Celebrating Latin American culture and contributions

The University of Northern Iowa's Rod Library has been selected to participate in the "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" grant. The library will receive $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities and American Library Association to support programming.

"Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" is a public exploration of the rich and varied experiences of Latinos who have helped shape the U.S. over the last five centuries and who have become, with more than 50 million people, the country's largest minority group.

Hispanic Heritage Month"We are extremely excited to have been awarded this grant," said Jessica Cruz, UNI Museum exhibit preparator and Rod Library's Latino American Grant project manager. "Not only does it give us the opportunity to work with multiple entities on campus to highlight Latinos in the United States, it also enables us to reach beyond the UNI community to engage the Cedar Valley. We have a lineup of wonderful events, and we look forward to working with our various partners throughout the year to celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture in Iowa."

UNI is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, to kick off the grant initiative. The library hosted an event on Sept. 15, which is a significant date because it is the anniversary of independence for some Latin American countries. Students, faculty and staff sampled Hispanic foods, enjoyed festive music and were wowed by the colorful, flowing costumes worn by students performing traditional Hispanic dances.

Additional programming related to the "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" grant has been scheduled throughout the fall and spring semesters. More information and a complete schedule can be found on Rod Library's diversity website.