Honoring Hispanic Heritage

Justice and Diversity League creates wall display to raise awareness


Emily Plascencia Rojas

The wall in front of the library honors Hispanics throughout history. Many different Latinos/as are displayed along with their stories and accomplishments. “As a Latina, when creating the posters of important people for Hispanic and Latino Americans, I found it to help me better my sense of connection to my community,” senior Delaney Akins said.”While researching, I found figures who helped stand up to racial injustices and overall help progress American society forward.”

Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla, Editor-in-Chief Catalyst Online

September 15 through October 15 is a 30 day period also referred to as Hispanic Heritage Month. For West, this will be the first time that this is celebrated or recognized in the school by the Justice and Diversity League. 

The official month was first honored in the U.S. in 1968. This is a time that people celebrate and emphasize the significance of the diverse civilization, as well as traditions in the Hispanic culture. This can be used as a way to educate many that may not be as knowledgeable as others. 

“I believe that it’s important to represent Hispanic Heritage month at Millard West and other places as well because the Latino and the Hispanic community is a large part of Omaha,” senior Delaney Akins said. “If we pretend it is not a part of the community here at West, just because we live in  ‘West O’ wouldn’t make any sense to me.”

This year, the Justice and Diversity League decorated the hall in front of the library to commemorate the accomplishments and achievements made from various Hispanics. 

“The Hispanic/Latin community in recent times have been turned into a scapegoat of sorts and in response we need to show that they are good people with a vibrant culture,” junior Braedon Johnson said. “I hope this sparks conversations because they are a large part of the community and are an important part of it.”

The club’s main goal is to create change that makes students of color feel comfortable. They are currently planning on preparing fundraisers to raise money for an organization that helps people of color while creating displays for students to view. 

 “On the walls outside of the library, the display contains posters with pictures of Hispanics that have created inventions, have started movements, have been the first to accomplish something from their community,”  junior Emily Plascencia Rojas said. “The display is interactive because students can just walk up to our colorful Hispanic Heritage Month display and read the information provided in the posters.” 

Similar to other years, the pictures have information and writings to connect the two that can be read and learned by students. 

Well known Hispanics including Frida Khalo, Dolores Huerta, Lupita Nyongo and David Sanchez were included on the wall. Other information about movements in history including the Chicano movement were also shown. 

“I hope that this awareness brings the representation Hispanics need,” Rojas said. “Our history is often overlooked, and we are typically stereotyped as ‘all Mexican’ so, with this awareness, students at West can see that being Hispanic doesn’t have a ‘certain look’. We are very diverse and our history runs deep in America.”  

This year, the club hopes to bring more knowledge and awareness throughout the school for this month and many more to come.