In celebrating Latinx Heritage Month, we are celebrating something much bigger than any one tradition. This month is a recognition of persistence, resistance, and pride.
What is Latinx Heritage Month? The textbooks will tell us about its origins. We know that it began as a week-long observance in 1968. The month-long celebration, as we know it now, did not begin until 1989. The timing, we learn, is meaningful. The September 15 kickoff date, according to History.com’s editors, was chosen, “because it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of … Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Those five nations declared their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.”
It is about what the history books tell us, and so much more.
Latinx History Month is the legacy of activists like Cesar Chavez, Sylvia Rivera, Felipe Luciano and Dolores Huerta. It is the spirit of fighting for our rights and for the rights of others.
It’s the genius of engineer Guillermo González Camarena, who created the first color TV. It is also the great Roberto Clemente’s compassion. It’s Sylvia del Villard‘s vision.
Latinx Heritage Month is Ellen Ochoa’s determination. It’s Sonia Sotomayor’s passion for justice. And it’s also the resolve of Rita Moreno, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and all those who dared to be first.
It sounds like salsa, bachata, and Reggaeton.
It feels like a warm island breeze or a hazy afternoon in the mountainside. And it also feels like the buzz of a block party in New York, Connecticut or Rhode Island.
We are celebrating Latinx Heritage Month as a time to honor a culture that survived – and is still surviving—colonization and discrimination. It is a month for celebrating identity.
To our Latinx Team & Family members, thank you for your positive impact on countless school communities, neighborhoods, cities, and our entire country. This month, we celebrate you.