Latino Heritage celebration begins this week at ECC
From Staff Reports September 8, 2012 10:58PM
Updated: October 11, 2012 6:11AM
At Elgin Community College, Latino Heritage Month is more than a celebration. Held from Friday, Sept. 14, through Oct. 16, the event recognizes contributions made by Latinos while creating a respectful dialogue about important issues in the Latino community.
The month begins with the Latino Heritage Month Kickoff Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, in the Fox Valley University and Business Center Dining Room located in Building E on the Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.
This event invites the community to join the college in launching the celebration with a noted keynote speaker. This year’s speaker is Eliseo Medina, International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Medina, the first Mexican American elected to a top post at the 2.1 million-member SEIU, leads the union’s efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that rebuilds the nation’s economy, secures equal labor- and civil-rights protections for workers to improve their wages and work conditions, and provides legal channels and a path to citizenship.
Immigration reform is very personal to Medina, who came to the United States from Mexico with his mother and siblings at age 10 to join their father, who was an immigrant farm worker.
He has led efforts to unite the unions of Change to Win and the AFL-CIO around a comprehensive framework for reform. Medina’s career as a labor activist began in 1965 when, as a 19-year-old grape-picker, he participated in the historic United Farm Workers’ strike in Delano, Calif.
Over the next 13 years, Medina worked alongside labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez and honed his skills as a union organizer and political strategist; eventually rising through the ranks to serve as the United Farm Workers’ national vice president.
Tickets to the breakfast are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 847-214-7088.
Other events include “A Taste of Our Heritage” Cookbook Sale on Sept. 17.
Create and enjoy a variety of delicious dishes from authentic Latin American recipes. A book made with the contributions of members of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) also will be sold.
The event will be From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Building B Hallways at ECC.
For additional information about Latino Heritage Month, contact the Student Life Office at 847- 214-7370.