On Oct. 1, 2019, the Poole College of Management hosted its annual Barrio Party in General Scott Courtyard. The party was one of the many events occurring on campus in participation of Latinx Heritage Month, runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The theme of this year’s celebration is the current reality of being young and Latinx in today’s United States. This was summarized in the idea of “LatinXistence.”
To follow this theme, NC State organized a variety of events to welcome and create inclusive spaces for Latinx voices and culture.
Tayah Butler, director of diversity and inclusion for Poole College of Management, described the Barrio Party as a celebration.
“What we wanted to add to the month’s events from Poole College of Management was an event for everyone to get together and celebrate in a real easy atmosphere and access a little bit of culture,”Butler said.
Music from Latinx artists played through speakers, inciting party attendees to dance and move around. The atmosphere was lively and fun while remaining casual. The courtyard was filled with multiple food trucks and samplings of food from various Latin American cultures. The food trucks were local Latinx-owned companies such as Spanglish, Gonza Tacos y Tequila, Alpaca Chicken Catering and Mati Energy. The promise of free food, provided by Poole College of Management, drew many people to the Barrio Party.
Food, according to the party’s attendees, is an important part of culture. Mara Cuebas, a graduate student in microbiology, described how the Barrio Party helped her reconnect with her heritage.
“It has been so long since I’ve eaten Caribbean bread,” Cuebas said. “I am from Puerto Rico, and this is Cuban bread. I think I really needed that.”
In addition to free food, Poole offered stickers and buttons commemorating the event. Stickers showcased famous figures of Latin American heritage, such as Frida Kahlo, and featured quotes. The intent behind the stickers and buttons was to emphasize the accomplishments of Latin American individuals and the power behind LatinXistence.
Events like the Barrio Party encourage representation on campus while acting as an introduction to Latinx culture for others. It is a time of inclusivity for Latinx students and staff. The Barrio Party allows for food, music and dancing that aren’t as present on campus on an everyday basis.
“It’s super important for everyone in our NC State campus community to feel validated,” Butler said. “For some of our members of our community, they can go for a while without seeing someone that they relate to in their identity.”
The Poole College of Management hopes to continue this tradition annually with even more representation and involvement from other colleges in the future.
All students on campus are welcome to participate in Latinx Heritage Month events