Julienne Devita / American Word Magazine
At EP, our team is spread across the country. One of the tools we use to connect to each other daily is Salesforce Chatter! There, we give updates on our work, ask questions of each other, and share what we’re reading.
As a community, we at Education Pioneers celebrate and work together to stay educated and engaged in regards to our different cultures and identities. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is not only one of our core values; it guides us in how we foster and develop our relationships with one another.
Over the past month, we’ve celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month as a team. Taking place between September 15th and October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month’s start day commemorates the independence dates of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Additionally, Belize, Chile, and Mexico also celebrate their independence days during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Spearheading this effort were members from our Staff of Color affinity group who took the lead in sharing knowledge about the month’s history, finding meaningful ways to celebrate it individually and together across the country, as well as gathering resources to share with our community. Knowing why these things are important to the Hispanic community and their history also played a role in how we shared resources internally.
Below, you can find a selection of resources from Chatter and our celebrations this month:
WHAT WE'RE READING AND WATCHING:
We shared stories, articles, and multimedia about the legacy of education in Hispanic communities in our country.
- What it Means to be Latino and Working in Education, Part 1 & Part 2 - In a blog series by our friends at Latinos for Education, they speak with Dr. Nancy Gutierrez, Chief Strategy Officer at the New York City Leadership Academy, and Antonio Plascencia Jr, Director of Civic Engagement at Los Angeles Unified School District, about their experiences as a Latino leader in education.
Before 'Brown v. Board’: Before the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1954, Mexican-American families challenged an Orange County school district’s “separate but equal” practices in the case of Mendez v. Westminster (1947). A federal circuit court ruled that segregating school children was unconstitutional. This article features one of the children at the center of that California case.
Latina Poet Has a Powerful Answer to 'Are You Fluent in Spanish'?: "My Spanish is my third birthday party, half of it is memory the other half is that photograph on the fridge." In this poem, Melissa Lozada Oliva tackles many topics that people of color in the United States face. Questioning ones idenntity. Defending your culture. Feeling othered. Her anecdotes and thought provoking prose will stick with you long after the three minute video ends.
The Graduates/Los Graduados: Our team watched and debriefed this two-part special by PBS that examines many causes of the Latino dropout crisis. The documentary follows six young students who are part of an ongoing effort to increase the graduation rates among Latino students.
News in Numbers: According to new census data published by the Pew Research Center, the high school dropout rate among U.S. Hispanics has fallen to a new low, extending a decades-long decline. Hispanic college enrollment is also at a record low.
23 Books By Latinos That Might Just Change Your Life: The title of this article by the Huffington Post says it all. Our team is planning a book club to collectively read these amazing books. We challenge you to join us.
WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO:
Music is an important part of the Hispanic community as it is allows generations separated by languages, to communicate on a harmonious and melodic level.
Andrea Bocelli (Italy): Quizas
Celia Cruz (Cuba): La Vida es un Carnival
Hispanic Heritage: 10 Songs That Make Us Happy Playlist
WHAT WE'RE ADMIRING IN ART:
Just as music allows the Hispanic community to express itself, so does art. It has long been a formative way for communities of color to speak through the art of expression, and leave a legacy for generations to come.
Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco: This Peruvian non profit unites weavers to raise their own economic power, preserve artistic traditions, share their artistic traditions with the world, and to renew pride in their indigenous identity.
7 Latinx Artists Bringing Diversity to the 2017 Whitney Biennial: Diversity in the art world has long been scrutinized, but this article shows that it is not hard to find, as long as you know where to look. It highlights seven artists, but educates the reader on the cultural aspects and meaning behind the Latinx artistry.
Raul De Nieves
WHAT WE'RE EATING:
The saying 'the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach' definitely rings true. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we gathered recipes from different countries to share and enjoy together.
Pambazo (Mexico): Legend says that Pambazo originated in Orizaba, Veracruz by a French chef.
Pupusas (El Salvador): First created by the Pipil tribe, who lived in what is now El Salvador.
Gallo Pinto (Costa Rica): A traditional dish of Costa Rican and Nicaraguan cuisine that is believed to originate through the Afro-Latino immigrants who lived on the Caribbean coasts.
What did you and your organization do to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? How are you planning to keep the conversation going year-round? Please share in the comments.