NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Nacogdoches community members who want to celebrate Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month are invited to join an event hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, outside at the Baker Pattillo Student Center Plaza.

Wilma Cordova, professor of social work, will deliver the keynote speech for the annual Noche de Gala.

“The event honors the Latinx and Hispanic culture through educational activities, performances, cultural cuisines, a keynote speaker and more,” said Andrea Flores, OMA student ambassador.

Cordova has taught at SFA since fall 2000 and has conducted research regarding displaced families following disaster, immigration issues, working with the elderly and HIV/AIDS in the rural context. She is a Court-Appointed Special Advocates board member and an American Red Cross mental health provider.

“Activities like Noche de Gala remind us to enjoy the diversity on our campus, within our community and in Texas,” Cordova said. “This is a night to meet, greet and unite. It is a night to look to the future and ponder how to move ahead in all aspects for the sake of creating a fair and just society for all.”

Her speech is titled “Hazlo,” a Spanish word meaning “do it.” Cordova’s message is meant to encourage listeners to take advantage of the opportunities created by the Latinx and Hispanic population and continue the momentum to advance all aspects of life such as economic, political, educational and leadership roles.

“This simple word, ‘hazlo,’ will remind us that what we do individually to improve and advance our lives should also improve and advance all humanity,” Cordova said.

Face masks and social distancing will be required throughout the event. For more information, visit