An Important Discussion on Race and Ethnicity


It was standing room only in room 209 Thursday night for a seminar on the difference between the terms Hispanic and Latino. The discussion was led by Renangie Alcantara-Polanco in the Multicultural Student Services Center located on G Street. During this discussion, everyone in attendance had an opportunity to contribute to the conversation, which led to a wide variety of perspectives being shared.

The general take away was that there are Latinos of many races: Asian-Latinos, Afro-Latinos, and many more, all who are equally Latino. Essentially, if one is about to apply a racial label to someone, he or she should think before doing so, because chances are that there is a longer more complicated history than what appears on the surface.

When using a term to describe one’s race, ethnicity, or culture, be careful. “Words such as Hispanic or Latino are limiting,” said Lawrence Hernandez. “We come in all shapes, sizes, color, and dialects. There’s no one word that fits all.”

If you are interested in more events exploring Latin-American issues, you can join the Multicultural Student Services Center in the 2015 Latino Heritage Month Revolucionarios: Latinos Raising. Their next event is called Latinos in STEM.

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