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Bringing Diversity & Cultural Pride into the Classroom

by Liliana Diaz August 14, 2019

Bringing Diversity & Cultural Pride into the Classroom

Due to the latest brutal and violent events that have occurred in our country towards Latino immigrants, I have decided to write a heart felt post to bring awareness and advocacy to the topic.

Fear has a very powerful effect on the human mind. It can accomplish anything and even override our human compassion for others. Fear can cripple our minds and blur the right from the wrong. Issues on immigration and race have always existed, but this fear is now greater than ever, especially because fear has been promoted from a top to bottom hierarchy in a country where people have access to guns.  The fearful mind sees immigrants as an invasion, our immigrant neighbor as a terrorist or the person who “looks different” that works in our local grocery store as a criminal.

The brutal and tragic event that have occurred in El Paso and the raids that have occurred in Mississippi have now created fear among our families and community; fear to hide our cultural identity in order to stay safe. Now more than ever, we must be proud of who we are, embrace our race & culture, not to give into the stereotypes, and to stand up for ourselves in difficult situations where we may encounter fear or hate.

With the beginning of the school year being near, I couldn’t help but to spread awareness and encouragement to everyone. With the events that have occurred recently, it is important to keep in mind that our students may enter the school year in fear, or we may even encounter students that have been directly affected by the immigration raids that have occurred across the country. And if that is the case, it is our duty to welcome those children with open our arms and provide these children with the support they will need.  As professionals and educators that work with children, it is also our duty to support and help guide our future generation into becoming compassionate human beings whom embrace one’s differences and continue to encourage diversity in our country.

I believe that instilling positive values about DIVERSITY, CULTURAL IDENTITY, CULTURAL PRIDE, CREATING POSITIVE ACTS OF KINDESS, and teaching about OUR HUMAN RIGHTS should all be discussions that are held within your classroom right from the start of the school year.

Here is how you can introduce these topics into your classroom.

DIVERSITY: Read books to your students that reflect a variety of diverse backgrounds.

CULTURAL IDENTITY: Discuss the cultural backgrounds of your students. Create a “show & tell” project or research project where students can learn from one another and present about each of their backgrounds.

CULTURAL PRIDE: Discuss and learn about different cultural holidays in your classroom.

POSITIVE ACTS OF KINDNESS: Teach your students to be kind to one another, embrace each others differences, help out friends, give back to their community and how to stand up and speak out for themselves.

HUMAN RIGHTS: Students should learn about the laws that exist and their basic human rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc.

Unfortunately, fear has become a deadly infection and now we must come together to find a cure. You can help cure it by starting these conversations and addressing these topics in the classroom. I can tell you one thing is for sure, fear will not keep me from being proud of my roots, from speaking my native language, but most importantly from hiding the fact that my parents made enormous sacrifices to come to this country and provide me with everything I have ever needed to be where I am today. These are the values that I will discuss in my speech therapy room and I hope you will too.  



Liliana Diaz
Liliana Diaz

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