Throughout October, faculty, students and staff joined Steven the Librarian at Harvard Street Campus in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The library hosted a three-part series of half hour presentations that gave students a great opportunity to practice their English listening skills and to have discussions about Hispanic representation.
The presentations explored how the Hispanic community has gained visibility in the U.S. During the talks, Steven looked at the Mendez v. Westminster decision in the 1940s, the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s decision to protest the Academy Awards Luncheon in 2018, and current population trends in the U.S.
In the first presentation, attendees learned that Mendez v. Westminster was the first case to hold that school segregation itself is unconstitutional and violates the 14th Amendment. Mendez v. Westminster brought an end to segregation in the school district of Orange County, and ultimately throughout the state of California and the nation. The second presentation talked about how this past month, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) held two demonstrations targeting the 2018 Academy Awards that launched a national campaign protesting the chronic under representation of Latinos on-screen and behind-the-camera in motion pictures.
“I wanted to take a look at how movements affect visibility. Many times we focus on how certain individuals achieve civil rights for a particular group but this time I wanted to emphasize the movements themselves,” Steven said. He added, “I looked at how legal, social, and population movements affect Hispanic civil rights. I thought it an enlightening exercise; we learn that as time progresses, different rights are needed to achieve parity.”