathering of old and new colleagues at Pale Fire Brewing Co on October 20. Beer will be available for purchase and light appetizers from Boboko will be provided. This event is for faculty and staff only.


American Exile Film Screening with John Valadez

October 18 | 6-8pm | Memorial Hall 4110 (Auditorium)

John Valadez produced the film, American Exile. Film will be shown and then a Q&A Session with director. Details of film: Two Brothers, Manuel and Valente Valenzuela, both volunteered and fought in Vietnam. Fifty years later, they are among thousands of U.S. military veterans, many with distinguished records, who are being deported. The brothers reluctantly put their uniforms on for one last time; to bring deported veterans and their families back home. Its a quixotic quest that leaves one brother exiled in a foreign country while the other will go all the way to the White House.


Madison Hispanic Caucus Banquet

October 14 | TBD | TBD

Join us for the Madison Hispanic Caucus Banquet. More details will be announced soon.


Haitian Migration & U.S. Policy - Virtual Panel

October 8 | 11:30-12:45pm | Zoom & YouTube

Join us for this fascinating virtual panel on Haitian migration and U.S. policy sponsored by AAAD, LAXC, JMU Civic, JMU Justice Studies, and JMU Political Science. You can find more information on the Facebook event page (https://fb.me/e/1L6MFERD9), join the Zoom call (https://bit.ly/jmuhaiti), or watch the live stream on YouTube (https://bit.ly/jmucivicyt).


JMU Civic Presents Who is Dayani Cristal?

October 7 | 6:30pm | Grafton Stovall Theater

Join JMU Civic for a screening of Gael García Bernal and Marc Silver's film, Who is Dayani Cristal? in Grafton Stovall Theater on October 7. For more information on the film, visit the website: https://whoisdayanicristal.com/about 


CMSS D.E.E.P. Impact Dialogue: Exploring Latinx History, Culture, and Identity

October 6 | 7:30-9:30pm | SSC 1075

Join CMSS for the second of our twice-monthly D.E.E.P. Impact Dialogue in Success Center 1075 on September 22. D.E.E.P. Impact Dialogue events aim to educate students on different aspects of diversity and create a brave and open space for engaging in conversation and learning from one another. Topics vary. For more information, contact Jordan Todd at toddja@jmu.edu


Hispanic Film Festival

September 29 - October 3 | Times Vary | Court Square Theater

Join us for at Court Square Theater in downtown Harrisonburg for the Hispanic Film Festival sponsored by Rockingham County, Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Arts Council of the Valley. Tickets for the event are $9.50 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for students. 

Screenings include: La Llorona (Sat & Sun), I Carry You With Me (Wed & Thurs), Song Without a Name (Friday - 2 showings), and Dolores (Thurs & Sun)


LSA Heritage Week

September 27 - October 2

Join all of us in celebrating LSA Heritage Week. Keep an eye out for all the great events sponsored by CMSS and others during this week.


CMSS D.E.E.P. Impact Dialogue: Olmeca

September 23 | 7:30-9:30pm | Forbes

Join the Center for Multicultural Student Services and College of Arts & Letters in celebrating Latinx Heritage Month at JMU with speaker and performer Olmeca! Thursday, Sept 23, at Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 pm. Olmeca is a Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist and scholar who has been featured on BBC London, Complex Magazine, Noisey, Huffington Post, NPR, Democracy Now and CNN Latino. His music has been featured on various documentaries including PBS “Independent Lens”, and “Two Americans,” a documentary about the immigration issues in Arizona. Olmeca grew up in the barrios of L.A. and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity. While everyday people respect his lyrical content, music connoisseurs value the production, and educators utilize Olmeca’s music in their classrooms. For more information, contact Jordan Todd at toddja@jmu.edu


CMSS Latinx Fiesta on the Commons

September 15 | 4:30-6pm | The Commons

Join CMSS for the Latinx Fiesta on The Commons featuring SalsaBurg DJ and dance lessons. For more information, contact Rebeca Barge at bargers@jmu.edu.


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