Midland College Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month!

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Midland College Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month!September 14, 2021

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Beginning on Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 Midland College (MC), the MC Equity Committee and MC Student Activities are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of students, faculty and staff video testimonials. Participants reflect on what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them, the unique experiences they’ve had related to their ancestry and how they are honoring their Hispanic heritage. The videos will be released on MC’s social media and published to MC’s website.

“The goal of this year’s celebration is to usher a sense of belonging for Hispanic students, faculty, and staff at MC,” said Taneekwa Hurdle, MC Student Activities Coordinator and member of the MC Equity Committee focused on Education. “Every one of these participants was excited about this project. We all have a lot to learn from their genuine responses, and we thank them for sharing pictures and stories of their Hispanic ancestry.”

“I think Hispanic Heritage Month can spur us to make better choices and do the right things so we can help the younger generations,” said Idajean Curiel, MC Academic Advisor. “I have had experiences where people might have made judgement calls or had biases against me. It hurt. When I was younger I didn’t understand it; now that I’m older I realize those folks needed an opportunity to learn and grow. You must give grace to those people. Just help them to understand we are all more alike than we are different. I’m extremely proud of my Hispanic heritage!”

“In Texas it’s easy to think of Hispanic as the Mexican-American, while that’s true to a large extent, Hispanics are comprised of many different groups,” said Lazaro Diaz, MC Academic Advisor. “Hispanics can go beyond their ethnicity and become much more than the Hispanic lawyer, or the Hispanic doctor or the Hispanic teacher. We can be exceptional doctors, lawyers and teachers, plain and simple.” 

“My parents do not know English; I’m the oldest, and growing up I was the family member that translated for my parents or other family members,” said Selene Corcino, MC Enrollment Navigator. “I also translate here at MC. I get to help students or parents who don’t understand English; I help them with enrollment.” 

“In mariachi I play violin,” said Evelyn Martinez, MC student. “My Grandfather from my mom’s side of the family got me into the music and it’s made me feel closer to Mexican culture.”

“I had a very defined ethnicity and identity growing up,” said Jaime Aguilar, MC History Professor. “We were Mexican. In many ways I’ve lived a very stereotypical working class Mexican life, Hispanic life. My parents were undocumented workers. My mom picked cotton in Lamesa in the 50’s. I was a farm worker growing up. There wasn’t a lot of things to do but work, read and focus on your future. But now I’m 53; I live in Midland, Texas, and when I think of Hispanic Heritage Month I think about the tremendous amount of diversity that phrase or that identity means.”  

“Growing up I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me in the media or movies, and that was something I struggled with,” said Amy Hernandez, MC Academic Advisor. “I struggled with my identity. I knew my Mom was from Mexico, but she didn’t embrace her culture. She was shunned in a sense; she was made to feel embarrassed of who she was, so she didn’t share that with us growing up. There were times in junior high I would be called racial slurs, and I didn’t understand because I didn’t know what that meant, I didn’t identify like that. I wasn’t fluent in Spanish, and I was made to feel that was shameful. Now I’ve learned there’s not one particular way that I have to be, and it’s okay.” 

Hispanic Heritage Month honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrates the diverse heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.   

About the MC Equity Committee: MC is committed to acceptance and inclusion. It embraces the value of diversity; the dignity and worth of all individuals; and the academic, professional, and personal growth of students and employees. Since MC began offering its first classes in 1972, it has welcomed those from various cultures, religions, ethnicities, and creeds. Students, faculty and staff have grown and will continue to grow in every area, including fulfilling the promises of diversity and equity. The Equity Committee believes education transforms lives and provides opportunities for all. It is dedicated to the development of each student from where they are, with a focus on where they will be.

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