Every single day we all have small and big things that make our lives better. It is up to us to choose to live mindfully in the present while learning from the past and planning for the future. We can take action now and start by being grateful for every day.
What mainstream Americans have failed to realize is that Hispanics have played and will continue to play a crucial role in our nation. Hispanics have contributed to every avenue of American life since the inception of this country.
As a young girl, I used to pray in my bed every night that God would miraculously give me blonde hair, blue eyes, and creamy white skin. After that didn't work, I had another plan: hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice.
When we say "Latino" or "Hispanic," are we referring to the first-, second-, third-, or fourth-generation Latino? The baby boomer, generation X, or millennial Latino? The English-, Spanish-, or Spanglish-dominant Hispanic? The Peruvian immigrant or the Honduran American born in Wichita? Or any of the other hyphenated Latinos coming from 27 different national heritages?
True equality is a fleeting concept in today's media environment. As a Puerto Rican, I am reminded of this daily. We're quick to preach about diversity, but do little to actually live it. As a culture, we can do without othering from within.
Millions of Mexicans know Ramón López Velarde as the author of Suave Patría, the national poem of Mexico and a modernist masterpiece, but few inside or outside Mexico know about the extraordinarily high opinion of López Velarde held by his fellow greats of Latin American poetry.
Annually, as the eve of Hispanic Heritage Month dawns, I field around 10 requests to speak on a variety of Latino cultural topics, to groups representing government, business, public policy and education. As I was reviewing this year's requests, one in particular stood out.
Recently I received an email from an audience member asking me to consider the importance of having "only Spanish dancers" as part of Ballet Hispanico, the dance company I direct. For me, being Latino is a complex and personal experience that cannot be neatly branded.
Hispanic Heritage Month just wrapped up, and as always, showcased the history and accomplishments of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States.
Ethnicity neither limits nor defines our work to ensure every child has access to an excellent education. It does, however, inform my perspective. I enter this fight thinking about childhood friends who didn't graduate.
Rosita the monster, Ovejita the lamb, and Mando, Sesame Street's newest human cast member, ensure that Hispanic culture remains an important part of the iconic show's curriculum. We're always celebrating Hispanic heritage on Sesame Street, but we're especially excited to celebrate it during Hispanic Heritage Month.
If you truly want a thriving business you must surround yourself with people who are good at what they do, passionate about what they do and passionate about your vision.