Ashanty, Phoenix House Class of 2021, proudly holds the flag of the Dominican Republic during the Latino Assembly Flag Ceremony.
Una Celebración de la Cultura Latina: A Celebration of Latino Culture
Fenway High School encourages students to “Be Yourself” and has a strong history of celebrating who students are. During the afternoon of October 25th, all students gathered in the Commons for an assembly to celebrate Latino heritage and culture.
A parade of students entered the Commons carrying flags from their home countries including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, México, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Students then presented a slideshow of Latinos Rompiendo Barreras, or Latinos Breaking Social Barriers, which included Ruben Salazar, Rita Moreno, Cesar Chavez, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Student leaders then asked for a moment of silence in honor of immigrants’ struggles in America.
Pedro Cruz, a Boston artist, activist, and youth worker served as the keynote speaker. He began by identifying his love for creativity and how he started taking photographs. But as he shared his work with others, he found himself “code-switching” between different groups of people. His personal transformation occurred when he decided to own his identity. A proud Puerto Rican who grew up in Boston, Cruz told Fenway students that he felt a moral obligation to represent his people, and that if he could do it, the students could, too. He ended by encouraging everyone in the audience to find what they loved, and once they do, to be the best at it.
Ending the assembly was Fenway student Alondra, a tenth grade Crossroads student, who shared her poem, "Yo Soy Latina," or "I am Latina." A nearly silent crowd was riveted by Alondra’s powerful closing; "You are beautiful. Educate yourselves. You are capable. Become advocates for our people. A voice for the voiceless. Push beyond the limitations set for us. Seek and achieve justice for us all."