Behaving Equitably

Hispanic Heritage Month: Sept 16th, 2021 by S. Prak-Martins

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Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th, 2021 through October 15th, 2021 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Mayor Kim Janey of Boston is starting the celebration with a city hall lighting event (Sept. 15 from 6 - 8 pm). Although, I think the lives, diverse cultures, contributions, struggles, accomplishments, and extensive history should be celebrated and learned all year round, the nation has determine this is the time to purposefully and collectively learn more about the heritage of Hispanic, Hispanic Americans, Latino, Mexican, Mexican Americans and Latinx. The US Department of Education states, "Observing Hispanic Heritage Month allows our country to show its recognition and support for the work Latinos are doing in helping this country grow ("

Here are some resources to get you started on your learning journey:

Terms and Its Evolution...

Click on the link to learn more about the evolution of the terms and what terms (Hispanic, Latinx, Hispanic American, Mexican American, Latino) are culturally appropriate.

President Biden States in a Proclamation...

“During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize that Hispanic heritage is American heritage. We see it in every aspect of our national life: on our television and movie screens, in the music that moves our feet, and in the foods we enjoy. We benefit from the many contributions of Hispanic scientists working in labs across the country to help us fight COVID-19 and the doctors and the nurses on the front lines caring for people’s health. Our Nation is represented by Hispanic diplomats who share our values in countries all over the world and strengthened by military members and their families who serve and sacrifice for the United States. Our communities are represented by Hispanic elected officials, and our children are taught by Hispanic teachers. Our future will be shaped by Hispanic engineers who are working to develop new technology that will help us grasp our clean energy future and by the skilled union workers who are going to build it.”

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The Contribution...

The hope (that America will live up to it's promise), where we are ALL valued and given the opportunity to live our lives under equal protection stated in the Constitution of the United States, keeps us pushing for a better future. This dream has brought about leaders, soldiers, implementers, dreamers, doers, movers, and shakers of Social Justice. These individuals have spent and invested so much of themselves to challenge individuals, communities and systems that have supported and preserved supremacy, privilege, and oppression.

HuffPost identified 15 activist that we should read about. In addition, I have highlighted three individuals below that played an instrumental role around diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Please note that the impact and contributions of those who identify as Hispanic, Hispanic Americans, Latino, Latinx, Mexican and Mexican American is vast and started before the existence of this country. I encourage you to conduct your own research and learn more about the contributions of these incredible human beings.

Tiano: The Natives of the Carribean Islands

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Missing from the Mainstream History Books

The History of Puerto Rico

In 1493, Christopher Columbus claimed Puerto Rico for Spain. The colonization and exploitation of human capital began under the Spanish rule. Puerto Rico's native Tiano population were enslaved by the Spanish to mine silver and construct settlements. The vast majority of the native population was nearly wiped out by small pox. During the Spanish rule, they began to import slaves from Africa to produce cash crops such as sugar cane, tobacco, and coffee.

Although Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in 1898, Puerto Ricans were not awarded citizenship until March 2nd, 1917. Two months after being awarding citizenship, 20,000 Puerto Ricans were drafted to serve in World War 1. Is the timing a coincidence?

Click here to learn more about Puerto Rico's history.

The Brutal History of Anti-Mexican in America

What we have learned in our History classes may not have given us a clear, accurate and/or holistic picture (if any picture at all) of the struggles Mexicans and Mexican Americans have endured in their pursuit to life, liberty and justice in America. Since the 1840's, discrimination, racism, and prejudice has led to illegal and inhuman treatments of Mexicans and Mexican Americans. The mainstream media has also played a massive part in perpetuating stereo-types and misinformation about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. This population has dealt with genocides, illegal deportations, segregation, lynching and many other inhuman treatment.

Did you know:

This list is not a comprehensive list of injustice that has occurred. Please conduct your own research to better understand the historical trauma that the Tiano, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have endured.

More on Equity...

To keep up to date with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts at MPS, check out other editions of the Behaving Equitably Newsletters.

The Milton Public School District

The Town of Milton is a contemporary suburban community in eastern Massachusetts that prides itself on tree-lined streets, rich diversity, and acres of protected open space. Milton is unique in that it has the most privately and publicly conserved land within 20 miles of Boston, giving the town a bucolic atmosphere in close proximity to the cultural and business opportunities in the Greater Boston area. Milton residents have quick access to major highways such as Routes 128, Interstate 93 and Interstate 95. Residents can also access the Red Line into Boston via the Mattapan Trolley.

The Milton Public Schools serves just over 4,400 students in four elementary schools Collicot Elementary School, Cunningham Elementary School, Glover Elementary School, and Tucker Elementary School; one middle school- the Pierce Middle School; and one high school- Milton High School. In addition, Milton offers a developmental preschool, before and after school programs and summer school programs. All six of the district’s buildings have been rebuilt or updated to state-of-the-art facilities. Relative to other suburban school districts in the Metro West and South Shore areas of Massachusetts, the Milton Public Schools is uniquely diverse, proudly serving students with the following demographics- 14.2% African-American; 7.2% Asian; 4.4% Hispanic; .1% Native American; 69.4% White; .1 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; and 4.6 % Multi-Race ( In addition, approximately 14% of our students qualify for free and reduced priced lunch.