The Office Multicultural Affairs and The Multicultural Advisory Board (MAB) presented a Hispanic Heritage Month program, “Aqui Estamos, Here We Are,” on Monday, Sept. 14 in the Lowrimore Auditorium.
This year, MAB invited José Galvez to speak during the presentation. Galvez is a Pulitzer Prize winner and photographer. He shared about his experiences growing up as a Latino and his passion for photographing the daily life of Latinos in the U.S.
He spent 20 years working as a newspaper photographer and has been sharing the stories of members of the Latino community through his photography. Galvez won the Pulitzer Prize in Community Service in 1984 for his photographs of Latino life in southern California.
At the beginning of his presentation, Galvez told the audience about his childhood and how those experiences led him to become a photographer for the “Arizona Daily Star” and the “Los Angeles Times.”
Galvez started out as a paper boy who sold copies of the newspaper on the sidewalks of downtown Tuscan, Ariz., and as a shoe shiner who carried a shoe- shine box all over town asking men and women if they would pay a dime for a shoe shining.
Galvez got his first look inside the “Star’s” newsroom when a reporter requested a shoe shining from him.
“To find the newsroom, Ihadtogoupafewflights of stairs,” Galvez said during his presentation. “At the top, I opened the door to my future.”
His passion for photography grew when he began carrying the camera bag for one of the photographers as he would go out to cover a story. Galvez said he spent most of the evening every day in the newsroom learning all that he could from the reporters and photographers.
Galvez said that he used his photographs of other Latinos to show that they have dreams and aspirations, and that they work hard to achieve those goals. Galvez said he hoped the audience had dreams and goals, too, and that they would draw encouragement from the stories he shared about members of the Latino community.
He said he has two jobs now. The first job is to photograph Latino people and show them that they are living beautiful lives.
Galvez said his second job is to share his photographs with non-Latino people. He said he hoped the audience would see an image they liked and be moved to understand the culture and lives of Latinos.
To close his portion of the program, Galvez encouraged the audience to keep up the good work they do and to continue pushing through the challenges and tough times.
Galvez used a quote from St. Francis de Sales: “Be who you are, and be that well.”
On Oct. 15, MAB will hold a cultural food festival at noon in the University Center Commons and other events later in the semester.
MAB is currently accepting applications for new members.