Salute to Latinas highlights diversity, stereotypes

Teagan Wilkinson

Though it is relatively new to Grand Valley State University, the multicultural sorority Delta Tau Lambda has been trying to make a name for themselves on campus and in the surrounding community through their philanthropic work. This is their idea behind their second annual “Salute to Latinas” event next Thursday.

The event aims to highlight and educate the community about the hardships women of minorities face. Delta Tau Lambda is bringing in two guest speakers to talk about diversity and stereotypes in the workplace.

“They will be speaking from their own personal experiences as minority women and how that has affected their experiences in West Michigan,” said Emny De Leon, president of GVSU’s chapter of Delta Tau Lambda.

Having a Salute to Latinas event is required by Delta Tau Lambda’s national organization, but that does not stop the GVSU chapter from trying their hardest to make their event exemplary.

“Last year was our first time putting this event on and it was super successful so we are hoping for the same thing this semester,” said Kayla Mayhue, vice president of the chapter.

Last year’s salute was centered around women of color who faced and overcame adversity in their lives. While this year’s event will be similar to the first, Delta Tau Lambda is hoping to set it apart by focusing on a new theme and by bringing in speakers from two different backgrounds.

“It’s going to open the eyes of many people coming from different perspectives,” Mayhue said.

Beside the educational aspect, Salute to Latinas is also a celebration. One of Delta Tau Lambda’s main goals is to honor and celebrate women of color. During the event, the Lydia Cruz & Sandra Maria Ramos scholarship, a $500 scholarship will be awarded to a local college-bound high school senior and the Diamond Award honors a Latina woman in the community who the chapter thinks deserves recognition.

“Women were being recognized except for everyday women like teachers, nurses, mothers or community members that went above and beyond to help others,” De Leon said. “Our founders created the Diamond Award as a way to thank them for their hard work within the community.”

The Lydia Cruz and Sandra Maria scholarship and Diamond Award mean a lot to Delta Tau Lambda, De Leon said.

“We especially enjoy doing this because we have the opportunity to give back to the community that has given us and assisted us in becoming who we are today,” De Leon said.

Throughout the event, entertainment as well as food are offered as ways to key the audience in to the cultures represented during the evening. Additionally, attendees will receive raffle tickets throughout the night that will enter them in to win various prizes.

Students of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to attend this event. It is open to the public and an opportunity to show support for the Latina community at GVSU.

“Even though this celebration is titled ‘Salute to Latinas,’ we still celebrate amazing, hard working women of all walks of life,” De Leon said.

Salute to Latinas takes place on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the GVSU Alumni House. This event is LIB 100 and LIB 201 approved. For more information, visit