Celebrating National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week and Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrate HSI Week 2022

Mercy College celebrates National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Week (September 12 – 18) and Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15). Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share their stories and tag @HACUNews on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use hashtag #HSIsWeek.

This week marks two important observances for Mercy College: National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Week (September 12 – 18) and the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15). Organized by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National HSI Week highlights the contributions of HSIs in their communities and, according to HACU’s website, “…heighten[s] awareness of the important role HSIs play in improving access to education and advancing equity for traditionally underserved students.” 

Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the achievements, cultures and influences of Hispanic, Latino/a and Latinx populations in the U.S. 

Mercy is the largest private, not-for-profit federally designated HSI in New York State. The College’s total enrollment is approximately 9,000 students, with 39% of students identifying as Latino.

Designated an HSI by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) almost 25 years ago, Mercy has focused its mission, student support structures and processes to align with the DOE’s goal of expanded educational opportunities for, and improving the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. 

Among some of the programs that Mercy has received federal support for and implemented since its designation as an HSI include:

National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program: 

  • This year, Mercy was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “Big Read” grant. Funding through the grant supports a series of book discussions that showcase a diverse range of themes, voices and perspectives. Mercy is launching its “Big Red” series with a discussion of the New York Times bestselling book, “Infinite Country” by Patricia Engel, which tells the story of Karina, Nando and Talia, siblings whose parents came to the United States from Colombia and face challenges and triumphs in pursuit of their dreams.
  • The discussion includes a virtual conversation with Engel, which will be held via Zoom. An in-person watch party of the virtual discussion will take place at Mercy College’s Dobbs Ferry Campus in the Rotunda on Wednesday, September 28 from 4 – 5 p.m. To register to attend the in-person watch party, or to register to join the Zoom conversation, please click here.
  • The College will distribute free copies of the book at a reception from 3 – 4 p.m. prior to the conversation as well as at the upcoming Founders’ Festival on September 24 on the Dobbs Ferry Campus.
  • The full series will include additional book discussions, as well as cultural events, workshops, and special presentations in Westchester, the Bronx, Manhattan and virtually, that will run from September 2022 through June 2023. The NEA Big Read in New York is presented in partnership with Latino U College Access (LUCA), The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), 100 Hispanic Women, the Dobbs Ferry Public Library and the Greenburgh Public Library along with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • To learn more about NEA Big Read at Mercy College, please click here

U.S. Department of Education STEM Ready Project: 

  • In October 2021, Mercy College was awarded a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) under the agency’s Title III Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) STEM and Articulation Program. The grant is supporting Mercy College in developing and carrying out activities to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students attaining degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
  • To learn more about the grant, please read the press release here

Mercy College will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month starting this week, continuing until October 15. The celebrations include: 

Latinx Festival on Mercy’s Bronx Campus 

  • Mercy’s 2nd annual Latinx Festival gathers more than 250 regional high school students with community leaders and Mercy students, staff and faculty in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. 
  • This year’s event features Bronx Borough Deputy President Janet Peguero, as well as New York State Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez. 
  • The event will include salsa lessons, a live DJ and fun-filled activities in the spirit of celebrating the Hispanic, Latino/a and Latinx culture at Mercy.
  • The event is taking place on Thursday, October 13 on the Bronx Campus patio and lawn, with the program scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m.