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'Week of the People' highlights Latino culture

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Portland Community College is celebrating Latino culture for a week in April.

The first annual Latino Awareness Week, “Semana de la Raza: Week of the People,” will be held from Monday, April 16 through April 21 at the Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road. The week is based on education, advocacy and celebration of the rich Latino heritage of Washington County. It is free and open to the public. Parking is also free.

On Saturday, April 21, the Latino Awareness Week will culminate with the festival “Rhythm and Passion: Marking our Legacy,” (“Ritmo & Passion: Marcando Nuestra Legecia”) from noon to 6 p.m. at the campus. The event will feature an opening ceremony with the National Guard Color Guard, a welcoming by Rock Creek President Katherine Persson, music, food, children’s area, Aztec and folkloric dancers, and a four-corners blessing by natives of Central America.

The day will be followed by the, “The César Chávez Evening of Excellence,” at 6 p.m. in the Event Center of Building 9. The César Chávez Distinguished Service Award recipient, Luis Rodriguez, will be honored. Rodriguez, an ex-gang member from Los Angeles, is a local community activist who is an award winning poet and author. He will speak honestly about escaping his violent past and detail the complex, but vital issues of race, class, gender, and personal rage though his art. Rodriguez earned a Carl Sandburg literary Award and his work was designated a New York Times Notable Book.

The Annual César Chávez Distinguished Service Award, handed out by the Multicultural Programming Committee at the campus, recognizes individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the community through leadership, service, and education.

Latino Awareness Week will also include:

* Photo and essay contest luncheon. Participants have submitted their interpretation of the meaning of “Sueños de La Gente,” or “Dreams of the People.” (Noon on Monday, April 16 in the Event Center of Building 9)

* The Illumination Project, an interactive social justice theater project, will perform on racism. (Noon on Tuesday, April 17 in Room 102 of Building 3)

* Teatro Milagro will perform their play, “Frida.” (Noon on Wednesday, April 18 in The Forum of Building 3).

* The History of the Mexican Border Region by Friedrich Schuler, a professor of Latin American Studies at Portland State University. (7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18 in the Events Center of Building 9.)

* Live music by “Marimba.” (Noon on Thursday, April 19 in the mall of Building 3).

* Narce Rodriguez, Rock Creek’s dean of Student Development, will present “Oregon Latinos: Marking Our History.” (Noon on Thursday, April 19 in Room 102 of Building 3).

* Latino Film Festival. (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the mall of Building 3).

For more information about these events, call 503-614-7279.

Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving approximately 88,200 full- and part-time students. For more PCC news, please visit us on the Web at www.pcc.edu/news. PCC has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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