The Fairfax County School Board has recognized the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic Americans during National Hispanic Heritage Month. The recognition follows:
Hispanic Heritage Month Recognition
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, most of whom are in fact an extension of “The Americas” that we share, and many of whom are indigenous or represent mixed ancestries. This observation started in 1968 amidst the civil rights era as Hispanic Heritage Week and later expanded in 1988 to an observation period of 30 days starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law August 17, 1988 and is a long-standing American celebration of many decades.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is a tangible reinforcement of the School Board’s belief that “Our diversity is a strength that creates resilient, open, and innovative global citizens.” More importantly, it is a wonderful opportunity for our schools and community to celebrate the richness of the many nationalities, cultures, languages, religions, and traditions within this diverse ethnic group. We celebrate the likes of Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Ramon Rahim Ocasio, American civil rights and labor leaders of Hispanic heritage.
In FCPS, one in four of our students is of Hispanic Heritage, representing multilingual talents and origins from tens of countries. More than 1 in 10 of every employees in our system—10.5 percent—contribute to this richness as leadership team members, principals, teachers, cafeteria workers, interpreters, parent liaisons, custodians, bus drivers, and staff all across our division. These cultures in turn enrich our own school community.
I encourage our schools to set the tone in recognition of the need to reinvigorate the celebration of heritage, culture, and an empowered narrative of our friends and neighbors here in FCPS and encourage community members to participate in the programs and events taking place during this time.
FCPS values its diversity and acknowledges that all people contribute to the well-being of the community. The vast diversity and richness within the Hispanic experience include the longevity of Hispanic heritage in this country—for centuries before Columbus arrived on our shores, as well as the continued struggle and reality for migrant Americans of our brothers and sisters in mixed status families, those who are undocumented, those whom are “dacamented,” dreamers, some whose parents are on Temporary Protected Status, and many others whom we welcome.
FCPS is fortunate to have many groups whose members work with our Latinx and immigrant students empowering them to be the next generation of leaders and professionals. These include but are not limited to the staff mentioned earlier as well as the Hispanic Educators Association, Edu-Futuro, LUPEE, CASA, La Colectiva, and our own Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee.