Sandia celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
More than 200 people attended Sandia’s kickoff of National Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15 with a lively in-person Diversity Day at Hardin Field. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation” to celebrate the cultures, histories and contributions of the Hispanic population. The event included food, a flamenco dance performance by the Public Academy for Performing Arts, and the vocal talents of the Sandia Singers Choir. Local musicians Proyecto Cumbion also performed, and attendees were treated to a show of vintage and modern cars and a display of STEM artwork by local students.
Diversity Day was hosted by the Hispanic Outreach for Leadership and Awareness employee resource group and featured remarks by HOLA Chair Roberta Rivera; Daryl Hauck, NNSA Sandia Field Office Manager; and Col. Jason Vattioni, 377th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander for Kirtland Air Force Base. Associate Labs Director Scott Aeilts handed the baton of HOLA executive champion to Associate Labs Director Rita Gonzales, who previously chaired the group from 2016-2018.
The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month continued on Sept. 29 with a Diversity Cinema presentation hosted by HOLA and Sandia’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action organization at the Steve Schiff Auditorium. “Life Lessons from Our Abuelos (Grandparents)” featured a panel of employees sharing heartfelt memories of family members who shaped their values and life paths. Each story of the lessons learned from cherished grandparents is connected to the Sandia core values of service, respect, integrity, excellence and teaming. A recording of the event can be viewed on the HOLA and IDEA websites.
Roberta said, “I can’t quite describe how wonderful it was to gather in person, to see people talking and laughing and enjoying each other’s company.”