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Nydia Martinez to present Oct. 12 Hispanic Heritage Month lecture at Whitworth University

September 29, 2015
Nydia Martinez, Ph.D., will present a Hispanic Heritage Month lecture, “Honoring Diversity or Homogenizing Identities?,” on Monday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. in Weyerhaeuser Hall’s Robinson Teaching Theatre at Whitworth University. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-4215.

In 1968, in the midst of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement (known as the Chicana/o Movement), President Lyndon B. Johnson initiated the observation of Hispanic Heritage Week. Twenty years later, in 1988, during the Reagan administration and the refugee crisis in Central America, the celebration was expanded to cover a 30-day period, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Today, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed across the United States, Canada and Latin America through claims of a “common Hispanic/Latino heritage,” while an anti-immigration narrative against Hispanics/Latinos increases in the U.S. What, exactly, does Hispanic Heritage Month celebrate? Is there a common Hispanic/Latino heritage to celebrate? Are we celebrating Hispanic/Latino diversity, a common Hispanic/Latino identity, or something else?

Nydia Martinez is a professor of Latin American history and Chicana/o studies at Eastern Washington University. Her bilingual and bicultural background and community involvement with Latina/o students and their families have deeply informed her research interests on 20th-century Mexican and Mexican American solidarity transnational movements.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Larry Burnley, associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4215 or

Nancy Hines, director of communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4638 or