SVSU hosts series of events for Hispanic Heritage Month

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs will host a lowrider display Sunday, Sept. 15 as part of its annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.

Lowriders are cars that are modified so the chassis is closer to the ground.

Roberto Garcia, director of The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, will lead a presentation on lowrider culture.

The 95th District State Representative, Vanessa Guerra, will provide opening remarks.

Kathy Perez, the president of Latino Awareness Association and a Cesar Chavez Academy graduate, has grown up participating in the lowriding community, as her father is from the West Coast and they now reside in southwest Detroit. This program has been inspired by her childhood and her participation with her family in the lowriding community.

SVSU alum Roxanne Chantaca will sing in Spanish throughout the event.

Debbie Sanchez, a prominent lowrider, will present on her experiences as a female lowrider.

She is the subject of the documentary “Queen of the Lowriders.”

Garcia said it is important to recognize lowrider culture and understand its impact on the local Saginaw area and the country as a whole.

He said this can change some of the stereotypes around Mexican American culture as a whole.

“Unfortunately, the lowriding community is plagued with negative stereotypes,” Garcia said. “The general population are not aware of or educated about the history of lowriding and how it developed during the Chicano Civil Rights movement, specifically on the West Coast.”

He said he hopes the event educates attendees about Hispanic culture and helps them celebrate in a variety of ways.

“The goal is to educate all that attend while celebrating through food, dance and education to bring the campus community together,” he said. “The rationale to include the lowrider display is to honor a rich piece of Hispanic culture.”

Dow Visiting Scholar and Artist Olga Custodio will give a lecture Oct. 9 as part of Hispanic Heritage month. She was the first female Hispanic to become a pilot in the Air Force and a commercial airline captain.

Valley Nights will also show “La Bamba” on Oct. 23. The movie is about a teenager named Ritchie Valens, whose parents do not want her to date a Latino boy.

A full list of events can be found on the SVSU events calendar.

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