Hispanic Heritage Month
To Feature Multiple Events

Posted September 4, 2000

HOLLAND -- Hope College has scheduled a series of activities in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, including the college's third annual Cesar E. Chavez Address on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The public is invited to the events at Hope. Admission is free.

The college's celebration will open with a piano recital featuring the work of Spanish and Latin American composers and performed by Deborah De La Torre of the Hope music faculty on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The composers include Ernesto Nazareth, Ernesto Lecuona, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Teresa Carreno, Isaac Albeniz, Federico Longas, Carlos Chavez and Alberto Ginastera.

Dr. Luis D. Leon, a religious studies faculty member at Arizona State University will present the Cesar E. Chavez address, "The Doctrine of Sacrifice and Social Justice in the Life and Work of Cesar Chavez," on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

Dr. Miguel De La Torre of the Hope religion faculty will present the sermon "Jesus Christ: A Racist?" on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

The Latino Film Series will present two films. The film "Go Back to Mexico," a 1994 PBS Frontline documentary concerned with immigration issues, will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Cook Auditorium of the DePree Art Center. The film "Americanos," an HBO documentary on Latinos in America, will be presented on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Phelps Hall Otte Room.

Deborah De La Torre is a part-time member of the music faculty and staff accompanist at Hope, and also teaches privately in the greater Holland area. Her passion for music has centered on the work of Spanish and Latin American composers, and her recital will include pieces by Nazareth, Lecuona, Carreno, Granados, Longas, Chavez and Ginastera.

She has recently retired from 20 years of service in church ministry leadership, in which she specialized in creating culturally relevant liturgy for communities experiencing ethnic transition. She continues to stay involved in the field, and taught at Maple Avenue Ministries once per week as part of a summer arts program she co-launched.

She has been winning scholarships and awards for both her performances and compositions since age seven. Active as a performer, she also continues to compose sacred music as well as works for solo piano and other instruments.

Luis D. Leon joined the Arizona State University faculty as an assistant professor in 1999. He was previously an assistant professor, in religious studies and American and Latin American studies, at Carleton College, and has also been a visiting National Endowment for the Humanities scholar in religious studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

His forthcoming books include "Cesar Chavez and the Religion of Revolution." He is also the author of a number of book chapters and journal and encyclopedia articles, and has presented several scholarly papers.

In addition to his work on Chavez, his research interests have included the religious cultures of Latino children and a variety of aspects of religious life in East Los Angeles.

Miguel De La Torre joined the Hope faculty in 1999 and is an assistant professor of religion. His professional activities include serving as a member of the editorial board for the "Journal of Religious Ethics," and as founder and organizer of "Etica Latina: A Hispanic Ethical Perspective," an interest group for the Society of Christian Ethics.

He was previously an instructor at Temple University for four years, and prior to that had been an adjunct instructor at Boyce Bible College. He has also been a visiting professor at West Chester University, Immaculata College and Rutgers University.

He is the author of the book "Ajiaco Christianity: Toward an Exilic Cuban Ethic of Reconciliation," and two forthcoming books including "Introduction to Hispanic Theology: Latino/a Perspectives." He is also the author of several book chapters and published articles, and has presented several scholarly papers.

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 15. Chavez, who died in 1993 at age 66, played a leading role in the 1960s in organizing the nation's migrant farm workers, and was the first head of the National Farm Workers Association, later the United Farm Workers.


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