Latinx Heritage Month

St. John’s Celebrates Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month 

In recognition of 2021 Latinx Heritage Month (LHM), St. John’s University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs is sponsoring several events as part of the multicampus virtual celebration, “Be Proud of Our Past, Embrace Our Future.” 

Latinx Heritage Month (also known as National Hispanic Heritage Month) is nationally celebrated from September 15 to October 15. These dates hold a special significance in the Latinx/Hispanic community as they commemorate the anniversaries of the independence days of several Latin American countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, among others. LHM honors the rich legacy, traditions, contributions, and achievements made by Latinx and Hispanic individuals and communities.  

This year, virtual, in-person, and hybrid access is being offered for all LHM events. To accommodate in-person and virtual needs, please register for each event.   

LHM Kick-Off: Keynote Featuring Ed Morales

Thursday, September 16 | Common Hour (1:50–3:15 p.m.) 
Kiernan Room, Kelleher Center, Staten Island, NY, Campus 
Virtual RSVP   
In-Person RSVP 


Ed Morales is an author and journalist who has written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and the Guardian, and is a frequent contributor to’s Opinion section. He was a staff writer at The Village Voice and columnist at Newsday

He is the author of Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico (Bold Type Books); Latinx: The New Force in Politics and Culture (Verso Books 2018); and Living in Spanglish (St. Martins 2002). In 2019, Latinx was shortlisted for the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding by the British Academy in London.

Mr. Morales wrote and directed Whose Barrio? (2009), an award-winning documentary about the gentrification of East Harlem. The film was inspired by “Spanish Harlem on His Mind,” an essay published in New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of The New York Times (NYU Press 2005).

He is a lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.  

Postcard-Making Workshop and Discussion Featuring Claudia Peña Salinas

September 27 | Common Hour (1:50–3:15 p.m.) 
Inclusivity Resource Center, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Queens, NY, Campus 
Virtual RSVP  
In-person RSVP 

Claudia Peña Salinas will discuss how she uses art to tell poetic and political narratives. Her discussion is combined with an interactive workshop where you can create and tell your own narrative and design a postcard that will be mailed to a friend or relative by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. For in-person attendance, all art supplies are provided. 

Attending virtually? The first 25 virtual attendance registrants who sign up by September 17 will receive their postcard materials by mail. 


Claudia Peña Salinas’ practice combines sculpture, images, installation, and video to tell poetic and political narratives. Through the process of documentation, travel, collection, and discovery, her work points toward a spatial, material, and temporal reflection.

Ms. Peña Salinas situates her work between legacies of modernism and indigenous cultures. Highlighting indigenous thinking and worldviews using a contemporary language, she calls attention to the Americas’ collective cultural memory.

Ms. Peña Salinas was born in Mexico in 1975. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and earned her M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2009.

Ms. Peña Salinas has exhibited at the High Line, New York, NY (2021); Hessel Museum of Art, CCS Bard Galleries, Annandale on Hudson, NY (2021); The DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL, (2021); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2019); the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ (2019); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2018): Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Lansing, MI (2018); Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY (2012); El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY (2005); El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR (2006); and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, MX (2015).

Residencies and awards include Arizona State University Art Museum, Arizona (2018); the Lower Manhattan City Council, Process Space, New York (2016); and SOMA residency, Mexico City (2011). She is a recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2007) and Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, Mexico (2020). 

“Latinx Dollars | Building Generational Wealth”

October 7 | Common Hour (1:50–3:15 p.m.) 

Virtual RSVP  

Join us as we engage in a discussion featuring attorney and financial coach Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez, Esq., of Zero-Based Budget Coaching LLC, and financial coach Joselyn Matamoros ’19TCB, ’20MS, as they explain the inter- and cross-cultural tools needed to build generational wealth and the impact of making wiser financial decisions.

This virtual discussion provides participants with the tools they need to begin their own financial journey of wealth-building. Ms. Zuniga-Sanchez and Ms. Matamoros work with a broad spectrum of clients, and have a passion for supporting and empowering first-generation individuals and families. They mostly serve Millennials and Generation Z clients, helping them take control of their money to begin building generational wealth. 


Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez, Esq. is the founder of Zero-Based Budget Coaching LLC. After graduating from law school in 2015 with debt totaling $215,000, she committed herself to becoming financially literate and took control of her finances.

In 2018, Ms. Zuniga-Sanchez launched her social media account on Instagram, @zerobasedbudget, to document her debt payoff journey and simplify her personal finance concepts. She then founded her business where she has helped many people regarding budgeting, saving, debt payoff, investing, building generational wealth, and more. 

Ms. Zuniga-Sanchez has been featured in national publications including ForbesBusiness InsiderKiplinger, and Refinery 29, and has shared her story on national and local television, including on Good Morning AmericaThe Rachael Ray ShowPix11 News, and Telemundo. She has recently partnered with The White House to raise awareness on the American Rescue Plan and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.  

She practiced law as a commercial litigation attorney at an Am 100 law firm before diving into full-time entrepreneurship. She is a graduate of Stony Brook University and earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  She was born


Joselyn Matamoros is a Honduran immigrant and first-generation college graduate. She graduated from St. John’s University with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in accounting. She received various scholarships, including the Women’s Bond Club Scholarship, Hispanic Heritage Foundation Business Award, and the NYSSSCPA Excellence in Accounting, among others.

She launched her career as a Financial Analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co in the Global Finance and Business Management program.  

Ms. Matamoros is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion, and financial literacy. She has been a member of different boards and committees to help elevate women and the Hispanic and Latinx communities. She currently serves as the President of Prospanica New York.

Ms. Matamoros is a financial literacy advocate and financial coach. She held a financial literacy workshop in April 2020 with

Growing up, she did not learn about money management, and saw the limited access her immigrant family had to financial resources. This propelled her to launch a personal finance platform on Instagram, @YourMoneyHermana, where she shares financial education content to help BIPOC individuals build generational wealth. She coaches women and Latinx individuals to help them develop better money habits by understanding how credit works, building an emergency fund, and investing for retirement to live a purposeful life.  

Ritmo de Vida (Rhythm of Life)

Friday, October 15 | 7–10 p.m.  
Marillac Terrace, Queens Campus 
Virtual RSVP 
In-Person RSVP 

St. John’s Latinx Heritage Month celebration concludes with a DJ-hosted live party featuring the Heavy Hitter DJ Fatfingaz. This event is not open to outside guests of the University. For more information, follow @StJohnsOMA on Instagram.


DJ Fatfingaz, a native of New York, is immersed in practically every aspect of DJ culture, which has allowed him to make a name for himself as a force in the industry. His foundation in the technical art of party rocking, combined with a background in technical skills, enables him to move people, whether it is in nightclubs, at concerts or festivals, or on live radio. He is passionate about his career, and is very adamant about maintaining “the love of the crowd.” 

DJ Fatfingaz is a champion-level DJ, competing and ranking in DMC NYC 2004 in third place next to 2 World DMC Champions and BET’s 106 & Park DJ Champion. 

For more information on these events, please visit, or contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 
[email protected] or 718-990-2515 during business hours (i.e., Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.)