This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture at Hope College will feature the documentary “First Voice Generation” on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.
“First Voice Generation” focuses on students from the Hope College TRIO Upward Bound program and brings awareness to first-generation college students, the education gap in America, and access to higher education for low-income students. A panel discussion will follow the screening with Cynthia Martinez, who is the film’s director/producer; Hope College staff and students; and individuals featured in the film.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
“First Voice Generation” follows the stories of three Latinx high school students in Holland during an unprecedented global pandemic year. The students struggle with their identity growing up in a historically Dutch community, feeling they don’t belong because they are children of Mexican immigrants. They dream of being the first in their families to go to college, but a year of challenges ensues with virtual learning, and the cost of affording college seeming impossible. The film has been featured at the Central Michigan International Film Festival, Capital City Film Festival, The Los Angeles Mexican American Television and Film Festival, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, and the San Antonio Film Festival.
Hope College TRIO Upward Bound works year round with 92 college bound students from Fennville, Holland and West Ottawa High Schools in grades 9-12. Hope College TRIO Upward Bound, has helped thousands of Holland area students since 1968. It is one of the oldest continuous federally funded TRIO Upward Bound programs in the country.
There are 1,023 TRIO Upward Bound Programs throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, and outlying jurisdictions including Alaska and Hawaii, serving 73,944 students. By helping participants to develop the skills and motivation, TRIO Upward Bound Programs increase the rate at which students, who come from first-generation and low-income backgrounds, complete high school and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. TRIO Upward Bound emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty.
Filmmaker and journalist Cynthia Martinez, is a Hope College TRIO Upward Bound alumna. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she set out to work and realized she had stories to tell. With that passion, she enrolled in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and completed her master’s program in 2012. Her experience includes working for Univision News in Miami and is currently engaged with direction and producing films and media that advocate social justice.
A preview of the film is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CZHxZDV03s
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs September 15-October 15. The October 4 event is sponsored by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Latino Student Organization, the First-Generation Student Union, and Hope College TRIO Upward Bound.
To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St., between College and Columbia avenues.