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U.S. Rep. Scott and Expert in Helping Institutions Become More Inclusive to Speak During Hispanic Heritage Month

By Joe Garvey

U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott will speak at a Hispanic Heritage Month event Oct. 7 in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies Multipurpose Room.

The event, one of a number Old Dominion University is hosting through late-October to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture, will start at 6 p.m. It is sponsored by Latino Student Alliance, The Institute for the Humanities, Lambda Upsilon Lambda and Office Intercultural Relations. Scott will discussrecent legislative priorities regarding the Latinx community, with a Q&A to follow.

Scott has represented Virginia's third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. He is the first African American elected to Congress from Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African American elected to Congress in the Commonwealth's history. Having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry also gives him the distinction of being the first American with Filipino ancestry to serve as a voting member of Congress.He is chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor.

He previously served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983 and in the state Senate from 1983 to 1993.

Also scheduled to speak as part of the celebration is Joel Pérez, a leader in helping institutions become more inclusive. His talk, "Latina/o to Latinx: The evolution of Latinex identity," will be 6 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Department of Education Multipurpose Room. A Q&A will follow.

"The term Latinx, which is resonating on college campuses, is viewed as a label that is inclusive for some, but for others is viewed as a term that diminishes the preservation of the Spanish language and culture embraced by immigrant communities," said Lesa Clark, executive director of ODU's Office of Intercultural Relations. "Is the term a politically correct statement? Why is it hard to define; what is the historical and current political context? Does it create a cultural barrier between those who use the term and those who opt not to? How should educators that serve this student community navigate or negotiate its usage? Does the label impact success-oriented environments?

"These are questions that have propelled the invite to Dr. Perez for a transparent and informative discussion that is worth exploring - together."

For more about Hispanic Heritage Month events, go to this link.

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