Beginning on September 15, Latinx Heritage Month is a time to spotlight this wonderful heritage and all the important contributions Latinx people have made to the community. Latinx people have bettered this world in countless ways, including through their cuisine, music, culture, art, and language, as well through inventions that have benefited billions.
Berkeley High School (BHS) students need to learn about Latinx people, their culture, and their impact on the world. In past years, BHS has honored this month with a school-wide assembly. However, given the current pandemic, a large indoor assembly wouldn’t be a safe option. Thus, BHS has to honor Latinx culture differently this year in a way that unites the community.
These past two years have had a major toll on everyone’s social lives. Many haven’t been able to connect with their cultures and celebrate them together. Starting this year and continuing for years ahead, BHS should make up for the missed social interactions by celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with something even more special than an assembly in order to bring the community together and celebrate the numerous Latinx accomplishments in our society.
In order to recognize the importance of Latinx people, BHS must take the next step to ensure that this community is celebrated. For example, an outdoor school dance on the BHS campus green would be a great way for our school to show appreciation for Latinx culture. BHS hasn’t had a school dance in a while, and this could provoke the interest of many students, and give them the chance to appreciate Latinx music and food with their peers.
Community building is essential for celebrating Latinx people because it gives students at BHS the opportunity to express their appreciation for a culture in a way that allows them to build bonds, something an assembly may not be able to do quite as well. Latinx students at BHS will also feel more connected to their community. In times like these, where isolation has become the norm, community building and feeling as though you are a part of something bigger than yourself are both essential to the mental health of students and teachers.
Although substituting an assembly with a school-wide event would be more difficult to organize and may take more effort, it would clearly be worth it, and greatly benefit the community. An indoor assembly doesn’t include community activities or effectively celebrate Latinx culture the way students deserve, and BHS must consider alternative options to spread appreciation and acknowledgement.