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Latino/a Heritage Month Celebrates 'La Mezcla' at Ithaca College

 ITHACA, NY — An award-winning one-woman play and a panel discussion on identity will be among the events taking place at Ithaca College September 15–October 15 in recognition of Latino/a Heritage Month. Using the theme of “La Mezcla” — literally, “the mixture” — the activities are intended to promote inclusion and an exploration of all identities.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, Elaine Del Valle will bring “Brownsville Bred” to Emerson Suites in Phillips Hall. The 7 p.m. show is free and open to the public.

Written, performed and “lived” by Del Valle, “Brownsville Bred” is the story of a Puerto Rican girl growing up in the dangerous and complicated world of the Brownsville projects in 1980s Brooklyn. Alone on the stage for an intermission-free 90 minutes, she magically recreates that world and its characters.

In its review, the “New York Times” said the play “exposes a commonality that is often forgotten amidst class and status and makes a true champion out of an ordinary girl.” The “New York Post” wrote of Del Valle’s performance that, “By the end of this moving evening, you’re cheering her unstoppable joy and the inner strength it took to earn it.”

Last month, the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) honored Del Valle with the Outstanding Solo Performance award for the recent off-Broadway run of “Brownsville Bred.” She and her show have also been recognized by the New York Innovative Theater Awards, The Network’s One-Act Festival and Teatro La Tea’s “The One” Festival.

On Monday, Oct. 8, a panel discussion titled “Do You Judge What You Cannot See?” will be held at 7 p.m. in Clarke Lounge, Egbert Hall. Free and open to the public, the program will feature panelists from a variety of student organizations delving into issues of personal identity perception and assumption.

Other activities will include the La Mezcla Banquet, with a keynote address by Paula Ioanide, assistant professor in the Ithaca College Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity; a karaoke night of “Singing with Friends”; and the interactive dance event “Salsa Magic!”

Latino/a Heritage Month events are sponsored by the college’s Latino Student Association, Poder; the African Latino Society; and the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs. For more information, contact Melissa Cepeda, founder and president of Poder, at