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NCDS News

NCDS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, Newton Country Day showcased the contributions of the Hispanic community in the form of presentations, displays, and art.

In an email to the Newton community, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ursula August noted that the month, “...is an opportunity to celebrate the history, lives, experiences, challenges, and accomplishments of people of Latin American origin, and the contributions of the Hispanic community to the United States.” August also shared a list of National Hispanic Heritage Month exhibits and resources for students, faculty, and staff to view both online and in-person.

On Wednesday, October 6, professor and author Jennifer De Leon led assemblies for the Middle and Upper School as part of our celebrations. Born in the Boston area to Guatemalan parents, De Leon is the author of the novel Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and the essay collection White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, and Writing; an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University; a faculty member in the MFA in Program at Bay Path University; and has published prose in over a dozen literary journals.

“Hearing from Jennifer De Leon was so affirming that everywhere girls are being able to see themselves more reflected in society and how incredible it is to have people that look like us and are like us be the role models we aspire to be!” shared OLAS (Organization of Latin American Students) co-head C. Ferreira ’22. “During Hispanic Heritage month, my family and I are more inclined to share meals from our culture, reach out to family, speak our native language, and enjoy our amazing diversity. I especially feel as though the month re-centers my focus and appreciation for where I come from.”

“Not only is Hispanic Heritage Month a time to celebrate where we have come from, but to celebrate the influence of many other Latin country cultures,” added OLAS co-head V. Peck ’22. “I am extremely proud to be from a Hispanic Country and be able to share my roots with my peers.”

“There has been a palpable energy on our campus since Jenn De Leon’s visit,” said August. “Through her personal story and her novels, Jenn was able to celebrate the uniqueness of the Hispanic and Latinx experience but also able to connect with all students who have ever felt like outsiders or on the margins. Many of our students also felt invigorated by her sharing her writing process and where she goes for artistic inspiration.”

Additional recognitions included a collaborative display of personal accounts of Hispanic Heritage put together by OLAS and members of the Middle School Latinx affinity group. The project was an opportunity for the Middle and Upper School affinity group members to collaborate for the first time as affinity groups in creating a celebration together.