Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

September 17, 2021

Dear Berkeley Journalism Community,

I write together with our National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) chapter chair, Lesley Torres (‘22), to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month which began September 15th and goes through October 15th. It is a time to recognize the extraordinary contributions and lasting influence of the Hispanic, Latino/Latinx, and Chicano/Chicanx community.

In a Berkeley Blog post, G. Cristina Mora, associate professor of sociology, examines what a month of recognition should mean. Professor Mora also discusses the labels “Hispanic,” “Latino” and “Latinx.” She shares, “there is no one label, much less a “right” one.”

In May, our School had the honor of hosting Maria Hinojosa as our Class of 2021 commencement speaker. If you haven’t yet heard her speech, I encourage you to deeply listen to her candid reflections on her journey as a child of Mexican immigrants who became one of the most important journalists of our time.

Lesley Torres (’22)

Let us be clear about Maria’s well-earned success. The journalism industry hasn’t always advanced the extraordinary talents of Hispanic reporters and editors. We, as a public institute of higher learning, embrace our responsibility to elevate each of our students, faculty, staff and alumni who identify as a member of this culturally multifaceted community.

Among them are our talented students— 26% who self-identify as members of this community—and instructors Andrés Cediel (‘04), Richard Koci Hernandez, Jeremy Rue (‘07), Daffodil Altan (’04), Gisela Pérez de Acha (‘20) and Erika Aguilar. We thank them for their invaluable contributions to the school and the field of journalism.

Carrie Lozano (‘05)

Another prolific member of this community is award-winning producer/director Carrie Lozano (‘05), our Advisory Board member who is a former lecturer and mentor to dozens of students in our documentary program. A fourth-generation Mexican American, she is now the director of Sundance’s Documentary Film Program — one of the most important and prestigious positions in documentary film in the country. She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. It has been thrilling to watch her ascent, both as her friend, and as a member of this school community where she is so beloved. We want to use this occasion to honor her body of work.

In solidarity,

Geeta Anand
Dean and Professor
Robert A. Peck Chair

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