Students Honor Hispanic Heritage Month

Arthur Johnson ’22 and Lucas Martinez ’22 present their Latinos Unidos poster at Club Expo

Each year, Hispanic Heritage month begins on September 15, and it marks the beginning of a celebration for Latino/a voices and events throughout history. Throughout the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, countless Latinos have immigrated to the United States fleeing tyranny or seeking better opportunities, rapidly increasing the population of Hispanic descendants in this country. To recognize their achievements and contributions to American society, in 1988, under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Hispanic Heritage month was officially created by the United States government.

In the past at Western Reserve Academy, recognition and celebration of Latino students and history has been limited: no affinity group even existed for Latino students until the 2019/2020 school year. Furthermore, Latinos represent the smallest portion of the student body, with only 23 currently enrolled. Despite the limited number of Latinos, Latinos Unidos (the Hispanic affinity group) has been avidly celebrating Hispanic Heritage month by making weekly announcements and hosting a baile, or dance, in the green key.

On Friday, September 17, Latinos Unidos hosted the baile. Members of the group cooked Empanadas, Picadillo, black beans, and rice for students to sample as they danced to Reggaeton and more. One student present at the dance stated, “the green key was really fun tonight. The music was good, and the food was really good too.” With arguably the largest turnout of any green key this school year, the baile was touted as a great success by Latinos Unidos. Beyond just the green key, each Friday, two members of Latinos Unidos make short announcements highlighting the lives and work of prestigious Latinos across the globe, whether in academics, entertainment, or elsewhere. These announcements serve to build awareness for Latino voices and help fellow Pioneers understand the rich history of Hispanics. In fact, at the end of Hispanic Heritage month, Dr. Dionne Hernandez-Lugo, a chief technologist at NASA, will speak to the entire student body as a capstone event for Latino celebrations.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at WRA organized the event to promote prestigious Latino voices to the study body, demonstrating the value of expansive cultural backgrounds in the United States. Although Hispanic Heritage month comes to an end on October 15, the voices of Latinos across the school, country and world should still be promoted and celebrated: diversity of opinion and background create a stronger, more united humanity. WRA looks forward for more!

Arthur Johnson ’22

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