To kick off Latinx Heritage Month this year, our Chief Operating Officer shared the following words with our faculty and staff:
Growing up in a Domincan household, a cafecito (coffee) was the precursor to hear the latest family news, the way we welcomed guests, and the way we melted the stress away. Today I invite you all to a virtual cafecito, as we celebrate LATINX HERITAGE MONTH from September 15th through October 15th.
September 15th is a noteworthy day for several Latin American countries as it marks the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Moreover, Mexico, (September 16) and Chile (September 18) also celebrate their Independence this month. ¡Felicidades!
I am beyond proud to be part of the 60+ million Latinx individuals who live in the US. I am proud of the contributions given to this country through our rich traditions and culture, our innovation and work ethic, and our power as a community. My strength comes from the strong Dominican women in my family that left their lands and language so that their children could have a chance at their American dream. As BIPOC folx face day-to-day, I recognize that we often have to reach further for those opportunities and dreams due to the system racism that is alive and well.
My strength also comes from my heroes, Las Hermanas Mirabal. These three Dominican sisters, whose founding of a movement led to their tragic death, were the catalyst to end a 30-year dictatorship. 60 years later, their faces graced the cover of Time Magazine as one of the “100 Women of the Year” (see attached for photo of mounted cover in my home!). They weren’t from a specific community and didn’t have a madre and padre with special parenting skills. They were everyday citizens who were outraged by the 2 million Haitians killed because of their skin color. They were outraged by the abuse put upon their people and the fear imposed to prevent any opposition.
My humility comes from knowing that as a light-skinned Latina with somewhat straight hair, I have privileges. My strength comes from knowing that like the Hermanas Mirabal, I have the power to make a change in how my daughters and son correct the wrongs of our people and play a role in the small and big changes needed in our world.
I hope you each find a way to support Latinx Heritage Month by learning more about a Latinx colleague’s background over some cafecito (we love storytelling), supporting a Latinx small business, or reading about Las Hermanas Mirabal. However you choose to recognize this month, I look forward to hearing about it either via email or some virtual cafecito.
Special thanks to my Latinx colleagues across our Prospect Schools community. Nunca se olviden que si se puede. Estoy orgullosa de cada uno de ustedes. Pa’lante!
All the best,
Chief Operating Officer, Prospect Schools
*(pronounced in spanish eh-lie-neh)