WKU Modern Languages hosts ‘Celebrando La Afrolatinidad’


Jacob Latimer

Students walk past posters describing Afrolatinidad culture at “Celebrando La Afrolatinidad” on Monday, April 3.

Jacob Latimer, News reporter

WKU Modern Languages hosted Celebrando La Afrolatinidad, a celebration and showcase of African and Latinidad culture, on Monday, April 3.

The event was held in the lobby and multi-purpose room of the Mahurin Honors College from 4:30-7:30. 

Yertty Vandermolen, Spanish instructor, said she asked her Spanish 101 and 102 students to work on a project representing the connection between African and Latinidad culture. 

“I wanted to honor the Afrolatina culture,” Vandermolen said. “Most people do not connect Latinidad and African roots. There is always a misconception about that.”

In the lobby, student artwork relating to African and Latinidad culture was displayed. Students, faculty, staff and visitors gathered to view the art and read about the backstory. 

Vandermolen said she wanted the projects to showcase the talent of her students. 

“The project was linked to their talents and what they’re passionate about,” Vandermolen said.

Shirma Bott is an Afrolatina student at WKU and grew up in the Caribbean. 

“Growing up in that culture, I’ve been able to understand different people and different races,” Bott said. “Being able to share not only my experience in America, but in the Caribbean, is a privilege, because it really is an invisible minority inside of an already invisible minority.”

Art pieces adorned by flags stand in the Honors College and International Center lobby for “Celebrando La Afrolatinidad” on Monday, April 3. (Jacob Latimer)

In the multi-purpose room, there was Afrolatinidad food, live music and presentations about athletes, musicians and historical figures with roots in these cultures. 

Vandermolen said this event wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution and support of her Spanish 101 and 102 students, WKU’s Student Government Association, the Mahurin Honors College Scholars of Color, the Intercultural Student Engagement Center, the Hilltopper Organization of Latin American Students, WKU Global, the Campus Activities Board and WKU Modern Languages. 

For information on future events, visit https://www.wku.edu/modernlanguages/

News reporter Jacob Latimer can be reached at [email protected].