Hispanic Heritage Month: Professor’s multicultural upbringing nurtures passion for language education

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Professor’s multicultural upbringing nurtures passion for language education. Photo of rainbow colored hands reaching for the air

By Paige Fowler, Jagwire

Dr. Giada Biasetti, associate professor of Spanish in the Department of English and World Languages in the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, works every day to advance the culture of Hispanic and Latino communities.

She has been with Augusta University for eight years and is the director of the Salamanca Study Abroad Program. In 2018, she won the Professor of the Year Award for the Georgia chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and in 2020, she received Pamplin’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.

On her family
“My parents are Italian, but I was born in Lima, Peru, so my initial contact with culture and language was Italian and Spanish at the same time,” she said. “And then eventually I was put in an American school, so I started learning English as well.”

Biasetti lived in Peru for nine years, then Caracas, Venezuela, for six years, so her formative years were spent in Latin America. She’s always had a passion for Spanish language, culture and literature, and is grateful to share that passion with American students.

“In the U.S., the Spanish language is very important; it’s growing. Spanish is the most-spoken language in the country, other than English,” she said.

“I always have to fight for people to really appreciate that, but I love to transmit that passion and try to convince some students that they should continue studying Spanish, and not just do a semester or two to get the credit.”

Biasetti is grateful that her diverse upbringing in Peru, Venezuela, Italy and the U.S. made her a cultural “hybrid,” as she calls it. “It’s made me what I am today,” she said.

She currently resides in Florida, where she’s surrounded by Hispanic and Latino culture.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m in Venezuela when I’m in Florida, especially Miami, because of the Spanish-speaking, the food and the environment,” she said.

On her students
Biasetti was named director of the Salamanca Study Abroad Program in 2019, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has yet to bring students to Spain.

The program was canceled in 2020 and 2021, but is planning to resume in late June 2022.

In addition to the study abroad program, one of Biasetti’s greatest academic interests is translation and interpretation education. In her translation courses, she regularly assigns projects that encourage students to immerse themselves in multiple languages.

“In my translation class, we recently did a translation of something that was originally written in Italian, then was translated into English, and then my students translated it into Spanish. I try to use as many languages as possible because I feel the more you’re exposed to them, and different cultures, the better,” she said.

Her translation and composition classes regularly support the Latino community in Augusta with their projects. Many publications released by Biasetti’s students are made available to the community via Augusta University’s libraries or other public libraries in Evans and Augusta. Biasetti also drops off free copies of these projects to local public schools.

Click here to read the full article on Jagwire.

This Afro-Latina Wants To Empower Women With Crypto Education
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money-spreadout-on-table-with-a-graducation-cap-and-tassle-in-the-middle. Crypto

By BeLatina

As the world becomes more digital, and with the metaverse just around the corner, educating and empowering our communities about access to new resources is vital.

But what happens when the language is convoluted and leaves out minorities?

Enter Marimer Cruz.

This Afro-Latina has written a book to break crypto down and make it accessible to everyone. “Crypto Simplified” is a step-by-step how-to manual that includes videos to start investing in the cryptocurrency world in an easy, quick, and safe way.

According to the author’s press release, the book s a layman’s explanation of the world of cryptocurrencies, how to buy your first crypto, and make money after implementation. Cruz explains what novices need to know about this complicated and rapidly evolving market.

For Marimer Cruz, the feeling of being overwhelmed by the financial jargon is common for all Latinos, especially those from poor backgrounds.

A graduate of TAMUCT and BAYLOR University’s Master’s degree, Cruz grew up amid poverty, abuse, and struggling with systemic lupus.

The Texas-based Puerto Rican experienced firsthand the linguistic and information democratization obstacles when she took her first steps in the world of cryptocurrency.

“I remember how scared I was of sending money from one exchange to another, thinking I will lose it all,” she says.

Now, with “Crypto Simplified,” Cruz wants to change the landscape.

“I remember how alone it feels being one of the few women minority full-time educators and bot traders in the USA,” she admits.

Cruz learned directly from grid bot trading experts and has leveraged her seven years as a super affiliate to help others safely embark on crypto. “Crypto is my passion, and there is nothing like it,” Cruz says, “and I will be spreading the crypto gospel in the Anglo and Spanish markets for years to come!”

Click here to read the full article on BeLatina.

Meet The Latina Founders Of A Specialty Coffee Company Dedicated To Celebrating Latin American Heritage
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Casa Dos Chicas Café Founders Ana Ocansey-Jimenez and Oneida Franco

By Girl Talk HQ

For all of us coffee drinkers, we’re used to getting up in the morning, reaching for our favorite mug, and pouring ourselves a cup of joe without giving a second thought to where our grinds originated from. We need the caffeine to kickstart our day, and then we’re on our way!

But what if we told you there was a brand of coffee that takes great care to share with its customers where the coffee is sourced from and how it is made, making it part of their brand identity? That brand is Casa Dos Chicas Café, founded by accountants and mothers Ana Ocansey-Jimenez and Oneida Franco.

These two finance experts turned coffee connoisseurs have added “Entrepreneur” to their list of powerful titles as the founders of Casa Dos Chicas Café, a brand of The Whole Kitchen, which was also founded by the Latina duo.

Casa Dos Chicas Café offers organic, single-origin, specialty coffees sourced mainly from small, family-owned farms or multi-family cooperatives across Latin America and the Caribbean including the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. Through Casa Dos Chicas Café, they are dedicated to celebrating Latin American heritage while promoting equitable, sustainable practices along the entire coffee supply chain.

We loved the sound of this company (and it made us immediately want to drink a good cup of coffee!) so we had the chance to speak with both Oneida and Ana about the origins of the business, how they are working to lift other Latinas in the business world, and why representation is important to them.

How did you two first meet and decide to go on this entrepreneurship journey together?

We met in New York City while working together in corporate accounting. We hit it off and quickly became friends! Soon enough we began a tradition of drinking Cuban cafecito in the breakroom during the afternoons which continued for the next 4.5 years.

We decided to embark on this entrepreneurship journey when we saw how we could impact people’s lives while fulfilling our own. Ana put our first financial model together and we said “Let’s do this!”

Can you tell us where the idea for Casa Dos Chicas Café came from, and where your love of coffee originated?

The idea of Casa Dos Chicas Café was nurtured through the building of our friendship, sharing our cultures through foods, and drinking cafecito during our time at work. We even purchased an electric greca/moka pot to make the afternoon brews, which we still have and will soon be framed.

We went our separate ways as we continued to develop our careers but stayed in touch. We would continue to see each other often for lunch and would of course enjoy our coffee and dream of the future. The love of coffee came from our families tradition, we have countless stories that our Dominican and Mexican parents shared with us and we now share with each other.

Ana had been taking different coffee courses and learning as much about specialty coffee as possible. Through that we made great connections with people throughout the supply chain. We saw the inequalities throughout it and decided we wanted to influence and do our part. This along with showing people how the third wave of coffee is changing the coffee scene, we saw a gap where we could educate on what specialty coffee is, why it is special, and how they too can have it and enjoy it.

This new venture is part of The Whole Kitchen brand. Why is expansion important to your business, and why should all entrepreneurs keep expansion in mind as they climb the ladder of success?

The Whole Kitchen is the mother company and it was a concept that Oneida had been developing since her daughter was 2. We loved it!

Change is good and growth is natural. It is not easy, but it is important to always strive to grow and expand because if not the business will begin to fizzle and can die. Growth does not necessarily mean just the revenue line, it comes in various places, from impact, knowledge, the service getting better towards the customer, using technology better. There is always room to grow.

We were only able to host one The Whole Kitchen event because COVID hit. We had to hold and that is when our focus shifted in launching Casa Dos Chicas Café as a brand of TWK. Expansion is important, but knowing when to pivot if something is not quite going as planned with what you are doing is vital. Planning ahead and having a vision is imperative. What are some of the cultural traditions you are both bringing to CDCC and excited to share with customers?

We have many things brewing (pun intended)! One of them is bringing back traditional Latin American ways to prepare coffee – of course you will see Mexico and Dominican Republic first. We partnered with Colamo Café, an artist from DR that makes the most beautiful traditional cafeteras. We will have our collaboration for sale soon on our site.
Through our work and offerings, we are highlighting at-home coffee preparation methods and the attentive cultural traditions that our mothers, tias (aunts), and grandmothers taught us when it comes to serving our guests. We are bringing back the moment of simply pausing during the afternoon while having a cup of coffee. The western culture often leaves us tired after a long day with no opportunity to simply sit down and have a conversation along with a cup of coffee.

Click here to read the full article on Girl Talk HQ.

Hispanic-serving universities provide most economic mobility, report says
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Hispanic universities provide more economic mobility. A civil engineering graduate at this year's commencement ceremony at California State University, Los Angeles, on May 23. Brittany Murray / MediaNews Group via Getty Images.

By Zachary Schermele, NBC News

A number of colleges and universities whose student populations are at least a quarter Hispanic have been the most successful in providing students with economic mobility, according to a report from the Third Way, a Washington-based think tank.

The report was the subject of discussion during a panel hosted Tuesday by the Latina-led nonprofit Excelencia in Education, which measures and analyzes best practices to boost Latino college completion.

Campus leaders from three schools in the report discussed the important function that Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) can serve in jump-starting the professional and financial success of Latino students. Hispanic-serving institutions are defined by the Department of Education as schools with an enrollment of at least 25 percent full-time undergraduate students.

Nicole Siegel, deputy director of education at Third Way, whose goal is to develop a “high-quality education agenda,” said during the event that despite recent changes to the methodologies of some college rankings, characteristics such as “selectivity” and “historical prestige” have stayed more influential than what she sees as a better metric: student outcomes.

“If the primary purpose of postsecondary education is supposed to be to catalyze an increase in economic mobility for students, we need to elevate the schools that are actually succeeding in this goal,” Siegel said.

The schools with the best economic mobility outcomes in the Third Way report are mainly concentrated in California, Texas and New York — all states with relatively significant state funding allocations for public higher education. According to Excelencia in Education, these schools offer beneficial outcomes for their students by offering them a speedier return on their investment than other institutions and by enrolling less affluent students.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which ranks fourth in the report, enrolls more than 62 percent of students who are eligible for Pell grants, a financial need-based scholarship awarded to undergraduates by the federal government. The university also recently expanded its “tuition advantage grant” for the upcoming fall to cover the costs of tuition and mandatory fees for students with family incomes of up to $125,000.

Magdalena Hinojosa, senior vice president for strategic enrollment and student affairs at Texas Rio Grande, said the Third Way report provides a way of “looking at our institutions in a different way” and “bringing to light who we are as institutions.”

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

Abuela’s Counter: How Two Latinas Are Helping People Connect Through Cooking
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cooking co founders of Abuela's Counter

By Be Latina

For many families, the ultimate form of connection happens in the kitchen — the foods, flavors, smells, and traditions that take place around a kitchen counter, are what bring loved ones together across borders and across generations.

That is especially true for immigrants, who often leave everything behind in search of a better life, bringing only their memories, their rituals, and their recipes with them.

The co-founders of Abuela’s Counter feel this deep in their souls.

Abuela’s Counter is the brand-new, foodie-focused website and Instagram account you need in your life. The Cuban-American entrepreneurs behind the operation are building a community of food-lovers who, like them, learned important life lessons at their Abuelas’ counters.

Bringing Cuban Food and Cuban Connections to Life for a New Generation
Ani Mezerhane and Cristina Bustamante – two Miami-based Latinas who come from Cuban families – came up with the concept of Abuela’s Counter when bonding over their shared love of food and their deep obsession with all things delicious, especially the traditional Cuban dishes they grew up with. But, to them, food is about more than just what sustains you physically; it’s equally about what fills your soul. It’s what connects them to their roots, their ancestors, and to where they came from.

They realized that they can’t be the only Cuban Americans who spent the bulk of their childhood absorbing crucial nuggets of wisdom – the importance of family, never forget where you came from, and always include raisins in picadillo (we know this is an ongoing debate for many Cubans), how to craft a perfect croqueta, and more – from their Abuelas at the kitchen counter.

Abuela’s Counter is all about teaching followers how to make traditional Cuban dishes with a modern spin. The concept is that Cuban cooking can be intimidating – possibly because recipes can take a lot of time and patience and possibly because your grandmother never actually taught you how to make her specialties – and they want to help people connect to their Cuban roots through cooking.

Food as a Love Language for Latinas
“Cuban culture is a very mothering culture. It’s all about our mothers and Abuelas taking care of everything and taking care of us, not just with love, but also with food. Food is our love language,” explains Ani to BELatina News.

“So, in many cases, our generation never really learned to cook, because it was always something that our relatives did for us. That’s intimidating, trying to re-make those recipes.” And it’s not just about the actual methods and recipes, but also the emotions behind these dishes. “The myths and the legends that surround these dishes can be very intimidating to try to recreate,” Cristina added.

What if you try to make a traditional dish you grew up eating, but you mess it up? Or what if your Abuela never showed you how to make it and you have to start from scratch? It can certainly feel overwhelming, which is a common sentiment that Abuela’s Counter is hoping to tackle one flan at a time.

After all, food and all of the senses that go along with it can take us back to our childhoods and help us bond with family members of all generations. The traditions in the kitchen are what bring us all together, and that’s never been more true than for families of immigrants. “No matter what we do, it always comes back to food. It all goes back to sitting at Abuela’s counter and learning about life. Learning how food doesn’t just feed us but brings us together,” Ani and Cristina say on their website.

On their Instagram page, they offer easy-to-follow recipes, and how-to videos showcasing simple ways to whip up Cuban masterpieces. From Guava Coconut Cookies to Ropa Vieja to Arroz Con Pollo, Cuban Flan, and everything in between, they’re taking the mystery out of the equation so anyone can make these dishes.

Their recipes are broken down in detail on their website. There are no secret steps or mysterious quantities (did you ever notice how older generations always add “a pinch” of this or “a splash” of that?). Just easy to follow, simple, step-by-step recipes of classic favorites that have probably been haunting you since birth. We’re looking at you Cuban flan.

Flan is a favorite of both Ani and Cristina, which is why they were so proud when they got it just right.

For an easy weeknight (or any night) dinner, they swear by their Fricase de Pollo, a comforting chicken dish that fills you up in all the important ways.

Click here to read the full article on Be Latina.

Kim Kardashian’s Skims casts singer Rosalía in new summer campaign – shop here
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Singer-songwriter Rosalía has been cast in Skims' first bilingual campaign. COURTESY PHOTO

By Melisha Kaur, Mirror

Spanish singer Rosalía has just been unveiled as the face of the latest campaign for SKIMS.

The billion-dollar brand, founded by Kim Kardashian, recently revealed its first ever bilingual campaign where content will be distributed in both Spanish and English.

The new campaign sees Rosalía donning pieces from the best-selling SKIMS cotton range, including the £36 Plunge Bralette, in a 15-second clip.

In a press release, brand owner Kim Kardashian said: “Rosalía’s willingness to push the boundaries and experiment with her music and personal style has been a huge inspiration for me. This campaign is all about the energy and confidence that she brings to the world.

“I’m especially excited that she’s wearing pieces from our best-selling Cotton Collection – they’re classic, cool and breathable everyday essentials that everyone feels good in.”

Rosalía added: “I love SKIMS. They are so comfy and make me feel very sexy at the same time. I’m so excited that I finally got the chance to collaborate, especially in their Cotton Collection which is my fave.”

This is the first ever fashion campaign for Rosalía, who released her third studio album Motomami back in March.

The new launch was shared by Kim Kardashian on social media, sending fans into a frenzy.

The series of stunning photos sees Rosalía wearing a black plunge bralette (£36) and matching cotton rib boxers (£32).

She’s also seen wearing a white cotton jersey T-shirt, £48, and a matching rib thong that costs £20.

The Grammy-winning singer also shared the launch to her 20.3 million Instagram followers.

“Damnnnnnn,” Kardashian commented, adding a trio of fire emojis.

The campaign comes after SKIMS dropped its new ‘Boyfriend’ collection, which saw the comeback of the brand’s signature unisex styles.

Click here to read the full article on Mirror.

Camila Cabello stars in Victoria’s Secret’s first bilingual campaign: ‘I am honored’
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Camila Cabello wearing a white dress on the red carpet

By Kerry Justich, Yahoo! Life

Camila Cabello is the latest to team up with Victoria’s Secret.

The 25-year-old Cuban-American singer took to Instagram on Tuesday to share footage from her latest partnership with the brand for the Bombshell fragrance. Not only is she starring in an English version of the commercial, but also one in Spanish.

“I am honored to be the newest addition to the @victoriassecret Bombshell family 💖 and to be part of the brand’s first ever bilingual campaign!” she wrote. “Bombshell is about embracing who and what you are, and celebrating that every day.”

In the commercial, Cabello goes on to describe what the word bombshell means to her, explaining that it’s all about “owning your desires, your pleasures and enjoying everything life has to offer. Those things that make you feel great and make you feel joyful. Being who you are in every way.”

She later posted other photos from the campaign, sharing how empowered she felt to be a part of it. She even showed appreciation for not having her freckles airbrushed out of the final pictures.

“i loved this shoot !” she captioned one of three posts. “It’s rare that my lil sun freckles get to have their moment.”

Friends and fans of the singer took to the comment section to praise Cabello’s beauty.

“Linda,” singer Anitta wrote, while others called Cabello “gorgeous” and wrote “You ARE a bombshell.”

Supporters also shared that they were “proud” of Cabello for representing Latin women and Spanish speaking people in the brand’s first bilingual campaign. Some even expressed that they’d be willing to support Victoria’s Secret with Cabello’s stamp of approval.

“Influence,” one wrote. Another said, “I’m gonna try this brand cuz I trust you.”

While Victoria’s Secret has had a notable history of exclusionary practices and representation with its models, the brand has recently pivoted to become more inclusive. And although Cabello isn’t partnered on a lingerie campaign, it seems that the body positive singer is the latest to help with that mission.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

This Small, Woman-Owned Business Shares The Magic Of Mexican Coffee
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Lupita Sanchez, owner of Café Metzli, talks about all the love, labor and heritage that goes into the harvesting and processing of these special Mexican coffee beans.

By Tessa Flores, HuffPost

For Lupita Sanchez, creator and owner of Café Metzli, a single cup of coffee has the ability to sustain cultures, generational traditions and entire communities.

Her company’s coffee beans are a direct result of the small-scale coffee ecosystems that happened to be thriving in her very own backyard.

“It’s not really known that there’s Mexican specialty coffee,” Sanchez told HuffPost. “Everyone knows about coffee from Colombia or Ethiopia, and even growing up in Mexico we always just had Starbucks or instant coffee.”

After moving to Los Angeles in 2019 to be with her husband, Sanchez found a similar lack about awareness for Mexican coffee among the local artisan coffee shops and grocery stores she frequented.

Her subsequent quest to carve out a space in the market for quality Mexican coffee, while also connecting with her heritage, started in 2021 and led her into the mountainous highlands of the Chiapas region of Mexico. The small town of Bella Vista, which is close to the Guatemalan border and home to several ancient sites of the Mayas, is self-run by small-scale coffee producers, many of which are made up of entire families and individuals native to the land.

“I started doing my research and began connecting with different coffee producers from different parts of Mexico,” Sanchez said. “I traveled back to where they grow the coffee so I can start from the beginning and really get to know what the whole process of making coffee beans was like. That’s when I just fell in love with it.”

She chose Bella Vista partly because of delicious flavors that the climate, mineral-rich soil and altitude brought out in the beans. Café Metzli’s signature Bella Vista Women’s Group blend comes in three different roasts and highlight a variety of flavors, including baked apple, vanilla, dark chocolate and black cherry.

But she was also drawn to the collective of 168 women coffee producers who lived there.

“My country can have a very ‘machismo’ mentality, and just seeing these women working on their own, building their own companies, collaborating as a group and keeping their families together is amazing,” Sanchez said. “I feel so proud that I can help women achieve their goals, just how I’m achieving my own goals.”

“[Many of these groups] have amazing coffee programs that teach the youth how to plant the coffee they produce, how to do latte art and coffee cupping so that they can find love in their culture and their land and what they have there,” she said. “They don’t have to immigrate somewhere else and leave their families behind.”

Click here to read the full article on HuffPost.

Preserving Culture & Heritage Through STEM Programming
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four young american indian women in a college witht he AICF logo in the middle

by Tawanah Reeves-Ligon

Unfortunately, despite representing about two percent of the population, Native Americans and Alaska Natives only make up about half of a percent of U.S. STEM careers according to one study. In order to combat this disparity, organizations like the American Indian College Fund seek to build programming and support ventures that offer greater access to education, support and resources necessary for students to grow and expand their career and networking opportunities.

One such program, the Indigenous Visionaries Native Women Leadership Fellowship Program, has been working to support Native women students for years. Diversity in STEAM Magazine was excited to interview the American Indian College Fund about this program and how it became the remarkable resource it is today for Native students and communities.

Diversity in STEAM Magazine (DISM): How did the Indigenous Visionaries Program come into existence?

American Indian College Fund: The College Fund has provided women’s leadership programming since 2010. The Indigenous Visionaries program emerged out of foundational programming in women’s leadership in 2017. From 2017 to 2021, four TCUs (Tribal Colleges and Universities) and 15 fellows participated in the Indigenous Visionaries program. The first iteration focused on arts, early childhood education and environmental science. In 2021, the American Indian College Fund (College Fund) launched the second iteration of Indigenous Visionaries. Key changes to the new iteration include expansion of eligibility to all 35 TCUs and the opportunity to focus their community-based project on a topic and field of study of their choosing.

DISM: What is its goal and mission?

American Indian College Fund: The Indigenous Visionaries Native Women Leadership Fellowship Program at the College Fund supports the empowerment and success of Native women students at TCUs through a year-long fellowship opportunity. Participants receive place-based and experiential, professional and personal development through guided training and cultural learning from their mentors, College Fund staff and a broad network of Native women leaders. This program seeks to address and dismantle systemic barriers facing Native women by providing the tools, opportunities and a network to support and strengthen the growth of our fellows; in turn strengthening families, TCUs and Tribal Communities. This space will elevate and increase the visibility of Native women by offering strategic opportunities that illuminate a path towards personal, educational, professional advancement and degree attainment.

DISM: How do candidates apply or get nominated? What are the requirements?

American Indian College Fund: As the Indigenous Visionaries fellows are paired with a woman mentor at their TCU, in many instances, mentors choose a student they would like to work with in this program. We’ve also seen students recruit mentors, and TCU Presidents recommend mentors and fellows to apply.

To apply for this fellowship opportunity, the TCU Applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a current and full member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.
  • Have an identified Mentor and Fellow that will actively engage in their community-based project implementation and fellowship opportunities.
  • Fellows and Mentors must live within the community served by their TCU.
  • Mentors are an established woman faculty or staff member (such as a program director, grant manager, archivist, etc.) at a TCU.
  • Fellows are undergraduate students enrolled full-time at an eligible TCU and have completed at least one semester.
  • Applicants are at TCUs that support the advancement and leadership of Native women:
    • Maintain a commitment to active participation in fellowship activities.
    • Prepared to report and share impact for evaluation purposes.

DISM: What do you look for in a project, and is there a specific scope it has to cover?

American Indian College Fund: Mentors and fellows will work together throughout the fellowship term to strengthen personal, professional and academic skills that will enhance their leadership within their communities. This includes working together on a project that serves the community.

Applicants provide a summary of their community-based project and include a description of the following:

  • Strategies for project planning,
  • identify roles and responsibilities,
  • implementation and what you hope to learn from this project.

They also describe how they will incorporate Native language and culture bearers into their community-based project.

PICTURED ABOVE:

Top Left:
Caption/Credit: Sasha Sillitti/American Indian College Fund

Sasha Sillitti (Three Affiliated Tribes- the Mandan (Nueta), Hidatsa and Arikara (Sahnish)) is a business administration student at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Sillitti also works as a student accounts counselor and accounts receivable manager at the college. Her project is to develop a recycling program. She will create a more efficient method of collecting and transporting recyclables, building community relationships, and increasing community awareness about recycling as a form of land stewardship. The Fort Berthold reservation does not have a recycling program, and the nearest drop-off for materials is 150 miles away. Pansy Goodall (Arikara of the Fort Berthold Reservation), the Business Faculty Department Chair, will serve as a mentor.

Top Right:
Caption/Credit: Harley-Daniel Interpreter/American Indian College Fund
Harley-Daniel Interpreter (Navajo)
is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Diné College on the Navajo Reservation while working as the social media engagement agent in the Office of the President. Interpreter will conduct a voter outreach and education project to expand voter education, advocate for timely communication about voting, and ensure support of access to voting across the Navajo Nation during the midterm election. Crystal Cree (Navajo), director of the Office of Legislative Affairs and Policy at Diné College, will serve as a mentor.

Bottom Left:
Caption/Credit: Louise K. Waakaa’igan/American Indian College Fund

Louise K. Waakaa’igan (Anishinaabe) is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human services at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College in Hayward, Wis., while working at the college as the advancement coordinator. In collaboration with her mentor, she will create a “Kwe Book,” a history of women leaders and founders at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College. Waakaa’igan will catalog their interviews and stories throughout the project for future generations. Faith Smith (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe), a curator for the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe, will serve as a mentor.

Bottom Right:
Caption/Credit: ArriAnna Henry/American Indian College Fund

ArriAnna Henry (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Bitterroot Salish) is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work and a certification of completion in intensive Salish language at Salish Kootenai College on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Pablo, Mo. She holds an associate degree in chemical dependency counseling and is an All Nations Health Center intern working in the Behavioral Health Department. Henry’s project is the Paddle for Life wellness project. Young adult community members will participate in immersive Salish language lessons while crafting their own cedar canoe paddle to create both cultural and physical wellness. Rosemary Matt (Salish), the Native Language Teacher Education Department Head, will serve as a mentor.

We’re looking forward to learning more about these exceptional scholars and the projects they’ve developed to serve their communities. For more information about the American Indian College Fund and the Indigenous Visionaries Native Women Leadership Fellowship Program, visit collegefund.org.

Source: American Indian College Fund

How to Properly Celebrate Cinco De Mayo
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HOW TO PROPERLY CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO

By V Magazine

Cinco de Mayo – Spanish for “Fifth of May” – is an annual holiday that celebrates Mexican culture and heritage, especially in the United States, where it’s actually more widely commemorated than in Mexico. However, the date isn’t just an excuse to party and drink excessively, neither it marks Mexico’s Independence Day, as many believe.

According to a 2018 survey by NationalToday.com, only 10% of Americans knew the true history behind the festivities, which is perhaps a key factor in the widespread misconceptions and missteps surrounding Cinco de Mayo. For years, the holiday has been capitalized by marketing agencies and companies who have also helped disseminate wrong ideas about the event – but that doesn’t mean you should, too.

Read on for tips on how to respectfully celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

Educate yourself and others

Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when outnumbered and out-armed Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French troops in the city of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City, in 1862. The French force had invaded the country the year before, along with English and Spanish forces, after Mexico declared a temporary pause on the repayment of foreign debts. 

The unlikely victory became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign dominance, and the date is mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla, with parades and theatrical reenactments of the 1862 battle. 

Even though the holiday commemorates a victory, many lives were lost in that battle. That doesn’t mean you can’t necessarily drink, enjoy traditional Mexican music or appreciate the delicious Mexican cuisine but be mindful about the history behind Cinco de Mayo: before joining the celebrations, make an effort to learn more about the date and educate others about it. 

Appreciation, not appropriation

You can celebrate Cinco de Mayo without promoting negative stereotypes, appropriating Mexican culture, or just overall being racist and disrespectful to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Meaning: don’t wear serapes, sombreros, fake mustaches, or any other “Mexican-inspired costume” – no culture is a costume. And unless you actually speak Spanish regularly, it’s probably best not to use the date as an excuse to go around screaming “Arriba!”

(And, of course, please don’t call it “Cinco de Drinko.”)

Support Mexican-owned businesses

Many large restaurant chains offer special Cinco de Mayo deals, but why not take the opportunity to actually support local businesses owned by Mexican and Mexican-American families? Latino business owners were particularly hard hit by the pandemic in the U.S. and were 50% less likely to have access to federal loans in comparison to white-owned businesses. 

Take the moment to order from your favorite Mexican-owned restaurant or do a quick web search to discover authentic Mexican businesses around your area.

Donate

Give back to the community and the people whose culture you want to celebrate. Learn more about and donate or volunteer to organizations working for immigrant rights – you can also promote their work through social media. Look up local groups in your area or donate to national organizations, such as the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, and United We Dream

Click here to read the full article on V Magazine.

Top Pay, Diverse Culture Make Hayward Unified School District a Gem for Latinx Teachers
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Latina smiling in an ad for teaching at Hayward Unified School Disctrict

As Latinx teachers seek more rewarding opportunities in education, Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) has emerged as one of the top employers in the Bay Area. The district offers some of the best teacher pay, a culturally responsive teaching philosophy and an in-house induction program to facilitate career growth through credential preparation and support.

Fueled by a mission to achieve equity in education for all students and create conditions to retain candidates as they transition into the teaching profession, HUSD focuses on what matters. It is more important than ever for schools to offer the same level of diversity that exists in the community. Latinx teacher representation addresses implicit bias in education, enhancing the experience for the entire school. The district is dedicated to establishing and maintaining safe, inclusive and equitable teaching and learning environments that foster global citizenship in a changing society.

More than a Teaching Job

It’s no longer enough to offer cookie-cutter teaching positions. HUSD has answered the call for meaningful employment by striving to be a district that emphasizes healthy culture and unprecedented teacher support. The HUSD Induction Program supports Latinx employees who are working towards clearing their preliminary credential. The mentorship-based program is available at no cost to HUSD employees. It promotes habits of reflective and effective teaching practices and collaboration while nurturing relationships with candidates so they can clear their certifications and grow professionally. Also, the HUSD human resources team works closely with candidates who wish to teach but are taking a non-traditional pathway to the classroom by exploring their options for provisional permits and waivers and connecting them with credentialing programs.

Culturally Responsive Training Takes a Front Seat

Enhancing the representation of Hispanic teachers within HUSD meets the district’s objective to promote inclusivity and equitable education for all students. It improves student and teacher experiences and inspires Latinx students to continue their educational paths, even beyond the district.

As a district that celebrates differences, HUSD has a culturally responsive teaching and learning environment, an anti-bias/anti-racist board policy and extensive related training throughout the district. Staff is encouraged to teach and learn alongside others with different perspectives to create more unified and empathetic communities. With equity pilot programs at select HUSD sites, the district promotes a culture of inclusivity, diversity and acceptance at every school.

Becoming a Part of Something Bigger

HUSD serves over 18,000 students in grades K-12 at 29 schools. The district also has a vibrant preschool program, an alternative high school and adult school program, career technical education and regional occupational programs and an independent study program to support students outside of the traditional school structure. Students graduate from HUSD proud to be Made in Hayward and prepared with the skills they need for life beyond the classroom.

HUSD looks beyond education and core programs and brings a holistic approach to empowering Latinx educators and students, which sends a ripple effect throughout the Hayward community. Featuring award-winning visual and performing arts programs, state-of-the-art facilities, dual language immersion programs in Spanish and Mandarin, career pathways and a strong sense of school pride, the district is looking for educators who are ready to become part of something bigger than themselves.

“Hayward Unified School District has a strong sense of school pride and a community feeling at each of our schools,” said Aurora L. Sweet, director of certificated personnel at HUSD. “Great facilities and programs are just a fraction of what makes our schools great. It’s the people that really make our school sites special places for our students.”

Are you searching for a position with a school district where you can make the biggest impact? Whether you are ready to jump in now or need support to find your pathway into a career in education, HUSD offers a range of compelling career choices in education. Learn more about the current job opportunities at HUSD by visiting our human resources page at haywardusd-ca.schoolloop.com/hr

Hayward Unified School District serves over 18,000 students in grades K-12 and offers teacher candidates opportunities for enriching employment, diverse community and career advancement.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. USHCC 2022 National Conference Kick-Off Reception
    August 18, 2022
  4. CHCI’s 2022 Leadership Conference & Gala
    September 13, 2022 - September 15, 2022
  5. The 2022 Global ERG Summit
    September 19, 2022 - September 23, 2022
  6. National College Resources Foundation Upcoming Events–Mark Your Calendar!
    September 24, 2022 - April 1, 2023
  7. ROMBA Conference
    October 6, 2022 - October 8, 2022
  8. HACU 36th Annual Conference
    October 8, 2022 - October 10, 2022
  9. NMSDC 50th Anniversary Conference & Exchange
    October 30, 2022 - November 2, 2022