With the start of Latinx Heritage Month, the University of Wisconsin-Madison community gathered to celebrate and show the importance of Latinx culture, conveying a message of love for the community at the "March Up Bascom" event on Wednesday.
Bascom Hill is described as one of the most iconic and centralized parts of the UW-Madison, and with thousands of students walking up and down this historical area every day, March Up Bascom caught the eyes of many students, faculty and staff.
From singing, to chanting, to marching, the kick-off event inspired the campus community to celebrate all the different cultures within the Latinx community with games, opportunities to network and prizes.
“Visibility is what is most important — the visibility of our community and our people,” said Mickey, an artist, student and participant at the event.
At UW-Madison, there are over 2,000 students of Latinx heritage according to a university report from 2020 and the March Up Bascom event hoped to bring the community together to celebrate.
“Coming from the suburbs, I wasn’t surrounded by people that look like me, so to come to an event like this and a school like the UW-Madison with people that look like me, it gave me a feeling of power to want to know more,” said Mickey.
After moving from Mexico to the United States as a toddler, Mickey described how living in Madison hasn't been easy for her. She jumped at the opportunity to join the March Up Bascom as a way to see UW’s Latinx community gathered together.
“I think it is important to start with something big to get the visibility or the visual of what we are actually saying; who is being affected, and why it matters,” Mickey explained.
For Latinx Heritage Month, the Spanish word “amor,” meaning love, is highlighted as an important aspect of how this community is able to unite as one. Mickey describes love as a fundamental way of uniting, not solely the Latinx culture, but all people regardless of who they are and where they come from.
“The one thing we have, and the one thing that is most important to bring to the table, is love,” Mickey said. “Words can only unite us so much, but they don’t bond us until they are filled with love.”
Several more campus events will take place over the next month in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month occurring through Oct. 15. The 2021 keynote speaker is actor, content creator and artist, Curly Velasquez who will be speaking on Oct. 8
“There is so much injustice for us right now and stuff we are struggling with personally,” Mickey stressed. “We need to work together, it isn’t about who did the most, who did this, who did that, but it is about unity and coming together. Nothing is going to get solved until we all sit down at the table and talk to each other with love.”