On the Move & En La Lucha will showcase the history, craft, and magic of Latinx creatives and individuals living and loving in Pinellas county. Heal and celebrate the rich Latinx cultures in our community with live music, art, and performances; delicious food trucks; film screenings, and more this Saturday in the Warehouse Arts District, 515 22nd St. S.
By J.A. Jones, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – During the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), the second annual MiGente Movida summit returns, exploring Latinx visibility, culture, and experiences in Pinellas County.
This Saturday, Oct. 2, the event focuses on the theme On the Move & En La Lucha and brings speakers, breakout sessions, music, food trucks, and artists exhibits to the ArtsXchange St Pete in the Warehouse Arts District, at 515 22nd St. S.
A hybrid event will take place online and is hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg (FHSP) and Estrategia Group.
Jessica Estévez of the Estrategia Group shared that the purpose of the event is to “shape the Latinx narrative and cultivate equity in the Pinellas County region through advocacy and healing.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Latinx population in Pinellas County represents 10.2 percent of residents, with St. Pete having eight percent, Clearwater 17.8 percent, and Largo 11.5 percent (Unite Pinellas Data Explorer).
But, acknowledged Estévez, there is a greater need to bring the voices of the Latinx population into conversations around equity, diversity, and public policy.
“I spent two years interviewing Latinos, professionals, individuals, community members –humans that identify as Latinx in the Tampa Bay region — asking them what is important to you,” shared Estévez.
She asked people to respond on if they were feeling seen and heard; the responses indicated they were not.
“After the first year, the thing that came up was invisibility, which was pretty much the theme of our first year,” she noted. Some of this is created by “invisibility by choice” – often practiced by those living in undocumented situations or those simply struggling to succeed by integrating and assimilating into the dominant white American culture.
But after the first MiGente Movida, several people started to meet regularly to discuss how this invisibility could lead to adverse outcomes for the Latinx community and the larger Tampa Bay community as a whole. The organization that came together after the first event, MiGente, MiPueblo, knows there is much more work to do.
Estévez said that right now, the intention is to listen. “Our goal is to try to get more and more community to engage in cultivating an equity advocacy agenda that is informed by a Latinx experience.”
A COVID-19 conscious event, attendees are encouraged to bring a chair to enjoy the festivities in the WADA Plaza on Saturday. The event begins at 10 a.m., with a session of “Healing Practices,” including prayer, mindful breathing, and yoga.
This is followed by the Mi Gente Artist Exhibit Opening, including introductions by the Latinx artists who will share their own journeys at the Tully Levine Gallery at WADA. A lunch session follows, with Latinx food trucks, live music, a DJ, and spoken word performances on the plaza.
The afternoon includes a writing workshop, a conversation on Economic Freedom for Latinx, and a Healing Practices Roundtable. The evening session includes more performances, a mini-Latinx film festival, music and artist talks from 6-9 p.m.
Community advocates and partners include the Hispanic Outreach Center, the Intercultural Advocacy Institute, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay, and the Tampa Bay International Latin Film Festival.
Speakers from the statewide organization Prospera (formerly the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida Inc), Empath Health, and Equality Florida are scheduled. Jannese Torres-Rodriguez of the podcast “Yo Quiero Dinero: Personal Finance For Latinas,” will also be speaking.
For more information and to register for this free event, go to estrategiagroup.com/migente.