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U.Va. Latino Students To Express Diverse Heritage

Nov. 5, 1999 -- "Tacos, salsa dancing, machismo. Is this the Latino heritage?" Nearly a dozen University of Virginia students and professors will give answers to this question at "Nuestra America!/Our America!," an innovative multi-media performance on Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Minor Hall 125. The event will reflect the ideas and work of members of U.Va.’s Latino community.

Participants with backgrounds from a variety of Latin American countries will explore their heritage through a unique group self-portrait presented in story, image, music and food. The University community and public are invited to the free program.

Fourth-year student Gina Flores will present and reflect upon a poem written by her father. The verses explore his feelings about being uprooted from Mexico and raising a family in the United States.

Tico Braun, a Colombian-born history professor, will read from his autobiographical manuscript, "Betwixt," which probes the experience of living in two parts of the Americas at once.

Undergraduate student Che Che Correa will reflect on hidden ethnicity and how it affects students who are of more than one origin, such as African-American and Latino. These are just a few examples of the testimonios that will be offered in the program.

Pablo Davis, assistant dean of students, who is helping organize the event, said he hopes the program strengthens unity among Latinos at U.Va. and also helps educate the U.Va. community on Latino culture.

"Our overarching goal is to show that not only is our culture part of the rainbow that is the United States, but that it is itself a rainbow," Davis said.

The rising population of Latinos makes up nearly 4 percent of the total population in Virginia and nearly 3 percent at U.Va. The growing numbers and self-awareness of Latino students have led to the existence of more than a dozen Latino-related organizations on Grounds.

For more information, contact Pablo Davis at (804) 982-2683 or pablo@virginia.edu or Carolina Espinal at cew7y@virginia.edu.

Contact: Jill Johnson, (804) 924-6855

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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