The Los Angeles Unified School District Board has unanimously approved a resolution embracing this year’s Latino Heritage Month celebrations by supporting a nationwide effort to establish a national museum focused on the American Latino experience.
The local initiative encourages greater participation in the computer science fields, particularly for low-income students of color, and asks every member of the L.A. Unified family to “remember and celebrate the contributions that Latinos have made to California and the United States.”
Though initially approved in 1968, Congressman Esteban E. Torres — a graduate of James A. Garfield High School in Los Angeles — authored federal legislation in 1987 that expanded federal recognition from a week to an entire 30-day period, spanning from September 15 to October 15. During this time, the following countries celebrate their independence anniversaries: Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
“Celebrating and understanding our students’ histories is critical to providing a high quality educational experience on their path to the graduation finish line,” said Board Member Mónica García, author of the resolution. “In Los Angeles, diversity is our strength.”
Through this resolution, the board also expressed formal support for the creation of a Smithsonian institution in Washington, D.C.
“The campaign for a Smithsonian National American Latino Museum is about more than one museum. It’s a campaign about rightfully recognizing American Latino contributions throughout our academic and cultural institutions,” said Alfred Fraijo, Jr., Friends of the American Latino Museum Board Member and Partner with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.
“We need a national institution to create the infrastructure, investment, and visibility for our contributions that will reverberate throughout the nation.”
The resolution encourages educators and staff to incorporate the spirit of celebration in L.A. schools.
Latino Heritage LA is a community resource where families can find family friendly events throughout the month. They also are sponsoring the “App Challenge” where families, educators, and community partners can encourage youth to participate in this month’s celebration by submitting an idea, in many creative ways, to solve a problem in their community.