Hispanic Heritage Month at iMentor

Here at iMentor, we choose to call Hispanic Heritage Month Latinx Heritage Month. Not all Latinx-identifying Americans also identify as Hispanic, and so we make this change to be inclusive of Latinx-identifying people of all backgrounds.

This year’s Latinx Heritage Month is particularly significant at iMentor because it aligns with the launch of our first ever Latinx affinity network, Latinx Profesionales! This new affinity group is dedicated to supporting Latinx-identifying iMentor staff in forming community around shared experiences. Co-chairs Edlyn Dávila, Joe Rosales, and Joaquin Villa share that they are excited because, “in an organization where 57% of our students are Latinx-identifying, it is incredibly important to have a space for these staff members to discuss the goings-on of our various communities while also celebrating the nuances ever-present in the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-faceted Latinx population.”

Members of our Latinx community recently participated in an organization-wide fishbowl conversation to discuss Latinx Representation and Voice in the Education Nonprofit Sector.

What is a fishbowl conversation? It’s when a small group of participants engage in a focused conversation in a virtual “fishbowl” while others observe, listen, and learn from the ideas and experiences they discuss. iMentor holds bi-monthly fishbowl conversations centered around areas related to diversity and identity.

In this fishbowl, participants shared stories and experiences about working in the education and nonprofit fields as Latinx people. They shared ups and downs from their careers and reflected on their time at iMentor. One key takeaway is that iMentor is working to build a space for identities to feel fully and authentically themselves. For example, the term “people of color” does not cover the full scope of who someone is. There are nuanced differences in identity, and it’s not as simple as a black and white distinction. They pointed out that small acts of inclusivity go a long way: from checking in with our colleagues to see how they are feeling and coping with relevant events and news, to including diverse and representational music at our recreation events. These mindful acts of inclusion show that we respect and value our colleagues’ cultural differences.

iMentor is committed to supporting the diverse identities within our community. Our students, volunteers, employees, and supporters are all comprised of different cultures and backgrounds and our community is stronger because of that! We are proud to honor and celebrate Latinx Heritage Month because we value the contributions of Latinx culture and peoples here at iMentor, in our schools, in the workforce, and in public office.

Here are a few ways you can participate in Latinx Heritage Month!

Attend an activity near you:

Bay Area:
Sept. 15-Oct. 30: Ode to Our Barrio
Sept. 29: 11th Annual Salsa Festival
Oct. 11: World Premiere of Departera
Throughout month: Visit MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana)

Oct. 12-Oct. 21: Folk Art Festival
Oct. 13: Almost as a Quilt / Casi como un acolchado
Oct. 17-Nov. 18: 13th Annual Chicago Latino Music Festival
Throughout month: Visit the National Museum of Mexican Art

New York City:
Sept. 24-27 – Latino Short Film Festival
Sept. 27 – Latin Heritage Month Storytelling Event @ York College
Oct.7 – Hispanic Day Parade
Oct. 9 – Exhibition Opening of Lydia Cabrera and Edouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking
Oct. 12-13 – Ballet Hispanico: Fall for Dance
Throughout month: Visit El Museo del Barrio

Listen and learn:
LatinX Profesionales Spotify Playlist
Latino USA Podcast
Latino Rebels Podcast