Membership

American Bar Association Gives Each Day of Hispanic Heritage Month Meaning

By / Oct 8, 2021 (marekuliasz/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

ABA’s 21-day challenge provided perspective, scope, and resources on a wide array of Hispanic culture and history. The challenge’s proactive approach created a multidimensional experience that aimed for a more meaningful path toward cultural understanding and reflection.

Although Hispanic Heritage Month ends on October 15, the American Bar Association made sure each day of the commemorative month counted with its 21-Day Hispanic Heritage Equity Habit Building Challenge.

Launched by its Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, the challenge invited ABA’s members and nonmembers on a journey to be more constructive, engaged, and have a deeper understanding about the many communities included under the “Hispanic umbrella.”

The challenge led with a resonant quote from labor leader and civil rights activist Delores Huerta: “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world. When you have a conflict, that means that there are truths that have to be addressed on each side of the conflict.”

Huerta, along with Cesar Chavez, cofounded the National Farm Workers Association, now United Farm Workers. She originated the phrase, “Sí, se puede,” Spanish for, “Yes, it can be done,” which is UFW’s official motto.

Participants were asked to complete a voluntary, consecutive 21-day syllabus, made up of daily, short assignments (about 15-30 minutes), which included readings, videos, or podcasts. For example, daily topics had resources on contributions to literature, poetry, and the arts; Latinos breaking barriers; the history of the Spanish language; and more. Participants were free to opt-out anytime along the way, and there was no grade at the end. The assignments aimed to illuminate participants on elements of Hispanic histories, identities, and cultures.

The challenge was modeled on the “21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge,” designed by diversity expert Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., to advance a deeper understanding of the intersections of race, power, privilege, supremacy, and oppression.

This is the third ABA challenge this year, following ones to commemorate Black History Month in February and Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

ABA stated that while it’s impossible to highlight all the diversity of experiences within the Hispanic community, the syllabus serves as “an introduction to what we hope will be a rewarding journey that extends far beyond the limits of this project.”

Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. More »

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