Students learn loads at Latindad conversation

The Latinidad Conversation event gathered students to discuss different topics related to the empowerment of the LatinX community. The event was organized by Fabiola Diaz and presented by Beatriz DeSantiago-Fjelstad with the help of graduate assistant, Chiara Carnelutti. The event saw various students, most from related Spanish classes attending.

According to Diaz, the growing number of Latino students is an opportunity to empower and recognize the culture by sharing it on campus.

“Empowering Latinos/Latinas/Latinx is crucial for fostering inclusivity, celebrating their culture, sharing experiences, and building solidarity within the community. It offers an opportunity to highlight the contributions of Latinx individuals, address issues specific to their community, and promote understanding and appreciation among a broader audience,” DeSantiago-Fjelstad added.

Added Chiara, “It provides the opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about Latinidad and empowerment to have a courageous space for people to share experiences and be open-minded when learning some history on diversity and race factors on todays world.”

There are multiple resources on campus that can also be used to further learn about empowerment and related skills.

“By actively seeking support services, academic assistance, extracurricular activities, and networking opportunities offered by the university. Additionally, students can take advantage of workshops, seminars, and guest lectures organized by the university to expand their knowledge and skills,” DeSantiago-Fjelstad explained. 

A participant at the event, Anthony Boucher is a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and a student at MNSU. 

“I attended the event because it’s required for my spanish class, we were assigned three spanish events to attend. And this counts as one of them. It also helped that for my fraternity there’s a requirement that for being eligible for Chapter of the year that everyone must attend at least one multicultural event per semester,” Boucher said.

During the presentation, there were prominent leaders mentioned such as 

“I learned about certain figures like I did not know about Dolores Huerta. It was very interesting about her work and to learn about just the different ways people have experienced leadership and show leadership in their lives,” Boucher said.

The empowerment of others, according to Boucher is focused on “allowing others to have their voices heard.”

“And what we like to do in our fraternity is we follow Robert’s rules of order. Basically, everyone if they want to, they can voice an opinion on whatever topic is at hand. No matter what, everyone they can stop, and we have to hear that opinion. Even if the rest of the jury disagrees with it,” Boucher added.

The dangers of silence, a topic on the presentation is an issue that needs heavy involvement from everyone to change.

“Well there are times where silence is dangerous. Like you shouldn’t just be a bystander and pass by every single injustice,” Boucher said. “But there are certain cases where your silence is necessary to maintain the cohesion of the group.”

Student, Juliet Feist who is taking an elementary spanish class with Enzo Helen Meister. 

“I attended with my class, we were looking to learn more about the LatinX community and why they were holding this event for classes,” Feist said.

During the presentation, various topics relating to diversity were defined and explained by DeSantiago.

“I learned a lot about Dolores Huerta, who I haven’t heard about before, and learned about the difference between ethnicity, race and culture. And how to stand up and be a leader,” Feist added.

The importance of Empowerment was an important discussion throughout the presentation. 

“I think empowering others comes from having strong beliefs and speaking up about them as well as encouraging others to speak up about their own beliefs,” Feist said.

The presentation gave the attendees different methods to empower themselves and others. 

“I feel empowered when I see things that are not right or fair and I want to bring justice to the wrongs and make sure everyone has equal rights and fight for that,” Feist explained.

Write to Biruk Mengesha at

Header Photo: Several students gathered last Thursday to learn about how various LatinX leaders who have empowered the LatinX community. (Courtesy Fabiola Diaz)

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