The new GSB Parents' Association Diversity Committee helped to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in September and October by supporting a campus-wide display of positive images recognizing the culture, achievements, contributions, and influence of Hispanic and Latinx Americans past and present. Hispanic Heritage Month is officially observed from September 15 to October 15, beginning on the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence on September 16 and 18, respectively.
Each division celebrated Hispanic heritage and culture in many ways. The libraries in all three divisions highlighted books written by Latinx authors and focused on the Latinx experience. The Lower School displayed images and posters in classrooms and hallways featuring flags of Central America, South America, and Caribbean countries, as well as notable Hispanic and Latinx Americans. The Middle School featured a Town Hall presentation by Dr. Montana Vasquez-Grinnell on the history of Hispanic Heritage Month, and the eighth grade Spanish language classes incorporated the Hispanic Heritage posters located in the Middle School hallways for an assignment connecting heritage and culture. The Upper School assembly featured a student presentation in both English and Spanish and the announcement of a new student affinity club, the Hispanic Culture and Heritage Club. Finally, our dining service, SAGE, hosted a spotlight on cuisine for lunch that featured roasted chicken, black beans over rice, and plantains. As students entered the dining hall for their grab-and-go lunch they were greeted by a display of flags from Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as the sounds of salsa, merengue, and music by contemporary Latin artists.
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tracey Goodson Barrett stated, "These visual displays provide the community with opportunities to learn more about Hispanic culture and for our families and students who are Hispanic and Latinx, to feel a sense of belonging within our community. We recognize cultural heritage months not only to celebrate different cultures and heritages but to also educate our community during the month and year-round."
The new PA Diversity Committee, co-chaired by parents Antionette Segreto P '32, '32 and Reema Puri P '19, '21, is led by Ms. Barrett and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Together, they work to connect GSB families and students across cultural identities through initiatives that promote cultural diversity, inclusion, belonging, and community.
All parents are welcomed to sign up to volunteer for this committee and to learn more about the upcoming plans to recognize and celebrate cultural heritages each month, including November plans to celebrate Diwali, Native American Heritage, and the December holidays, Hannukah, Christmas, and Kwanza.