Diversity should always be amplified from the beginning of our educational careers. It is a shame that outdated textbooks are still being used to educate us, and unfortunately, only tend to show non-inclusive and selected photos and passages to represent the author’s idea of what the United States of America is like.
Let me tell you — that’s where the problem starts, that’s where the seed is planted. We are educated since elementary on specific subjects that only show the best sides of white America. What if we looked more into the history and unfairness due to a lack of diversity? What if we put effort into knowing other languages and not just English? What if we looked beyond those textbooks?
Although we are constantly breaking through racism, unethical, and inequality through protests and by questioning these old systems, we are barely at the tip of the iceberg. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing being at the tip; it means we are already succeeding in some way or another and ultimately creating inspiration for those who will come after us.
People nationwide are making progress year by year. With every inclusive club that is started, with every racist mascot overturned, with every “uncomfortable” discussion presented across the faculty members to the students, progress is getting done.
Fortunately, community and scholarly leaders (from faculty to students) are making these crucial changes. They’re being heard. They’re signing petitions. They’re dedicating their lives and their opportunities to creating a safer space for those not yet represented in the university’s pamphlets.
The following are what universities that actually care about diversity are doing to show inclusivity and ideas other institutions can start to take a part of. Take notes, y’all.
San Diego State University’s Spanish-language Mundo Azteca newspaper section
Although this institution is known to be constantly against its racist mascot, the San Diego State University has made its wide-ranging strides in providing a Spanish-language section entitled Mundo Azteca as part of their official newspaper called The Daily Aztec.
This institution is caring about diversity and being loud about it with words. Personally, I found this intriguing and an opportunity to educate, knowing that their community is approximately 22 miles from the Tijuana and San Diego international border. It is a space for students to learn how to write Spanish correctly and, for those who know the language, edit it properly. From there, I’ve seen so many journalists continue their careers to Spanish-language mediums, allowing these journalists not only to excel in English-language platforms but also the Latin market.
According to universities, notably Cal State University, Northridge, “[Spanish] is an official/national language in 21 countries around the world and an official language in 15 international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization.” Being bilingual opens doors!
Community College of Philadelphia drops its outdated mascot to show its inclusivity
This community college is showing its current and inclusive efforts to its updated ideals by changing its mascot. In 2019, the institution retired their Colonial Phil mascot and replaced it with a lion. Something as simple as that is what welcomes diversity, rather than dating their scholar ideals back generations.
We are at a different time now! We are living a revolution and replacing these not-so-worthy ‘historical’ figures. In this circumstance, according to the city’s newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer, the mascot “was named after the 18th-century British general who advocated for a plan to deliver smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans.” Yes, you read that right. It’s so interesting to have these outdated historical figures that were once rooted for and worshipped only to realize that they were the actual worst.
It’s time for proper erasure, detailing the reasons why this is not okay moving forward.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is boasting almost 20 organizations, catered to the Latinx community
Among many other universities that are already taking note of the impacting Latinx and people of color community, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the institutions that have grown their multicultural center as of late. They have programs and clubs that are specific to unite Colombians, dreamers, Latinx law students, Latinx fraternities and sororities, Chicanx, Latin@s for Medical School Access, Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and La Unión Puertorriqueña, to name a few.
Isn’t that beautiful? It’s all about researching your interests and pinpointing the right university for you, including your personal goals. The colleagues you meet during this time will somehow intertwine in your future career and successes. It all comes together, and because of that, networking is essential during this university era.
Whether or not your school institution of choice has the organizations and resources available, it is always an option to start your own. Surely enough: if you are a minority needing a resource, you are definitely not alone. For example, we recently discovered teenage Latinas who built their own tools and united immigrants going through the same loneliness of navigating a new city.
Many like-minded people, especially minorities, would be open to these new organizations that are putting the effort to unite la raza and build together.
Although we continuously see the negatives in the media and are unraveling generational racism and inequality, together as a community, we can help change these unethical circumstances. We can do this by teaching our society the importance of diversity and pushing it through scholarly leaders to reach out to their colleagues and build a kinder, more updated system. If not us, quien? If not now, when?
Moreover, post-pandemic is such a crucial time for us to thrive out of this darkness and be as united as possible — especially with so much trauma that not only the lack of diversity creates but because of our current global situation. Together, we can push through and create a more sustainable and inclusive atmosphere for our world’s upcoming leaders. We might’ve not had it, but our future generations surely will.