The second floor of Ohio State’s Hillel building features a library of Hebrew texts and an auditorium that usually hosts Jewish speakers and performances. But on one special night, that auditorium will blast Latino music.
The Latino Students Association and Ohio State University Hillel are putting forth the cultural celebration, “Finding Familia,” on Friday.
Jack Spero, a David Project intern, and Kevin Guarajo, president of LSA, came together to create this event because they wanted to promote the ways the two minority groups can come together.
The student leaders explained that the name of the event was about finding common ground between different people.
“Both of our communities value family heavily so we are going to explore what that means,” Spero said.
“In the Latinx community, we’ll call people our cousins even if we’re not actually related. It’s taking that one step further and bringing it to this campus,” Guarajo added.
Guarajo and Spero acknowledged that these two communities do not typically align with one another, but they believe that this is what makes Finding Familia so special. Even if people don’t share the same values, Guarajo said collaboration can have a big impact on the communities.
Spero explained that he attended an LSA event earlier this year that inspired him to approach Guarajo with the idea. Spero said he saw “untouched potential” to build a relationship in a group of people he believed with whom he could collaborate well.
The two student leaders emphasized the value of understanding each other’s differences. Guarajo emphasized that it’s important to not be afraid to go to a community to which someone might not belong, so long as they are respectable while there.
“Yeah it’s nice to sit with your friends and people that look like you, but I challenge you to sit with someone you don’t know, who doesn’t look like you,” Guarajo said.
Spero and Guarajo hope this event can inspire students to meet people who they think might be completely different than themselves.
“I’m a firm believer that you can find a connection to anyone in this world if you look deep enough,” Guarajo said.