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Hispanic Heritage Month: Q&A with Nairobi Aguilar JD'25

by University Communications,

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month (also known as Latinx/e Heritage Month), which runs Sept. 15–Oct. 15, Willamette University asked a student leader about why the month is meaningful.

Nairobi Aguilar JD'25, current president of the Latinx Law Student Association, offered her thoughts. The Latinx Law Student Association is an organization geared toward providing support and encouragement to students of Latinx heritage and those who have an interest in Latinx culture.

Head shot of Nairobi Aguilar JD'25
Nairobi Aguilar JD'25

What would you like the community to know about the Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA)?

LLSA is working towards creating a culture on campus that is conducive to positive communication and collaboration. There are common misconceptions regarding the ways in which the various cultures intersect in Latin American countries, and we want to do our part to share the places where we share commonalities, but also retain our individual characteristics and customs.

Why did you decide to join LLSA?

It was daunting to face this rigorous environment as an ethnic minority. The upperclassmen who were running LLSA last year did everything they could to make sure that I was supported and seen. When I needed community and familiarity, they were there. I am hoping that LLSA will serve as a place of community and support for any student that is looking for those same things.

How is LLSA recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month?

LLSA will be hosting a variety of events throughout Hispanic Heritage Month to showcase the different countries and cultures of Latin America. Some events will be geared towards law students at the law school, and some will be geared towards all students on the Willamette campus.

Why is Hispanic Heritage Month meaningful to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful opportunity to increase visibility for the Latinx/e community. It provides our community with a chance to share customs and interests that are important pieces of our personal identities and histories. The LLSA board as a whole has an abundance of shared experiences, memories that we look back on fondly, and these are the kinds of memories we hope to share on campus and with the greater Willamette community.

What can students and the Willamette community do to recognize the month?

Support local Latinx/e mom and pop shops and restaurants. Please make an effort to educate yourselves by researching a new Latinx/e individual, country, or moment in history that interests you. Dive into Latinx/e art and entertainment. Finally, attend some of the wonderful events that are available throughout the month and meet members of the Latinx/e community!

The Willamette University community is invited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by attending events at the Salem and Portland campuses. View a full list of events (PDF).

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