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Front-Page News


Nota Bene

October 26, 2001

Latina Alumnae Conference November 2-4

Themed "Mirando Atrás Hacia el Futuro," (looking to the past in order to see the future) and scheduled for November 2-4, MHC's fourth triennial Latina alumnae conference will be an opportunity for the College's Latina community to consider the role of the Latina woman in the twenty-first century. The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, with additional support and funding from various departments and groups on campus, is working with MHC students to foster connections between the College's approximately 400 Latina alumnae and its eighty-five Latina students. Says Sally J. Lemaire, executive director of the Alumnae Association, "The Alumnae Association, which is committed to multicultural awareness and cultural diversity, supports the development of affinity-group networks by cosponsoring programs such as this conference."

Among the events planned for Friday, November 2, is an altar ceremony that will honor Día de los Muertos, an ancient Latino/Latina tradition to remember the dead and celebrate the continuity of life. The opening ceremony will include a poetry reading and a dedication of the altar to those who died at the World Trade Center September 11. All are encouraged to bring photos, special objects, poems, flowers, and songs to this remembrance.

Saturday's schedule will feature workshops on building career networks, empowering Latinas in the arts and sciences, and increasing the number of successful Latinas. The last workshop, titled "Why Are Our Latina Daughters Failing?", will be led by Aida Hurtado, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is an expert in gender issues and social psychology in Chicano communities, representations of ethnic and racial groups in the media, feminist theory, and equity in education. Other Saturday highlights include an address and College update by Beverly Daniel Tatum, dean of the College; a dinner keynote address by Diane E. Lopez '82; a musical celebration with the Andean music group Inca-Sapi; and an evening of dancing at Blanchard Campus Center. A Sunday-morning breakfast at the Eliana Ortega Cultural Center and a Spanish mass at Abbey Chapel close the weekend's program.

"I am very excited about all of the events," said conference cochair Rocio Garcia '03, "but Aida Hurtado's workshop is the most outstanding one for me. She will help us discuss our past mistakes and come up with solutions to help more Latinas become successful and attain a higher standard of living by the time we become the largest minority in the United States. Everyone is very excited to welcome alumnae back and spend time talking to them." Garcia and her cochair, Diana Archuleta '03, joined other members of MEChA and La Unidad, MHC's Chicana and Latina student organizations, to form a student planning committee for the conference.

Those who missed the October 19 registration deadline may still attend the four conference events open to the entire MHC community: the altar ceremony November 2; the music performance and party, November 3; and the Spanish mass, November 4.

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