Minority Scholars Program members hosted a virtual panel in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month during OneWhitman on October 15.
During the panel, MSP students described the impact of both COVID-19 and the current presidential administration on Hispanic people. The MSP also presented a slideshow discussing panelists’ countries and cultures of origin, as well as the contributions each country has made to the United States. The discussion members included student leadership, administration members and a guest speaker, Counsel to the CEO of UnidosUS Lisa Navarrete.
The purpose of Hispanic Heritage Month is to educate individuals about Hispanic people’s role in the history of the United States, Navarrete said.
“This is an opportunity to reflect on the contributions and the history of our community,” Navarrete said. “It’s also an opportunity to look forward and recognize what this community means to our country today and what it means to the future of our country.”
The presentation aimed to educate the Whitman community about Hispanic culture and ensure representation for the Hispanic community, said junior MSP member Diego Quijada.
“Our hope is that maybe this presentation reached one or two people, and that they can spread the information that they have learned,” Quijada said.
This year marks the first time the Whitman community has actively celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, and the MSP hopes to continue making an impact in the years to come, said junior member Sara Hayes.
“It is important to amplify minorities’ voices and amplify the voices of people who have felt discrimination and have been stereotyped,” she said. “We can hear their stories and better understand their experiences.”