By George Mauzy
Ohio University will kick off its celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month with an opening reception this afternoon in the Baker University Center Theatre Lounge.
The event will run 4 to 7 p.m. and feature light refreshments and the music of Yumbambe, a Columbus-based Salsa and Latin jazz band. The Office of Multicultural Programs and the Multicultural Center are sponsoring the reception.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is held each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, a period that includes the independence days of numerous Latin American countries. Nationally recognized since 1988, the observance is intended to draw attention to the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
Three other events are on tap for the month so far.
Award-nominated TV producer, writer and director Barbara Martinez Jitner will give the month's keynote speech, titled "La Frontera: Femicide on the U.S./Mexican Border," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the Baker University Center Theatre.
Martinez Jitner is the subject of the 2007 movie "Bordertown," which starred Jennifer Lopez and told the true story of the exploitation and murder of more than 400 female factory workers in the Mexican border town of Juarez since 1993.
Martinez Jitner posed as a factory worker in Juarez to uncover the illegal behavior as part of her research for her 2007 documentary "La Frontera," which also told the story of the murders. She recently began working with Amnesty International to address the situation in Juarez.
She earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations as executive producer of the first Latino family drama on broadcast TV, "American Family," and went on to write nine and direct seven of the PBS series' first 22 episodes.
The Office of Multicultural Programs, the Multicultural Center and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB) are the sponsors of the Martinez Jitner's visit.
In addition, the Latina Student Union will host a panel discussion on the topic of insurance for Hispanics at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Walter Hall 135.
And finally, Tio Louie, also known as Louis E. Perego Moreno, will speak on campus Tuesday, Oct. 14. The time and location of his speech has yet to be determined. A Latino filmmaker and TV producer, he is executive producer of Skyline Features, an English and Spanish language multimedia production and educational company.
Moreno is well known for his documentaries aimed toward black, Latino, urban youth, women, gay and lesbian youth, and children with disabilities. Nine of his documentaries have aired on HBO Family, and he also has has produced HBO, TLC and A&E shows. The BSCPB and Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority are bringing Moreno to campus.
More information and additional details as they become available can be found on the Office of Multicultural Programs Web site or by calling 740-593-4027.