For the World

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15th to October 15th, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month; however, this designation does not give us the license to ONLY celebrate Hispanic Heritage during this one month of the year.  As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be celebrating and supporting one another and our diverse cultures all year long.  National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as a single week and was expanded to a full month 20 years later in 1988.

The Repentance Project exists to encourage racial healing by communicating the systemic legacies of slavery, building relationships, and creating opportunities – through formation, repentance, and repair – for a just future.  Most of the work of the Repentance Project is centered around the legacy of slavery in the United States; however, we must not forget that the Transatlantic slave trade also had a profound impact on Latin America. National Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to learn more.  We have compiled a list of resources to help you learn more about and appreciate the beautiful diversity of Hispanic heritage and cultures:

  • Something to watch …
    • A Million Miles Away – A biopic about Jose Hernandez and his path from a farm worker to becoming an engineer and an astronaut. A tale of perseverance, community and sacrifice to accomplish a seemingly impossible dream.
    • Dolores – Who is Dolores Huerta? One of the most important, yet least known activists of our time, Dolores Huerta was an equal partner in founding the first farm workers union with César Chávez. Tirelessly leading the fight for racial and labor justice, Huerta evolved into one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century — and she continues the fight to this day, in her late 80s. With unprecedented access to this intensely private mother of 11, Peter Bratt’s film Dolores chronicles Huerta’s life from her childhood in Stockton, California to her early years with the United Farm Workers, from her work with the headline-making grape boycott launched in 1965 to her role in the feminist movement of the ’70s, to her continued work as a fearless activist.  Featuring interviews with Gloria Steinem, Luis Valdez, Angela Davis, her children and more, Dolores is an intimate and inspiring portrait of a passionate champion of the oppressed and an indomitable woman willing to accept the personal sacrifices involved in committing one’s life to social change.
    • Black in Latin America – Black in Latin America, a four-part series on the influence of African descent on Latin America, is a production from renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  He visits six different Latin American nations exploring the history and interviewing the people.  This excellent docu-series was released in 2011, unfortunately it is no longer available for viewing on the PBS website.  However, full episodes are available on Youtube.
    • Monsenor:  The Last Journey of Oscar Romero – In the 1970s, as El Salvador moved irrevocably closer to civil war, one man was known as the voice of the poor, the disenfranchised, the disappeared. Appointed Archbishop in 1977, Monsenor Oscar Romero worked tirelessly for peace, justice and human rights, while in constant personal peril. Using the power of the pulpit to denounce official corruption, he inspired millions with his nationally broadcast sermons, until in March of 1980, he was shot dead at the altar. With rare recordings and film footage, and a wide range of interviews with those whose lives were changed by Romero, including church activists, human rights lawyers, former guerrilla fighters and politicians, Monsenor is a timely portrait of the man’s quest to speak the truth, though it cost him his life.
    • Family Friendly Options
      • Encanto – A Colombian teenage girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.
      • Coco – Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.
  • Something to read …
    • Hermanas – God calls Latinas to lives of influence. Sharing their own journeys as Latinas and leaders, these three women find mentorship in twelve inspirational women of the Bible who navigated challenges of brokenness and suffering, being bicultural, and crossing borders. As we deepen our spiritual and ethnic identities, we grow in intimacy with God and others and become better equipped to influence others for the kingdom.
    • Voices Rising – What does it mean to be a woman of color in mission? Who are the women of color who labor for peace and justice in our world? And why are our stories so hard to find?  In this book you will find a compilation of stories by Christian women of color who are living and working in urban poor communities around the world. As the reader you are invited to listen to the call and the need for diversity in mission and to see the uniqueness that women of color bring.
    • The Violence of Love – These selections from the sermons and writings of Archbishop Oscar Romero shared the message of a great holy prophet of modern times. Three short years transformed Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, from a conservative defender of the status quo into one of the church’s most outspoken voices of the oppressed.
    • “The Afro Latino Who Redefined How Black History is Remembered” – Arturo Schomburg’s experiences as an Afro-Puerto Rican at the turn of the century influenced his approach to rescuing and preserving Black history.
    • “About 6 Million US Adults Identify as Afro Latino” – Afro-Latino identity is a distinct one, with deep roots in colonial Latin America. As a result, it can often exist alongside a person’s Hispanic, racial or national origin identities. The life experiences of Afro-Latinos are shaped by race, skin tone and other factors, in ways that differ from other Hispanics. And though most Afro-Latinos identify as Hispanic or Latino, not all do so, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on a survey of U.S. adults conducted from November 2019 to June 2020.
  • Something to listen to …
    • Maverick City Musica – The vision and heart of Maverick City has always been to create a space where it has not yet been created. Music that transcends linguistic and cultural barriers is the byproduct of that search. His first album, “Como En El Cielo” is a collection of songs that portray the hearts of Maverick City Music in action.  As a result of the overwhelming response to this first production in Spanish, Maverick City Música was born. Their upcoming album, “Venga Tu Rieno”, which will be released by Tribl Records, is a brilliant display of diversity and collaboration; a project that features a variety of artists, including Evan Craft, Christine D’Clario, Brandon Lake, among many others.  With a growing community of listeners and followers on social media, Maverick City Música has become a vital part of the worship experience in the Spanish-speaking world.
    • Joann Rosario – An American gospel/CCM singer, and a pastor.  Rosario was born in Chicago to parents of Puerto Rican background. Her father is a pastor and she sang in his church as a child. She recorded several live Spanish language worship albums and is known for introducing the gospel vocal sound to the Spanish Christian market. She began her professional career in 1997 as a background singer for Marvin Sapp, then left in 1999 to be a member of Fred Hammond’s Radical for Christ. Hammond helped her launch a solo career in 2001 with her Spring 2002 debut album More, More, More. She released a follow-up effort in 2005 and a third in 2007.  As a licensed Christian minister, Rosario travels internationally, preaching and singing in English and Spanish. She is a pastor in Austell, Georgia, Maranatha Life Church. Joann’s latest book is Father, Here I Am, a 40-day devotional for women.
    • Chasing Justice Podcast Network – Our mission is to form a community of people that will journey together provoking a social imagination that centers the voices of those most impacted by injustice.
    • Rigoberta Menchu Podcasts – Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu shares the challenges she has faced in maintaining peace in Guatemala with the audience gathered by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. Series: “Peace exChange — Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego” You have to scroll down to find the podcast entitled  “Rigoberta Menchu:  Challenges to Lasting Peace in Guatemala”.

Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list of resources.  We are always looking to learn more, so please feel free to share with us any resources you have found helpful in your search to learn more about Hispanic heritage.

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