The Puerto Rican Day Parade is a time for moving and shaking. I had the privilege of seeing if first hand yesterday, June 10, as I joined the crew from Being Latino and Fox News Latino to celebrate nuestra isla y herencia. From the dance troupe representing Banco Popular to Geraldo Rivera, everyone on that warm Sunday afternoon seemed to have a spring in their culo.
The real movers and shakers at the parade weren’t just the dancers. You see while Puerto Ricans are world renowned as the among the greatest dancers in the world, the organizers of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade used this year as an opportunity to highlight Puerto Ricans in higher education. For Puerto Ricans, the parade was not just an opportunity to show that we’re a fun rhythmic people, but also an educated people that the world should take note of.
So, in the spirit of higher education, while you’re staying conscious of Puerto Rican singers like Marc Anthony, Tito el Bambino, and Frankie Ruiz, you should also take a moment out to think of some of the parade committee’s 2012 Educational/Leadership honorees.
- Pedro Noguera – prolific professor and author.
- Gloria M. Rodriguez – founder of the De Almas Woman’s Institute
- Jesse Mojica – Director of Community Engagement for the New York City Department of Education
Aside from these people, I know many of us Puerto Ricans have our favorite higher education success stories. For me personally, it’s Sonia Sotomayor, not so much because she’s a Supreme Court justice, but that she ended the 1994 Major League Baseball Strike.
Every year Puerto Ricans get an opportunity to celebrate ourselves and let the rest of the world see what we’re all about. As a people, we need to keep driving towards educational success, so that we won’t just be thought of as that group of people that dances the best and puts the most attractive actors in movies.