This is Hispanic Heritage Month and Western Michigan University is marking the event with a talk by Mark Hugo Lopez from the Pew Research Center. He'll speak on Wednesday, September 25.
Hugo Lopez is the director of the Pew Center's Global Migration and Demography Research program. Dur his presentation, “The Changing Identity of Latinos in the U.S. Today,” Hugo Lopez says he'll emphasize the diversity of the Latin-X population.
“It’s a population that traces their roots to many different countries. It’s a population that has a large number of immigrants but also is largely U.S born. And it’s a relatively young population that’s beginning the reshape the way we think about the identity of this population.”
The U.S. Census says people of Hispanic descent make up almost 16 million of the nation's total population.
Hugo Lopez says the number of Latin-X students in colleges and universities is setting new records. the number of Hispanic students at Western Michigan University has risen to about six percent in 2017.
Hugo Lopez says the group variously known as Hispanic, Latino or Latin-X is diverse.
“I think one of the key takeaways is that this is a population that has many different points of views about everything from what they want to be called, to who they’re going to vote for, to what they say are the top priorities facing their group, and also the country as a whole.”
Hugo Lopez's presentation is part of Western’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. It also marks changes in Western's minor in Latin American studies. Susan Pozo directs the Department of Global and International Studies. She says the minor is being updated to include Latin-X studies beginning in the fall of 2020.
“And we thought that it would be good to begin raising the visibility of Latin-X studies and so I wanted to bring in a scholar who deals with issues that are related to Latin-X policy."
Hugo Lopez will speak Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Brown Hall on Western's main campus.