A Free and Open-to-the-Public Event on Thursday, October 9
More than 17 countries were represented by Essex County College’s most recent graduating class. Over 25% of those who are Hispanic/Latino make up this diverse population. In conjunction with Liberal Arts Month, Hispanic Heritage Celebration and Humanities Week (Oct. 6-10), the Humanities Department is hosting a free event Bridging Historias: Infusing Latino/Latina Culture into the College Curriculum on Thursday, October 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. at the school’s main Newark campus. The event, which is open to the public, will take place in the Harry J. Smith Lecture Hall, Room 2131. Guest speaker will be José E. Velázquez, co-editor of The Puerto Rican Movement: Voices from the Diaspora.
Bridging Historias is also the name of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant-funded program in which Dr. Stephanie Aisha Steplight Johnson, Acting Vice President & Chief Academic Officer, along with three faculty members, Professor and Director of Paralegal Studies Linda Carter, Adjunct English Faculty member Maria Luna, and Assistant Professor of Sociology Charles Pinderhughes are participating. These faculty members will present during the event about how they are revamping their courses so that Latino/Latina content is taught and learned by Essex County College students.
“The NEH Bridging Cultures grant [of which the Bridging Historias program is a part] enables us to look at how people have been excluded and to research their contributions to our nation. We at Essex joined the Bridging Historias program to help move students beyond the superficial stereotypical perspective, to explore ways to incorporate Latino/Latina studies into the curricula so that all students have the opportunity to learn about how Latino/Latina people have shaped who we are from a broad and deeply scholarly perspective,” noted Dr. Steplight Johnson.
The program provides periodic professional development sessions with guest speakers who have expertise in Latino and Latina curriculum and content, and organizes breakout roundtable discussions for faculty in the same disciplines to strategize about teaching and learning. In addition online discussions take place about pedagogy.
Professor Linda Carter notes “It’s an easy transition for me to incorporate multiculturalism into my classes. Whether it’s law, math or science, people have contributed to the advancement of these subjects from all cultures. Students need to know that those who look and sound like them made these contributions.”
For more information about the event, please contact Humanities Assistant Professor Rebecca Williams at (973) 877-3470.