Last year the Ogden City Council, along with Mayor Mike Caldwell, made history by proclaiming Sept. 15–Oct. 15 Hispanic Heritage Month in Ogden. Tuesday evening the proclamation was read at the council meeting.
The first item on the agenda was the proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month. Neil K. Garner, council member for Municipal Ward 1, read the proclamation while Jose Marquez, Director of Public Relations for LUPEC, read it in Spanish to all in attendance Tuesday evening.
“We are celebrating the first anniversary of the proclamation that the mayor of the city did last year, through which the labor of the Latinos is recognized,” Marquez said. “As Latinos we contribute largely to the city of Ogden and we have brought our culture, food and folklore and that is what enriches.”
The proclamation was proposed and read initially on Sept. 16, 2014. The proposed joint proclamation was approved with a vote of 7–0 and again the vote was unanimous on Tuesday.
Weber State University was represented at the council by President Charles Wight, who greeted the audience in Spanish and he said how important diversity is to the university.
“Our cultural heritage is part of what makes us who we are and who our children will become. Education is a gift of that heritage and Weber State University is proud to help to make that gift accessible to everyone. An institution can only fulfill its true potential for educational excellence by embracing diversity,” said Wight.
President Wight thanked everyone for making Ogden a vibrant community with an increasing rich cultural heritage.
“Our efforts to do this are to help the Latinos understand they are a necessary and welcome part of our community so that they will integrate,” said Richard Hyer, council chair. “It helps us to hear those voices that will help the different partners bring the community together better so that there aren’t any parts of our community left out.”
Within the last year, Ogden City has organized a charter working together with Weber State University, Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, LUPEC, NAACP and many others. This charter initiated a mayor’s office of diversity. They are to be used as a resource for people of a diverse background.
“As we’ve seen people gain some trust in their government and come out, they’ve really added a lot to our city,” said Hyer. “We hope they will continue to do that.”
To add to the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, WSU will host its own events. On Oct. 15, State Senator Luz Robles Escamilla will be giving a speech entitled “Hispanic Heritage: A Call to Action” at 10:30 a.m. in the Wildcat Theater.