Every Learner Everywhere Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
This week we welcome Kiara Williams, former Every Learner Everywhere student fellow and WCET consultant, as she shares her thoughts and insights on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Join us in recognizing the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American students like Kiara who are inspiring others to achieve success.
Hello. My name is Kiara Williams. I am a graduate of Georgia State University and I am also an alumni of the Every Learner Everywhere Student Fellowship program. My identity as a Black Latina means many things. Throughout my life my identity has been questioned. It has been torn down because of things like my appearance, my language, the cultural things that I knew growing up, or my more Americanized upbringing.
I used to be told things like I’m not Dominican enough because I don’t know all the slang. Or I’m not Latina enough because I’m dark, my hair is too curly, or my language skills are far from perfect. I used to be hit with a lot of ideas of who I should be according to the stereotypes of my labels or how I don’t match those stereotypes instead of fully embracing who I am, what I do know, how I live my life.
These thoughts used to be really detrimental to how I saw myself, how comfortable I felt within myself. I used to feel like a stranger in my body, in my family, when I go to school amongst my peers. But I grew and I learned, and unlearned, the things that didn’t serve me. And I finally realized that I know who I am. I love who I am.
I am a Latina. I am a Black Latina. I was born into a crazy, loud, and loving Dominican family. We love arroz con habichuelas. We love the fact that our family members can prepare plátanos a hundred different ways. We love dancing Bachata, merengue, and salsa. We play that music at our family functions.
I never have fit into a singular box, but that’s fine. That is okay. To be Hispanic is to be a part of one of the most diverse and rich and beautiful cultures in the world. There’s a lot of history and struggle and freedom, and when we enter this month, it is to celebrate people like me and other beautiful Hispanic and Latinx individuals who have contributed and currently are contributing to this world. I love it here. I wouldn’t change who I am one bit. I love my family. I love our music and I love our food. I wish everyone a happy Hispanic Heritage month.Watch Kiara's Video
Kiara Williams is a radiant Black Latina with a passion for education and impact. She loves her family and heritage and brings that loving energy to everything she does. As a proud graduate of Georgia State University, Kiara received her degree in Human Learning and Development with focuses on family & community advocacy, psychology, and working with multilingual populations. She has served as a teacher, mentor, scholar, world adventurer, university ambassador, Every Learner Everywhere Network student fellow, and is now taking on the nonprofit field! Kiara recently served as the Education Outreach Coordinator for 3D Girls, Inc., where she was able to bring energy, fun, and excitement to their school-based programs and partnerships. She is now taking on a new role with Braven as the Program Manager of Accelerator, an experiential leadership and career course that inspires, develops, and supports underrepresented college students as they live their legacies.