North celebrates Hispanic and Latinx identity, experiences


Angela Nie

In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, the Hispanos y Latinos Unidos club (HLU) organized a culture day dedicated to learning about Hispanic and Latinx identity and experiences in the auditorium, Tuesday, Nov 2. 


The day consisted of panels from students, teachers, and people in the working world.


North’s progression towards an inclusive and diverse environment was a focus of the teacher panel. “The school wants everybody to succeed no matter where you are coming from and as an immigrant, you cannot find that support in other places. It is very special here,” said world language teacher Cristina Schulze.


However, during the teacher panel, world language teacher Ana Tellado-Schiff said she still believes the school still has a way to go. “I have faced microaggressions from different people at North, students and faculty,” said Tellado-Schiff. “I react differently based on the person so sometimes I nip it in the bud, but I also have to bite my tongue.”


Many on the student panel agreed that North should work to improve inclusivity. They also advocated for changes within North’s language department recognizing different dialects of Spanish. They urged teachers to incorporate multiple dialects into their lessons and abstain from correcting Hispanic students when they use the specific dialect of their culture.


The students on the panel also emphasized their difficulties with understanding and connecting to their Hispanic and Latinx identity. Mixed-race and Afro-Latino students said they struggled with balancing their two identities. Other students expressed frustration towards assumptions that they weren’t Hispanic or Latinx because of their physical appearance. 


“Hispanics come in many different shapes and sizes,” said senior Ashlynn Saint-Preux.


“My favorite panel was the last one, because as students, we were all very in control of our responses. It was exactly what we made it out to be,” said Helfrich-Tapia. “It was very cool to see reactions and feel proud of something that we did on our own.”