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WVC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Screening of Acclaimed Documentary

West Valley College will screen the critically acclaimed documentary film, Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America, and host a conversation with Eduardo Lopez, the film’s co-director and co-producer, on October 23, 2013, as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month. 

The screening of the film, which has won several awards, is part of WVC’s Global Citizenship Committee’s ongoing efforts to encourage an open dialogue about race. The film examines the role the United States’ economic and military interests have played and continue to play in producing massive immigration of Latin Americans to the United States. 

“I would like people who attend to walk away with awareness of the origins of the Latino presence in the United States so that we can begin to have conversations that are grounded in facts, not stereotypes,” said Dulce Gray, previous chair of the Global Citizenship Committee and faculty in English.  

The screening, which is free and open to the public, begins at 2 p.m. on October 23 in the WVC Theatre on the West Valley College campus. 

Additionally, WVC will further pay tribute to Latinos by screening Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype.

Latinos Beyond Reel is a documentary film that looks at how news and entertainment media in the United States portray – and do not portray – Latinos. The film challenges viewers to think critically about the wide-ranging effects of media stereotypes. A panel of WVC faculty members will lead a conversation on the topic afterwards. 

The screening begins at 2:05 p.m. on October 16, 2013, in the WVC Campus Center Lower Level. 

In screening these two films, Gray said the committee hopes to raise awareness and begin a conversation about the true origins of the Latino presence in the United States as well as expose some of the misunderstandings perpetrated by the media about Latinos. 

Also as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, WVC will host a November 4, 2013 discussion of the novel King of Cuba by acclaimed novelist Cristina Garcia (Garcia will join the conversation via Skype) and present a display of works by and about Latinos in the WVC Library. 

All the events, Gray said, are designed to raise awareness about Latinos and their contributions to the country. 

“We all live in the same place, we need to care about one another, we need to know about one another, we need to coexist,” Gray said. “I think we have a responsibility to be aware and attentive and responsive.” 

The events, organized by the Global Citizenship Committee and the WVC Library, are free and open to the public. For more information, email global.citizenship@westvalley.edu.