FORT SMITH, (KNWA/KFTA) — Starting September 15, The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith will begin a month-long slate of events celebrating Hispanic and Lanitx Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15.

According to a new release from the university, the events include a nacho bar and salsa dancing under the Bell Tower, Hispanic speakers, and a public open forum discussion. The events will be hosted by the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee

“UAFS has hosted Hispanic heritage Month events in the past and celebrated Hispanic culture, but this is one of the first times someone who is Hispanic has chaired the event,” said Cristina Castorena, professional advisor with the R.O.A.R. First-Year Advising Center, “and I think that speaks volumes about where UAFS wants to be. You can see that we have Hispanic culture everywhere, and celebrating people aside from the environment you know them in – like at work or in class – is important because it says ‘I see you. I see who you are.’”

The release says the campus will also celebrate Hispanic Heritage with flags lining the the Smith Pendergraft Campus Center and book displays in the Boreham Library.

The university will also highlight Hispanic students, faculty, staff, and alumni on its social media pages through short profile pieces and day-in-the-life takeovers.

The full schedule of events includes:

Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off! 
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Center Breezeway 

SALSA at the Bell Tower 
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 
7-10 p.m. at the Campus Green and Bell Tower Plaza 

Keynote speech by Angela Vivar, M.Ed.
Thursday, September 30, 2021 
12:15-1:15 p.m. at the Campus Center Reynolds Room

Coffee, Culture, Conversation – “Cafecito y Pan Dulce” 
Thursday, October 7, 2021
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Center Fireplace

Hispanic Heritage Month Open Forum
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 
5:30-7 p.m. at the Campus Center Reynolds Room