Paula Carozzo is an influencer, model and disabled activist. (Photo: @pauuzzo)

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Missouri State University will host a series of events over the next two weeks to celebrate Latino culture. 

In connection with Latino Heritage Month, the university’s office of multicultural programs will host presentations and programs that members of the public are invited to attend. The events range from speakers and discussions to theater and dancing. 

Paula Carozzo is an influencer, model and disabled activist. (Photo: @pauuzzo)

Speaker Paula Carozzo, Sept. 19, 7 p.m., Plaster Student Union Theatre. Carozzo is a model, influencer and disability activist from Venezuela who suffered a non-traumatic brain injury during tonsil removal surgery. She speaks about how to be better allies with people who have disabilities and treat them as the humans as they are, without focusing on curing the disability.

Night of Bachata and Salsa, Sept. 20, 6 p.m., Plaster Student Union Ballroom East. Think dance, not snacks. Bachata is a genre of music with origins in the Dominican Republic, and influences from European and African areas, while salsa music features Cuban, Puerto Rican and American influences. Dance With Me Springfield will teach attendees a few Latin dance steps. Last year, this event drew more than 100 participants, so finding a partner should be simple. 

Dancers perform during a 2019 event. (Photo courtesy of Missouri State University)

“Tres Vidas: The Lives of Three Legendary Latinas,” Sept. 25, 6 p.m., Plaster Student Union Theatre. This theatrical presentation will feature an in-depth look at artist Frida Kahlo, massacre survivor and writer Rufina Amaya and poet Alfonsina Storni. 

Movie night, Sept. 28, 5 to 7 p.m., Multicultural Resource Center. Film professor Millana Jocelyn will guide a history of Latino movies, with a focus on how the film industry interacts with the culture. A movie will also be shown; that movie will be announced at a later date. Plenty of popcorn will be available. 

Dispelling Latino stereotypes, Oct. 4, 3 p.m., Multicultural Resource Center. Members of a Latino student organization will discuss cultural stereotypes and how best to disprove them. 

Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Springfield Daily Citizen. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or More by Joe Hadsall