Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access

Clemson to mark Hispanic and Latinx Heritage month with slate of programs, celebrations


Clemson University will celebrate Hispanic and Latinx Heritage month from Sept.15 to Oct. 15 with a series of exciting events including dance lessons, panel discussions, and a keynote speech by CNN Vice President of Talent Recruitment and Development Ramon Escobar.

Ramon Escobar

“Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month kicks off Sept. 15 with the Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, then Mexico and Chile later on,” said Julio Hernandez, assistant vice president for inclusive excellence and executive director for Hispanic outreach. “It gives us a great opportunity to learn how diverse our Hispanic and Latinx culture is. I am proud of this year’s theme, ‘Unicos pero Unidos’ (Unique but United). It’s so appropriate and fitting, especially during these important times.”

A signature program each year is the keynote speaker, which has included nationally prominent figures such as Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor in 2017 and Christine Chavez, granddaughter of activist Cesar Chavez in 2019.

Escobar is responsible for the recruitment of all on and off-air talent for CNN U.S., CNN International, CNN en Español and HLN. He also advances the internal development of all anchors, correspondents, contributors and producers. Escobar has held his position of vice president of talent recruitment and development since 2012. He also served as the vice president of diversity and inclusion for CNN Worldwide from January 2017 to June 2019, and continues to play a vital role in diversity and inclusion efforts for WarnerMedia News and Sports, the parent company of CNN.

“Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, which falls in line with the national Hispanic Heritage Month, was created with a desire to educate and heighten awareness about the rich culture,” said Jerad Green, senior associate director of the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center. “HLHM is one of our longest-standing programmatic traditions from the Gantt Center, and we are thrilled to attract the best and brightest with a legacy of advocacy within the Latinx community. Our hope is to provide a complex and intersectional perspective into the Latinx community that highlights the experiences of LGBTQ, Afro-descendent, and other subcommunities.”

A man holds his small daughter, both laughing
A father and daughter dance during the 2019 HLHM gala.

Another signature program is the Salsa at Sunset event, which brings music and dance center stage. For the first time ever, the session will be a fun Zoom session. Participants have the opportunity to learn basic Latin dances and dance all night long. The month ends with Noche de Gala, a night to celebrate Latinx culture and the larger community with food, performances, awards, and more dancing.

Green said the subcommittee that planned the month is representative of students, faculty, and staff members from across Clemson and remained committed to planning over the summer.

“Thanks to them, we have an amazing lineup again this year for campus and computer participants,” said Green. “We have also worked collaboratively with campus and community partners such as CUSG, CAFLS, the Graduate School, the Commission on Latino Affairs, the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement, student organizations, AnMed Health, Hispanic Alliance, AHAM, and Upstate International. We recognize the troubling history of our land grant status, but seek to embody the land grant pillar of outreach by service and support to our community.”

This year’s events include:

Grad School Chisme

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020

7 p.m.


A panel of Latinx identifying students, who are currently in graduate school will speak to the unique experience of being Latinx in graduate school.


The Impact of COVID-19 on Latinx Communities 

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020

6 p.m. — 7 p.m.


In homage to last year’s “Health Disparities in Hispanic Communities” event, Dr. Arelis Moore de Peralta deliver a presentation regarding the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihood of Latinx communities.


Salsa at Sunset


Friday, Sept. 18, 2020

6 p.m. — 7 p.m.

Join us on Zoom for a 45-minute free dance lesson, where we will be learning how to dance merengue, bachata, and of course Salsa!


22nd Hispanic Heritage Festival – Hosted by AHAM

Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020

7 p.m.—9 p.m.

AHAM invites all community members to the 22nd Hispanic Heritage Festival. It will take place in a virtual-Life setting. The purpose of this fundraising is to gather donations for scholarships for Hispanic students attending college in 2021.

(Link to access festival available soon. Check the HLHM website for updates.)


Keynote: Ramon Escobar

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020

6 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Ramon Escobar, CNN Vice President of Talent Recruitment and Development & Diversity and Inclusion, will be the HLHM Keynote Speaker to talk about his experiences and share his empowering story.


Noche de Gala: Únicos pero Unidos

Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020

6 p.m.

Zoom link:.

The traditional end to the month, the gala will feature:

  • Únicos pero Unidos: Celebrating Our Best

A live award ceremony to give recognition to a student or a member of faculty, staff or the community. This service award is for anyone engaged in supporting or enhancing a positive Hispanic and Latinx culture change within Clemson University.

  • Unicos pero Unidos: A Night for Dreamers

The event will be celebrating people of distinction within the community this year by holding a virtual event. LUCU will be offering ways to donate to DACA students, who are annually recognized at the gala, through social media engagement the week prior to the event. Keep an eye out for updates on Instagram from @CU_LUCU and @CUGantt the week leading up to this event.


Film Showing: Cuba and the Cameraman

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020

6:30 p.m. — 9 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Zoom Link will be a central gathering for individuals to get the Netflix Party Link.

This is an opportunity for individuals to gather and view a film representing Latinx history and culture, specifically in Cuba.


Dia de los Muertos

Date October 30, 2020

Time 7 p.m.

Location: Virtual

A one-hour Zoom event covering the history of Dia de los Muertos, the importance of the decorations, and the meaning behind symbols such as the Monarch butterfly.


For more information, visit the HLHM website.

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