Moderator Column: Celebrating Our Diverse Cultures 365

Moderator Column: Celebrating Our Diverse Cultures 365

This 12 months, Spanish Heritage Month started on September 15 and ended on October 15. Though Hispanic Heritage Month has come and gone, I invite all members of our neighborhood to proceed studying about Hispanic or Hispanic heritage – each these thought-about Hispanic/Latino in addition to those that don’t.

The identical is true of black historical past, Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander heritage or probably the most well-known of girls’s historical past. I urge all members of our neighborhood to be taught concerning the numerous cultures, heritage, and contributions of our neighborhood as a complete – not simply throughout a particular month, however one year a 12 months.



To commemorate this 12 months’s Hispanic Heritage Month, our Board of Training has adopted a proclamation honoring the heritage of Hispanics or Latinos. I need to spotlight a number of the details that had been included within the advert:

  • 57% of scholars enrolled in Roaring Fork faculties are Hispanic or Latino, and Spanish is the second most typical native language within the space;
  • We imagine that our range is a pressure the place the varied races and cultures of our college students create wealthy academic and cultural experiences for your entire faculty neighborhood; And the
  • The Roaring Fork College Board strongly encourages employees and the neighborhood to watch, acknowledge, and rejoice the tradition, heritage, and contributions of the Hispanic and Latino neighborhood in our nation, state, cities, and faculties.

I’m proud to serve on a college board that has taken this vital – albeit small – step in the direction of attaining an inclusive society that affirms and celebrates that each member is part of it. Over the previous 4 months, I’ve had the chance to attach with dad and mom, college students, alumni, employees, and members of our neighborhood at massive from numerous backgrounds. What I’ve discovered is that there’s a super quantity of want to broaden our personal views and rejoice our variations and similarities.



The time period Hispanic is usually used interchangeably with the time period Latin. Within the 1970 census, authorities officers who had been searching for a generic time period that might embrace all who got here from Spanish-speaking international locations or who had dad and mom from Spanish-speaking international locations launched it to the favored United States dictionary. One other enjoyable reality is that the US doesn’t have an official language, despite the fact that probably the most used language is American English.

some Latin Or Hispanics really feel strongly about their most popular time period. Some reject each phrases and demand that they need to be identified by their nationwide origin, Mexican or Mexican-American for instance. Over the previous a number of years, Latin, often pronounced English (Latin Ex) or Spanglish (Latin-x), has been used as a gender-neutral or non-binary different to the masculine Latin (Latin oh) The female latina (Lateen-Ah), which is often pronounced in Spanish.

Tradition, race, and ethnicity are advanced whether or not persons are outlined by phrases resembling Latin or Spanish, by their ancestors to a selected nation, or by their ethnicity. The diaspora in Latin America could be very numerous and can’t be decreased to a homogeneous tradition. Which means that though many individuals from the Latin diaspora converse Spanish and share many traditions, some converse different languages ​​as effectively; They sing and dance to a wide range of musical genres; Get pleasure from totally different meals; Typically, they’ve a wide range of totally different cultures. For instance, my DNA features a pressure of:

  • 54% Native American
  • 39% Europe, principally Iberian Peninsula but in addition 3% Jewish; And the
  • 7% Africa.

Some members of the Latin diaspora have extra African ancestry, others are extra European, and naturally a wide range of different mixtures even inside an identical nation of origin as Mexico.

Every of our college students deserves the chance to find out about their very own historical past, ethnicity, and tradition; These are referred to as mirrors. Likewise, every of our college students deserves the chance to additionally be taught concerning the histories, races, and cultures of others; These are referred to as home windows. Every ebook a scholar reads is usually a mirror or a window, relying on who the reader is. As well as, every of our college students deserves the chance to think about themselves in several worlds; These are referred to as sliding glass doorways. Sadly for me, I had only a few alternatives in Ok-12 to be taught by way of mirrors in school; I discovered so much from what I shared on this column outdoors of sophistication or after highschool.

Dr. Roden Sims Bishop wrote a seminal article in 1990 referred to as “Mirrors, Home windows, and Sliding Glass Doorways” the place she stated:

“Literature transforms the human expertise and displays it again on us, and on this reflection we are able to see our lives and our experiences as a part of the bigger human expertise. Studying then turns into a way of self-affirmation, and readers typically search for their mirrors in books. When sufficient books can be found that act as mirrors and home windows. For all of our youngsters, they may see that we are able to rejoice each our variations and our similarities, as a result of collectively they’re what make us all human.”

Please settle for my invitation to proceed studying and rejoice the varied cultures of our valley, one year a 12 months.

Dr. Jesus Rodriguez is the Superintendent of the Roaring Fork District Colleges in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt. His column seems month-to-month in Submit Impartial.


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