Filmmaker Speaks at Latin@ Heritage Month Banquet

Photo by Giancarlo Sepulveda

Jesus Nebot, a Spanish award-winning filmmaker and transformational speaker, called for immigration reform at the Latin@ Heritage Month banquet at the Trustees Pavilion on Wednesday.

Jesus Nebot’s speech dissected misconceptions about Latin immigrants and addressed illegal immigrant crime rates and undocumented employment. He also proposed a solution to this kind of ignorance with a principle he calls “humanitarian perspective.”

“The basic principle of humanitarian perspective is that we all come to the realization that before you are an American and I am a Spaniard, before you are a Republican and I am a Democrat, more important than that is that we are all humans,” said Nebot. “We need to connect with that human bond to bring us together as people, and address this issue in a more humane manner instead of a judgmental manner.”

This year, Assistant Director for Equity and Diversity Programs Tamika Quick put together the celebration for Ramapo students to attend.

“We’re here in recognition of Latino Heritage Month and to educate the college community about [Latino] history and culture,” said Quick. “I want students to not just think about the food, not just think about the music; I want them to diversify themselves when it comes to the history.”

Each year, Americans observe National Latin@ Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Ramapo students such as Amauris Peralta-Munoz, from the Dominican Republic, were proud to have the opportunity to celebrate their own history and the history of other Latin Americans.

“This is who we are and this represents where we came from,” said Peralta-Munoz.

When asked about issues with illegal immigration and crime Peralta-Munoz said, “Everyone comes here for a good reason. If they wanted to commit crimes they would do that in their own country. They’re here for a better life.”