Latinos Unidos Welcomes All to Learn about Latinx Culture


Photo by Liv Allen

by Liv Allen, Feature Editor

With the recent surge in diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus, Simpson College’s Latinos Unidos organization hopes to expand its recognition among students this year. 

The core mission of LU is to unite students in sharing, celebrating and learning about Latinx culture in order to foster solidarity among Latinx students and enhance the overall Latinx presence on campus. 

President of LU, Luwam Kidane, believes one of the biggest takeaways from LU is the newfound knowledge about South American culture students develop after attending meetings or events. 

“We want members to have a better understanding of Latinx culture and history,” Kidane said. “Most people just think of Mexico when they hear South America or just refer to anything from South America as Mexican, so we want to expand their knowledge.”

In order to raise cultural awareness and spread knowledge, students can engage with multicultural organizations on campus like LU. Unfortunately, this isn’t happening as much as Kidane and other LU members think it should. 

LU currently does not receive enough recognition on campus,” Kidane said. “Event turnouts are always low, and not too many non-POCs sign up to be part of the club’s email list.” 

She hopes more people, regardless of their ethnic background, join LU, and participate in their events. 

Everyone is welcome to LU,” Kidane said. “There is a misconception that LU is only for students in the Latinx community, but that’s not true.”

Aside from LU’s dedication to raising awareness and encouraging education and appreciation, the organization has another key quality.

“LU is also here on campus to be a safe space for all the Latinx students at Simpson,” Kidane said. 

Their first major event was the Mexican Independence Day celebration; in the past, LU and the International Students Organization partnered up to host this large, festive celebration in the area between the music building and Holy Grounds. The event was filled with music, food and Mexican dances. 

“This year we will be doing it a little more differently, we will be passing out bottled Mexican drinks and pre-packaged snacks/candies that are in Ziploc bags with a fact sheet inside,” Kidane said. “We will still have music playing to make it as festive as possible.”

Kidane believes this is a fun way to dive deeper into Mexican history. 

“Most people think Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day when it is not,” she said. “The students from Mexico here at Simpson, who contribute to the diversity on campus, constantly do their best to get students on campus familiar with different cultures than what they are used to.”

So far, the Mexican Independence Day celebration is the only event LU is hosting in-person. The rest will be held virtually, including things like Kahoot games and virtual dialogues.