Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Hispanic Heritage Celebration is the celebration of the history, culture, traditions and contributions of the U.S. Latino/a/x and Hispanic communities. The celebration is recognized every September through October.


Thursday, September 30, 2021
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

2263 Kirkhof Center

Rukia Kufakunoga is an up-and-coming children’s book author. Her debut book, Latina Looks Like Me: Latina Como Yo, was written as an ode to her 10-year-old self, as she navigated the complexities of a multicultural upbringing. This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the diverse distinctions and variations of the Afro-Latina community while highlighting the beauty found in the differences. With a Tanzanian father and Panamanian mother, Rukia speaks about her experience as a second-generation immigrant and the plight of feeling culturally overlooked. Latina Looks Like Me: Latina Como Yo not only sheds light on the misconceptions that exist about being an Afro-Latina in American society but promotes diversity and inclusivity. Rukia hopes that her book’s message will help to instill a sense of belonging, hope, and pride in young Latinas.

Children's author, Rukia K., is the founder of Latina Looks Like Me, an empowerment brand dedicated to educating the world about the diversity and beauty of the Latino culture. Rukia received her Bachelor of Science in Community Development from Central Michigan University. The Michigan native is a second-generation immigrant, born to parents from Tanzania and Panama. She is an Afro-Latina who is proud of her culture and excited to have a platform that caters to her community.

Rukia K.

Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid

Thursday, October 7, 2021
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center

Dr. William D. Lopez is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the author of the book, Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid. Dr. William D. Lopez details the incredible strain that immigration raids place on Latino communities—and the families and friends who must recover from their aftermath. As a Clinical Assistant Professor, William teaches a range of public health classes, including “Health Impacts of Immigration Law Enforcement in the U.S.” This class focuses on the violence of immigration enforcement on the individual, family, and community levels and asks what we, as researchers and advocates, can do to address it. Themes include militarized immigration raids, ICE and local police collaboration, routinized fear, the stigma of being targeted by ICE, and the links between the immigration advocacy and the Black Lives Matter movement. His current public health research considers 1) the ways in which fear of immigration enforcement impacts health service utilization in mixed-status communities and 2) community responses to large scale immigration work raids. 

Dr. William D. Lopez

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Friday, October 29, 2021 - Thursday, November 4, 2021

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
1240 Kirkhof Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs Lobby

Día de Muertos is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by the people of Mexican ancestry living in other places. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember those who have passed away, and help support their spiritual journey. Bread and coffee will be served in the morning on Monday, November 1. 

Day of the Dead

Previous Celebrations

Hispanic Heritage Celebration Contact

Thalia Guerra-Flores
Office of Multicultural Affairs
Grand Valley State University
Email: guerraft@gvsu.edu
Phone: (616) 331-2177

Page last modified September 13, 2021