La Unida, QSA present “Wash Away Labels” event, Sept. 15

Wash Away Labels, a campaign aimed at breaking away from common stereotypes, prejudices, biases and micro-aggressions, will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15 on Memorial Lawn. Inspired by a recent video created by Tide laundry detergent in collaboration with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the event is organized by Ripon College’s student organizations La Unida and the Queer- Straight Alliance (QSA).

The goal, according to Carmen Zapata, president of La Unida, is to wash away labels that are negatively impacting the Latino community and replace it with positive labels that recognize the heritage of Hispanics.

“The Wash Away Labels event is symbolic,” said Zapata, a junior from Chicago. “You’re washing away stereotypes and negativity and replacing it with something positive to celebrate who you are and not what you’re assumed to be.

“Whether you’re a part of the LGBTQ community or the Hispanic community, I want everybody to see that there’s some stereotype of who we are that doesn’t match the individual person at all. Also, to show that everybody faces stereotypes, and we can turn it around.”

Students and others are encouraged to bring a plain white T-shirt to the event. Spray paint will be provided to “label” the T-shirts.

Wash Away Labels kicks off La Unida’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. National Hispanic Heritage Month was established in the United States in 1988 as the period from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture.

La Unida is dedicated to sustaining and bringing awareness to Hispanic culture at Ripon, while QSA is committed to educating and providing support to students and the college community on issues related to sexuality. Both La Unida and QSA are part of a multicultural coalition group at Ripon College that also includes the Black Student Union and the Cultural Diversity Club. The coalition is designed to bring the groups together to collaborate and create a greater impact on campus surrounding issues of culture and diversity.


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