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The first annual Latino Awareness Week at the University begins today on College Green with two speakers from the latino community. While only a few events are scheduled this week, organizers hope that a foundation can be set for future celebrations of the latino tradition. Latino Awareness Week is organized and sponsored by Sigma Lambda Upsilon -- Senoritas Latinas Unidas, a latino sorority with five members founded at the University in the spring of 1990. Today at noon, two leaders from the Philadelphia and University communities will speak on College Green. Sigma Lambda Upsilon member Patricia Di Carlo, the Executive Director of the Norristown Civic Association, will speak first, according to organizer Carmen Maldonado. Maldonado, a first-year graduate student, said Di Carlo will speak briefly about latinos in the U.S. and their political and civic rights. Following Di Carlo, College Advising Assistant Dean Olga Rubio will speak about the latino accomplishments and presence at the University on the undergraduate level. "She does a lot for her latino students, and students of all colors know her for the job she does at the University," Maldonado said. Also scheduled for this week is a speech by Angela Jorge, an associate professor of Hispanic Studies at the State University of New York at Old Westbury. The speech will begin tomorrow at 5 p.m. in the Houston Hall Smith Penniman room. Jorge will talk about Christopher Columbus, and the role his Spanish identity is playing in the current multiculturalism debate. "I am very excited about the speakers," Maldonado said. "The Columbus issue is one of very big revelance in the latino community today." Latino Awareness Week will end on Saturday night with a party inHouston Hall's Bodek Lounge from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. for the entire University community. Latino Awareness Week is being held this week to coincide with National Latino Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

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