VIDEO: Hispanic Heritage Month virtual forum celebrates Latino cultures, contributions in OC

Affordable college, mentorships and high expectations were identified as keys to success by a panel of Latino leaders during Thursday’s virtual forum hosted by County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.

As the latest in OCDE’s series of online colloquiums reflecting the theme “Know My Name, Face and Story,” the presentation featured a handful of distinguished guests who shared their backstories and discussed educational trends, challenges and strategies for ensuring equity, opportunity and inclusion.

National Hispanic Heritage Month spans 30 days beginning Sept. 15, which is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16, and Chile’s independence is recognized on Sept. 18. 

Dr. Mijares noted that this school year also coincides with the 75th anniversary of the final ruling in the case of Mendez v. Westminster, which in 1947 ended the forced segregation of schoolchildren in Orange County and across the state.

You can watch the full colloquium above. And here’s the list of speakers:

The Hon. Elizabeth G. Macias
Orange County Superior Court Judge

Dr. Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Educational Partnerships
University of California, Irvine

Dr. Edward Lee Vargas
Award-winning superintendent and former Executive Vice President for AVID

Marvin Martinez
Chancellor, Rancho Santiago Community College District

Reuben Franco
President and CEO, Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Destiny Ceja and Anna Fierro
Destiny, a senior, and Anna, a junior, are part of a five-member speech and debate team from Santa Ana High School that recently earned top honors in this year’s highly competitive National Speech and Debate Association Tournament. They were joined by their coach, Corin Serrano.