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Social Justice Through Inclusivity » Monthly Observances

Monthly Observances

During each school year, the students, staff, and families of WISH Community & Academy Schools join in monthly celebrations and acknowledgments with our nation to highlight the immense value of diversity in our communities. Please check back often for additional resources and updates. 
The WISH Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is an advisory group comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, family members, and community members that help support the school and the greater population to intentionally move towards a more inclusive community of all races, religions, sexual orientations, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, all identities, and all abilities. Through leadership, education, communication, planning, and other support systems, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is committed to ensuring that all members of the community are valued and included.
Monthly Spotlight: National American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month Logo

"The origins of Native American Heritage Month stretches back a century to 1914 when Red Fox James of the Blackfoot Confederacy rode across the country on horseback to gain support for a national day designated to indigenous peoples.  Other indigenous leaders since that time have worked for more recognition on a national level.  In 1986, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation for the first American Indian Week held in November.  Since 1995 every U.S. President has issued an annual proclamation declaring Native American Heritage Month to be observed in November as a time to celebrate the contributions, past and present, to all areas of life from the first inhabitants of the present-day United States and their descendants.  You can find out more from this video. 

Featured Event:
Please mark your calendars with November 30 at 5:30 PM for a special Zoom visit from Gabrieleno/Tongva artist, teacher, and researcher, Lazaro Arvizu, Jr. who has been featured at The Cayton Museum, The Autry Museum and is currently an Artist in Residence at the California Creative Learning Academy in Eagle Rock.  He will be sharing his indigenous music, art, culture, language and perspective with us. You won’t want to miss it!  (insert photo of Lazaro)
Stay tuned to upcoming WWW in November for more happenings around WISH Campuses celebrating Native American Heritage Month!

Stories in the Spotlight
Please join us as we celebrate influential Native America culture and voices.

Native American ArtHappy Native American Heritage Month! Exciting things are happening on our campuses to celebrate. Did you know that the game of Cornhole may have been invented by Native Americans? At the middle school campus, students in Survival Arts are completing a machine sewing unit.  Last month, students learned how to sew on a button and how to sew two different hand-stitches that they can use to mend clothing.  Using these new skills, students will each sew a bean bag to use in a Cornhole tournament at the end of the semester!   At the elementary school, students are learning about Native American artists. Terri Greeves, a member of the Kiowa Indian Tribe, is a beadwork artist known for creating stories on shoes that share her culture and her life stories. Students in grades TK, K, 1, 4 and 5 will design a shoe telling their life stories, celebrating someone or something important to them, or sharing a memory.  Students are also learning about Maria Martinez who was from the San Ildefonso Pueblo and created pottery in the Pueblo style. She and her family helped preserved ancient pottery techniques, including her famous black-on-black pottery style.  Elementary students are also celebrating Native American Heritage Month in the garden!  They learned about an ancient companion planting technique called The Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash) and searched for each "sister" crop in the Emerson Ave Commuity Garden.  You can learn more about The Three Sisters Garden from the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin here.  Stay tuned for more happenings in the coming weeks of November including a Zoom visit on November 30 at 5:30 PM with indigenous artist and researcher Lazaro Arvizu, Jr.! 
Family Resources
Below are a number of resources to learn about the accomplishments and influences through videos, works of art,  literary works, community businesses, and much more.
Websites to explore

Previous Monthly Observances
Monthly Spotlight: National Hispanic Heritage Month (09/15-10/15)

National Hispanic Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the culture, contributions, and heritage of Hispanic Americans and is observed annually from September 15 to October 15. On August 17, 1988, the 100th Congress enacted Public Law 100-402, which extended the observance from a week to a month.  The months of September and October cover a wide range of independence days for Latin American countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all celebrate their independence on September 15. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, Chile on September 18, and Belize on September 21. 
Featured Event:
The campus will be adorned with flyers that explain important (to kids and teens!) things that Hispanic culture/people have given us in the US. This includes, but is not limited to exploration of Mars, Instagram, and superheroes.

Here are just a few a few things that we are doing on our campuses to elevate the celebration: At the ES, music teacher Mr. Peder is launching into a unit about Hispanic/Latin & Pre-Hispanic music! Students will study Aztec as historical preservation as well as a "religious" utility.
In the coming weeks they'll be looking at and listening to three forms of music from Mexico including Banda, Norteno, and Mariachi (learning how to create a grito!)
Students will also be "traveling" throughout Central and South America and listening to music from Nicaragua (soca & merengue), Guatemala (garifuna), Columbia (cumbia), Peru (ancient Incas), Argentina (contradanse), and Brazil (samba, bossa nova). 5th graders are reading the wonderful book Esperanza Rising, about a the daughter of a wealthy Mexican landowner who's world changes and she is forced to move to California during the Great Depression. At the MS, Zsuzsi Steiner is teaching about about the ancient method of using Olla irrigation.  Olla is a Spanish word and it is believed that the Spanish settlers may have introduced the olla to Native American tribes.  Ollas are terracotta vessels that are filled with water where the water naturally seeps into the ground and waters the plants surrounding it.  Due to our local drought conditions -- this seems like a great way for us to keep our garden watered.  Students are bringing in plastic bottles to create plastic ollas for our garden. Mrs. Garcia, the Spanish teacher will be using this lesson to reinforce the "ll" sound in her Spanish classes and is engaging her students in a poster project to celebrate the month. They will also be learning a new dance calle "La Raspa". Ms. Tyler Posey will be utilizing the E building hallway bulletin board to decorate and spread information about important figures, places, and themes surrounding Hispanic Heritage. Stay tuned for more updates about the ways in which the incredible WISH staff and students are making Hispanic Heritage month come alive!
Stories in the Spotlight
Please join us as we celebrate influential Hispanic voices from the past and the present.
Sylvia Acevedo PictureSylvia Acevedo is an engineer, entrepreneur, investor, business leader, and rocket scientist. She was born in South Dakota but grew up in New Mexico. Her mother was a Mexican immigrant and her father was Mexican American and from El Paso, Texas. They spoke Spanish at home and didn't have a lot of money. As a child, Sylvia was a devoted Girl Scout. After being told by her college counselor, "Girls like you don't go to college," Sylvia persisted even more. Despite being ridiculed, Sylvia earned her industrial engineering degree from New Mexico State University. She then became a rocket scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she worked on the Voyager mission that flew by Jupiter and its moon. Sylvia went on from there to obtain her master's degree at Stanford University becoming one of the first Latinas to earn a graduate-level degree in engineering. Ms. Acevedo served as Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA from May 2017 to August 2020, and as interim Chief Executive Officer from June 2016 to May 2017. She also served as the chair of President Obama’s White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics in early childhood leadership and driver of the Administration’s Early Childhood Dual Language Education Policy.
She currently is a national speaker on Education, STEM, cybersecurity, demographic trends and leadership, and currently serves on the Qualcomm Board of Directors.

Lin-Manual Miranda PictureLin-Manuel Miranda - Few Hispanic Americans have made a bigger impact in recent pop culture than Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda was born in 1980 in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City to Puerto Rican parents, who immigrated to New York to pursue academics. Miranda’s mother Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda is a clinical psychologist and his father Luis A. Miranda, Jr. is a Democratic Party consultant and immigrant advocate.
Miranda was raised around musicals and started writing his first title at Wesleyan University in 1999 during his sophomore year. In the Heights, loosely based on his own experiences growing up, would go on to open on Broadway in March 2008. 
Influenced by his upbringing in predominantly Latin Washington Heights, and frequent vacations in Puerto Rico, the musical uniquely featured a largely Latin American cast who often sang/spoke in Spanish.
Miranda’s largest mark on culture came when his musical Hamilton opened on Broadway. Following the life of Alexander Hamilton, Miranda reimagined the beginnings of America told by all actors of color, whose ancestors didn’t have a say in how the country was built. The hip-hop musical quickly became one of the most profitable shows to ever hit Broadway.
Miranda has won several Tony Awards for his excellent work. 
Family Resources
Below are a number of resources to learn about the accomplishments and influences through videos, works of art,  literary works, community businesses, and much more.
Library Padlet
This month in the WISH Library we are celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15 to October 15!  During this month we celebrate and honor the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latinx Americans, and Latin American countries, not only here in the United States, but around the world.
The book images included above are some of our recent favorite books by and/or about Hispanic and Latinx Americans for Middle Grade to YA readers.  
Websites to explore


Museums and Online Events

Monthly Spotlight: Black History Month (February)

Black History Month
Each February WISH celebrates Black History Month, highlighting the accomplishments and contributions that African Americans have made to the scientific, legal, education, athletic, art, music, and social justice fabric of our country – something we do year-round but shine a brighter spotlight in February.
We believe teaching our children about Black History Month and the many important African American influencers and contributors continue to move our society forward. By teaching them to respect the history, culture, and accomplishments of African Americans, they will be more aware and more accepting of everyone within our highly diverse country.
Throughout the month our students will learn about the Black women and men who have shaped our society and culture. This will occur in the core curriculum as well as through music, art, and the written word. Below is a list of upcoming events, efforts, and resources for our entire community to be a part of this annual WISH tradition.
Please click below to view our very special Welcome Video featuring students and staff 
Featured Event:
“The Lived Experience of Black Leaders at WISH” Panel Discussion
Click here to rewatch moderator and WISH parent Tre’Shawn Hall Baker along with MS English teacher Victoria Phillips, 4th Grade Parent Jennifer Thomas, and WISH Facilities Manager Lawrence Shelton share their own experiences and the matters that are important to them. 
Stories in the Spotlight
Celebrating influential Black voices from the past and the present, in the areas of science, social justice, sports, and culture. Read below to learn more about these great Americans.

Amanda Gorman National Youth Poet Laurete"For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it, if only we're brave enough to be it." This sentence thrust Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history and current National Youth Poet Laureate, into the global conversation. An award-winning writer, cum laude graduate of Harvard University, and a Westchester local, Amanda stirred a nation and inspired a generation at the recent inauguration. We hope Amanda's love of writing excites all of our writers to reach new heights. Her picture book, "Change Sings," and book of poetry, "The Hill We Climb," arrives in September and available for pre-order now.
Astronaut Victor J. GloverVictor J. Glover Jr. This California native and highly decorated Naval Officer is the first African American to have an extended stay at the International Space Station, currently flying over our heads sixteen times each day. He was born on April 30, 1976, and grew up in Pomona, California. He attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering in 1999. Glover joined the US Navy and completed advanced flight training in 2001. He had a decorated career in the Navy, accumulating 3,000 flight hours in more than 40 aircraft over 400 carrier-arrested landings and 23 combat missions for the Navy. In 2012, he served as a legislative fellow on the late Senator John McCain’s staff. During this time, Glover was selected for the 2013 NASA Astronaut Group. He is currently serving as a pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, which launched November 15, 2020. He is the first African American to have an extended duration mission aboard the International Space Station. Click here to learn more about Victor Glover, and follow him on Twitter @AstroVicGlover for up-to-date posts of his adventures on the Space Station.
Biddy Mason
Bridget “Biddy” Mason (1818–1891) is an American hero who was a founding mother of Downtown Los Angeles. Born enslaved, she became one of the first prominent citizens and landowners in Los Angeles in the 1860s. She also founded the First Af

rican Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. In California, she successfully petitioned a court for her freedom and quickly used her skills as a midwife and nurse for her livelihood. She saved her money and purchased land in what is now the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Mason became one of the wealthiest landowners in the city. She supported charities that helped feed and shelter the poor while also being instrumental in founding an elementary school for Black children. To learn more, visit the
Biddy Mason Memorial Park downtown.
Dr Keith Curry
Dr. Keith Curry is the President and CEO of Compton College and believes that “Every student is a success story”. Dr. Keith Curry, CEO of the Compton Community College District and president of Compton College, has earned many awards for his leaders
hip and vision in Compton and for every student in his network. Compton College was accredited in 2017 as the 114th California Community College. Under his leadership, many existing student services programs have been expanded and others created including the First Year Experience (FYE) program, and the Tartar Support program established in 2017 to offer a food pantry and other support for students facing food and housing insecurities. In addition, the Formerly Incarcerated Students in Transition (F.I.S.T.) program was established in fall 2016. Other positive outcomes in recent years include an increased number of degrees and certificates awarded; increased student enrollment and transfers; new full-time faculty members hired; new state-funded construction projects completed; and a balanced budget with a reserve.  In Dr. Curry’s words, “Every student can be successful with the right academic and support services. I want students to feel special and at home here at Compton College.” Dr. Curry earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Irvine, and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 
Kamala Harris is the first woman, first African American,Kamala Harris and first Asian American Vice President of the United States of America. Harris was born in Oakland, California, in 1964 to a Jamaican father and Indian mother. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a law degree from Hastings College, she worked as an assistant district attorney in Oakland. She quickly rose through the ranks to become the first woman and first African American Attorney General of California in 2010. She proved to be a strong voice within the law and a stand out for political office. In 2016 she successfully ran for the US Senate, winning the seat held by Barbara Boxer in California. She was the first Indian American and the second African American woman in the Senate. She attempted to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, which Joe Biden won, and he picked her as his Vice Presidential running mate soon after. They were both inaugurated into their positions on January 20, 2021. Read more about Kamala Harris on the official White House website.
Kehinde Wiley a native Angeleno and Yale-educated artist may be Kehinde Wileyconsidered akin to Lin Manuel Miranda in the visual arts world! Born in 1977 in Los Angeles, Kehinde Wiley is famous for using Old Master European portrait paintings as the basis for his contemporary paintings featuring African American sitters. His striking compositions that uplift African American individuals to a majestic status has helped to flip long-outdated art historical expectations of portraiture on a grand scale. Wiley’s trailblazing work has garnered him many accolades and exhibitions, and some of his paintings can be found in museum collections around the world. In 2017 he was commissioned to paint the official portrait of former President Barack Obama in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and which will travel, along with Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama, to LACMA in November 2021. Click here to learn more about Kehinde Wiley.
KizzmKizzmekia Corbettekia Corbett is the lead scientist working on the creation of the COVID-19 vaccine. Kizzmekia was born on January 26, 1986, in North Carolina, where she grew up in a large family. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences and sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She later received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently an American viral immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (one of the 27 National Institutes of Health). She was appointed to the VRC in 2014, and she is currently the scientific lead of the VRC's Coronavirus team and was instrumental in developing the COVID-19 vaccine. In December 2020, the Institute's Director, Anthony Fauci, said: “Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine.” Click here to learn more about Kizzmekia Corbett.
Theodore Lumpkin
Theodore “Ted” Lumpkin is a local hero who served in WWII in the all-black unit called the Tuskeegee Airmen! He was born in 1919 in Los Angeles, graduated from Jefferson High School, attended LA City College and was studying at UCLA when the Army drafted him in 1942. He was assigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron of an all-Black unit based in Tuskegee,  Alabama.  Because his eyesight wasn’t good enough to be a pilot, he trained
as an intelligence officer and was a 2nd lieutenant. He briefed pilots before bombing missions, and de-briefed them after their return, based in Italy. The Tuskegee Airmen were in much demand as they were known for their valor, and perfect record of never losing a bomber they were escorting and protecting on missions. On returning from the War, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from USC. He worked for many years as a social worker. He retired from the Air Force Reserve as a lieutenant colonel. Later in life he owned his own real estate company. The Tuskegee Airmen received Congress’ highest civilian recognition in 2007 with the Congressional Gold Medal. He died at age 100 in December 2020, just a few days before his 101st birthday. He lived in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of LA for the last 30 years of his life.
Family Resources
Below are a number of resources about Black History Month to share with your children at home to learn about the accomplishments of famous and lesser-known African-Americans, including videos, works of art,  literary works, community businesses, and much more. 

BHM Business Directory Image
This week we feature the Black-Owned Business Directory

Websites to explore


Museums and Online Events

Monthly Spotlight: Women's History Month (March)

Women's History Month Logo
With its origins from a local celebration in Santa Rosa, Women’s History Month became a national celebration in 1987 when Congress passed new legislation and President Reagan authorized this new annual observance. Ever since that legislation, each March we highlight the achievements women have made over the course of American and world history in a variety of fields. Our "main event" for the month will be in the form of a WISH Community generated "Tribute to Women" - and hope everyone participates. Additionally, our librarians will be recording and posting read alouds celebrating women and selecting other books for every aged reader. Our Spotlight Series will continue, this month focusing on inspirational women, and we'll be highlighting a variety of additional resources for every family to continue learning at home.
Featured Event
We will send an email to all of our community parents and guardians directing them to a Google Form to share their thoughts/feelings about women in their lives or other women that have influenced or inspired them. Responses will be gathered and made into a poem - a community-generated tribute poem to Women. This will be made into a video with various community members reading a line of the poem for the audio, with words on a slide (optional extension: ask for people to send photos of the influential women in their lives to add visuals to the story).
Stories in the Spotlight
Celebrating the achievements women have made over the course of American and world history in a variety of fields.. Read below to learn more about these great women who have influenced us all.
Grace Lin is a Taiwanese-American children’s writer and illustrator.
Grace LinAfter Grace graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, she published her first book, “The Ugly Vegetables”, in 1999. Grace won the Newbery Honor for “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” and the Theodor Geisel Honor for “Ling and Ting.” Her novel “When the Sea Turned to Silver” was a National Book Award Finalist and her picture book, “A Big Mooncake for Little Star” was awarded the Caldecott Honor. Grace is also an occasional commentator for New England Public Radio, a reviewer for the NY Times, a video essayist for PBS NewsHour, and the speaker of the popular TEDx talk, “The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf,” as well as hosting the two podcasts: kidlitwomen* and Kids Ask Authors. In 2016, Grace’s art was displayed at the White House where Grace, herself, was recognized by President Obama’s office as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling. 
Nia Dennis is a 22 year old American gymnast at UCLA.
Nia DennisNia is the star gymnast on the UCLA team, and she gained unprecedented exposure by using a Beyoncé song for her floor routine. She finished 2020 nationally-ranked as number 18 on floor. Her meet-winning 9.975 floor routine against Utah went viral with over 20 million views and landed her a guest spot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She also has earned high marks on other equipment: 2019 First-team All American on bars, Four-time All-Pac-12 honoree (2020 second-team vault and floor, 2019 second-team vault, 2018 second-team bars), and beam. Nia is a 2018 NCAA team champion and was a U.S National team member from 2012-2015. Nia is a Sociology major who is seeking a career as a stunt double.

Leah Katz-Hernandez is a leading expert on disability and diversity issues
Leah Katz-HernandezLeah Katz-Hernandez is a leading expert on disability and diversity issues, public communication strategy, and civil rights. She currently serves as Manager and CEO of Communications for Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, Leah was known as the celebrated ROTUS, Receptionist of the United States, for President Obama. The first-ever deaf person to hold the position, she was appointed to the West Wing after serving in First Lady Michelle Obama’s communications office and for the Obama campaign during the 2012 election cycle. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Leah’s groundbreaking grassroots digital communications resulted in an award-winning blog and international attention. Throughout her career at the White House, in the non-profit sector, political campaigns, and on Capitol Hill, Leah has consistently used her specialty knowledge to urge equal access for the deaf, disability and Latina communities. Watch Leah Katz-Hernandez show the appropriate etiquette here:
Juliette Gordan Low was the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA
Juliette Gordan LowJuliette Gordan Low (1860-1927), affectionately known as ‘Daisy,’ always had ear trouble. She suffered from ear infections as a child, which reduced her hearing in one ear. At her wedding, a grain of rice tossed by guests in the traditional bridal sendoff lodged in her other ear. This infection resulted in her deafness. After her divorce and inspired by Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, she joined the Girl Guide movement in England, forming her own group of Girl Guides. Born into a wealthy family, Daisy used her connections to promote the Girl Guides- later renamed Girl Scouts and the organization quickly became popular. Like their Boy Scout counterparts, they learned how to pitch a tent, build a fire, as well as telegraph and farming skills. Since the first Girl Guide meeting in Georgia in 1912, over 50 million girls have become Girl Scouts.
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
MalalaMalala Yousafzai (born 1997), often referred to a Malala, is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for her human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her hometown where the local Pakistani Taliban had regularly banned girls from attending school. In 2012, a Pakistani Taliban gunman attempted to kill her for her activism. Luckily she survived and the incident resulted in an international outpouring of support for her cause. In 2013, she co-authored I am Malala, an international bestseller and in 2015 she was the subject of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary film He Named Me Malala. Time magazine has featured her for many years as one of the most influential people globally. 
Greta Thunberg is an 18 year old environmental activist changing the world.
gretaIn 2018 Greta Thunberg began spending some school days outside of Swedish Parliament holding a sign that read, ‘School strike for climate’. Her actions caught on and with others, and the Fridays for Future movement began. In 2019 she sailed to North America, to avoid flying, to attend the UN Climate Action Summit, where she gave a speech. Her influence on the world stage has been coined the ‘Greta effect’ and she has received numerous honors and awards, including being the youngest Time person of the year and Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and two consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019 and 2020).
Dr. Farah Alibay - Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) who has worked on several Mars missions.
Dr Farah Alibay PictureDr. Farah Alibay (33 years old), is a Canadian Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) who has worked on the InSight, Mars Cube One and Mars 2020 missions. Born in Canada to immigrant parents from Madagascar, she was raised in England and earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cambridge University in aerospace and aerothermal engineering. In 2014 she earned her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While working on her PhD she interned at JPL and was hired full time soon after. In 2019 she joined the Mars 2020 mobility team. Her job is to make sure the rover doesn’t get lost on Mars. She and her team of 50 will be controlling all the Perseverance’s movements on Mars! Dr. Alibay works on diversity and inclusion in STEM, both to support them in her work environment and to ensure others don’t face the same challenges she did as an LGBTQ+ immigrant woman of color.
Naomi Osaka - a Japanese professional tennis player, recently won the Australian Open- her fourth Grand Slam Title
Naomi OsakaNaomi Osaka (born 1997), a Japanese professional tennis player, recently won the Australian Open- her fourth Grand Slam Title. Osaka has been ranked number 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles. Born in Japan to a Hatitan father and a Japanese mother, Naomi has lived and trained in the US since she was three years old. In 2018 she made her breakthrough when she won her first WTA title at Indian Wells Open. Later that same year she defeated 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams in the final of the US Open. She is the reigning champion at the US Open and the Australian Open. When she won her first two back-to-back Grand Slam singles titles (the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open), she was the first person to achieve this since Jennifer Capriati in 2001. Naomi has gained recognition as an activist, having showcased support for the Black Lives Matter movement in connection with her matches. She was named one of the 2020 Sports Illustrated Sprotsperson of the Year and also included in Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2019 and 2020.
Family Resources
Below are a number of resources about celebrating Women's History to share with your children at home to learn about the accomplishments of influential women across the globe. Please click the arrow to view the expanded content. 
Library Padlet
To kick off our celebration of Women's History Month we are offering some bedtime entertainment!
Here is a link to our Padlet with a special section of read-aloud books that our librarians recorded. Bring your favorite screen to bed and let someone else read the story to your child! PLEASE keep coming back to the padlet as we will continue to share more throughout the month.
Websites To Explore
  • This website is a collaboration of the National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Smithsonian, National Archives, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Park Service, National Endowment of the Arts .

  • Visit the History Channel has a wide range of resources and can guide you to resources about Women Leaders, Women In Sports, Women in the Arts and Women in Science.

  • The Smithsonian has organized its resources about Women’s history into themes including activism, art, science, sports and more.
Museums to explore
Monthly Spotlight: Deaf History Month (March 13-April 15)
Monthly Spotlight: Poetry Month (April)

Deaf History Month Logo Poetry month logo

Deaf History Month
National Deaf History Month is celebrated from March 13 through April 15 to commemorate the achievements of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The time frame is spread across March and April in recognition of three turning points in deaf education history dating back to the early 1800s. On April 15, 1817, America’s first public school for the deaf was opened. On April 8, 1864, Gallaudet University — the world’s first institution dedicated to advanced education for the deaf and hard of hearing — was officially founded. And more than 100 years later, on March 13, 1988, Gallaudet hired its first deaf president in response to its students’ Deaf President Now movement.

Poetry Month
So often we turn to poetry in times of celebration, in times of loss, in times of wonder and of healing. What pleasure then to celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month together as a community! We have been through this historic year “alone together,” riding the kaleidoscopic waves of emotion that have undoubtedly sprung from the isolation, the hope, the rest, the exhaustion, the moments of joy at not having much LA traffic, the unexpected silver linings of eating more meals together or watching our children grow right before our eyes! These details make up the poetry of life! National Poetry Month was born in 1996 at the Academy of American Poets, with the intention of bringing the cultural importance of poetry and poets more into the mainstream. Our “main event” for the month will be our own exploration of poetry as we begin to tiptoe toward life as we knew it a bit more, allowing a safe place for all of those emotions to land. WISH mom and poet, Julia Alter, will lead our scholars in a poetry lesson that will let them express and explore and process these feelings in the form of poetry. We will set up a FlipGrid for students to share their poems. Additionally, our librarians will be sharing some wonderful books for readers of all ages. Our Spotlight Series will continue, this month focusing on inspirational poets from many different walks of American life.
Stories in the Spotlight
Please join us in celebrating incredible achievements across all fields as we commemorate these very special months.
Eugene HairstonEugene Hairston, known as “Silent Hairston,” grew up to become the first deaf African American boxer, having suffered spinal meningitis as a young child. Hairston was born in Harlem, New York, in 1929 and attended schools for deaf children until the age of 15, at which point he dropped out to earn money for his family. After working various jobs, he set his sights on becoming a professional boxer and began attending a New York fighting club. Trainers at the club initially overlooked Hairston because of his hearing loss until they witnessed his exceptional skills in the ring. He soon went pro, winning a total of 45 fights and defeating two world champions before he reached the age of 22. In 1952, doctors advised Hairston to quit boxing for fear he would end up blind from repeated blows to the head. He retired, lived a full life, and died in 2014 at t
Juliette Gordon
Juliette Gordon Low was born in 1860 and founded Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912 after enduring multiple ear injuries as a child that resulted in near total hearing loss. An adventurous spirit, Low channeled her lifelong passions for athletics, the arts, animals, and nature into a global movement that has empowered millions of girls to develop leadership skills and self-confidence. Beginning with her first troop of 18 girls, Low stood up against racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of bias by uniting young women from diverse cultural, racial, ability, and socioeconomic backgrounds. After Low died of breast cancer in 1927, she received numerous posthumous honors. These included the establishment of the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund, which provides financial support for international travel and service work for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world.
Jacqueline Woodson ImageHighly-lauded Jacqueline Woodson is a contemporary master of children’s literature, probably most famous for her young adult novels, but skilled in writing for children, adolescents, and adults. Her two most recent works of literature for children are narratives in verse, including Brown Girl Dreaming, a memoir-in-verse that won the National Book Award for young people’s literature in 2014. She held a two-year term as the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015-2017—in an interview at the time of her appointment, she said:
“I think one thing I want to do as Young People’s Poet Laureate is make sure all people know that poetry is a party everyone is invited to. I think many people believe and want others to believe that poetry is for the precious, entitled, educated few. And that’s just not true. Our children’s first words are poems—poems we and our listeners are delighted to hear and eager to understand. Rap is poetry. Spoken word is poetry. Poetry lives in our everyday. I’ve read some of the most poetic tweets, listened to poetic voice messages and snippets of dialogue between teenagers.To which I have to say: four more years.

Shel Silverstein imageSheldon Allan Silverstein, popularly known as Shel Silverstein, was an American poet, singer-songwriter, children’s author, cartoonist and a screenwriter. Born during the Great Depression into an immigrant Jewish family in Chicago, he was raised under difficult conditions for the first few years of his life. To keep his mind away from the trouble, he started doodling early in his childhood. Never good in studies, he could not adjust anywhere until he entered Roosevelt University, where his talent was recognized and nurtured by his English professor. But before he could graduate, he was drafted into the army to serve in the Korean War. It was while working for the military newspaper ‘Pacific Stars and Stripes’ that he first started drawing cartoons. On returning home he started submitting cartoons to various journals, ultimately joining publications as a cartoonist and roving reporter, making a name in the field. Slowly he evolved as a successful singer-songwriter, holding copyright for more than 800 songs. His children’s books, translated into thirty languages, have sold over 20 million copies, and continue to dominate best-sellers lists.They include the popular, A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree. Silverstein often eschewed happy endings because children, he said, might otherwise wonder why they themselves were not comparably happy. He was credited for helping young readers develop an appreciation of poetry, and his serious verse reveals an understanding of common childhood anxieties and wishes.
Family Resources
Deaf History Month
National Association of the deaf -
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.

New York Public Library -×tamp=1617403743650&lang=eng
NYPL houses an extensive collection of resources commemorating deaf history month
American Society for deaf children -
ASDC is a resource for families with deaf children

Poetry Month
Brittanica Parents -
Inspirational article for parents of children with speech disorders about Amanda Gorman overcoming and thriving with auditory processing issues
30 ways for adults and children alike to celebrate National Poetry Month

Public Broadcasting System Southern California -
Favorite writing prompts for children from teacher-poets
Featured Events
Deaf History Month
Wednesday April 14, 2021
Please join us for a very special Deaf History Month panel hosted by WISH Academy ASL teacher Ms. Jade Tipton and students from the WISH Academy High School ASL club. Details will be posted in the WISH Wise Weekly.

Poetry Month
A  unique video will be created and linked here this month featuring contributions from members of our WISH community. Please check back soon. 
Monthly Spotlight: Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month (May)

Asian Pacific
Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians have a rich heritage and history spanning thousands of years. The month of May has been designated as a time to especially celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage and experiences, with an increased focus on how AAPIs have positively contributed to life in the United States as well as on the treatment this community has had to endure in our nation’s history. The idea for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, now proclaimed as Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month in 2021, was first spearheaded by then congressional workers Jeanie Jew and Ruby Moy following our nation’s bicentennial. The first Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week occurred in 1979 and was expanded to a month in 1990. May was chosen to commemorate two historic events: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S., recorded on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The labor for this historic achievement was largely performed by Chinese immigrants, many of whom died as a result. Today, the dual crises of the coronavirus pandemic and the alarming increase in anti-Asian hate incidents have put an overdue spotlight on the struggles and triumphs of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. To celebrate this month we will be hosting a panel geared for community members 4th grade and older on May 12th. For younger students (TK-3rd) and their families, we will be hosting a children's book by author Helena Ku Rhee on May 26th. Last, we will be collecting origami hearts with messages of love folded by all of you (we will send out directions). Stay tuned for more details!  
Stories in the Spotlight
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Each week we celebrate the many contributions and incredible achievements as we commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Chef Niki Nakayama     Roy Choi (Kogi)   Pawan, Nakul and Arjun Mahendro (BADMAASH)
Given that Los Angeles is located on the Pacific Rim, many Americans in our city have ancestors from Asia and the Pacific Islands. We are lucky to be able to appreciate these individuals and their families’ cultures through their rich cuisines. Chef Niki Nakayama was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her commitment to learning about traditional and cutting-edge Japanese cuisine took her on a three-year tour of Japan. The results, the art of kaiseki- the traditional Japanese culinary practice of emphasizing balance and seasonality of a dish, can be enjoyed at her Michelin-starred n/naka restaurant in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Roy Choi is considered one of the founders of food truck culture. His Korean-Mexican taco truck, Kogi BBQ, celebrates food that isn’t fancy. Choi won a James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Host in a television series for the KCET series ‘Broken Bread’ and can regularly be seen on the Netflix series ‘The Chef Show’ with his co-host John Favreau. At Badmaash it’s a family affair where father Pawan Mahendro cooks with his two sons Nakul and Arjun. The family aims to offer traditional Indian dishes alongside modern Indian fare. Harnessing the success of Badmassh, Nakul, and Arjun Mahendro hope to change the way people think about Indian food and Indian people in America, aiming to break stereotypes and be entrepreneurial role models for the Indian community.
Family Resources
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Library Of Congress -
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success

US Census Bureau -
USCB has compiled extensive resources commemorating Asian Pacific American Hetitage Month
Los Angeles County Library -
The Los Angeles Country Library not only has an extensive collection of books bt also offers workshops. 

Letter of Support to our Asian American Community Members
Dear Community Members,
The D&I Committee would like to call attention and bring awareness to the uptick in violence against Asian Americans over the course of the past year and to send a message of support to our Asian American brothers and sisters in the WISH community. In Los Angeles from March 2020-October 2020 alone, 245 hate incidents against Asian Americans were reported to Stop AAPI Hate - with 76% including verbal harassment and 8% being civil right violations. Nationwide, Stop AAPI Hate is reporting that roughly 9% of attacks against Asian Americans have been physical. Stories of microaggressions, harassment and assault have been documented in the national and local news recently.


This surge of violence against Asian Americans is creating real trauma in our nation, our state, our city and our WISH Community. Some of our own Asian American community members have given us short testimonials of how they are feeling now:


"I am Chinese American. When I sewed my first mask at the beginning of the pandemic, I specifically chose the cutest fabric I had so that people would hopefully see me as less of a threat. It was a form of self-protection. If I was wearing a mask with adorable pink and yellow apples, then maybe I would be less of a target."


"My family is planning a short trip within California for spring break. My children have been expressing fears that our family will be attacked simply because we are Asian and are hesitant to travel. We have had a year of covid keeping us at home and now we have brutal attacks against Asians furthering our isolation."


"My parents have just gotten vaccinated, are finally able to go out again, and now I'm scared for them to do so."


We want to wrap all community members in our WISH blanket of support, and the first step is education and awareness. Please take the time to read up on this issue. 


Here is an article about ways to talk with your children about this issue. 


For advice on what to do as a bystander if you witness a microagression or harassment, you can look at the 5 D's from

  • Delay: If you witness microaggression or assault  - comfort the victim, let them know that you saw it and provide support, ask if they need help to their car, to call a loved one, or to get home. Delay also comes into play if you see a systemic issue in a place of business or other institution, in which case you can write letters to the appropriate leadership.
  • Distract: become a distraction when a microagression seems to be escalating. Make eye contact with the victim, drop your keys, ask them for directions or to help you with something.
  • Delegate: Find someone in a position of authority, like a bus driver, flight attendant, teacher, security guard or store manager and ask them for help. 
  • Document: If it is safe, record the incident or stay to talk about what you witnessed to authorities. 
  • Direct: Assess your safety first. Speak up about the harassment. Be firm and clear. 


On behalf of the entire WISH community, the D&I Committee wants to express our commitment to support all community members. During this difficult time in which xenophobia and racism are rearing its head and affecting our Asian American friends, we extend our support and partnership.


Thank you

PRIDE Month Month (June)

Pride Month raises awareness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans because everyone should have equal justice under the law and equal opportunity. We celebrate annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, which marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ Americans.

Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, concerts, sporting events and more. Memorials to those who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS are also held throughout the month. We will share and recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
At WISH, students will be collaborating on an art installation at each campus to show pride and allyship. As always, our librarians will curate book collections that align with our theme. Please take a look at our Monthly Observances page for details on events, links to articles, and site to visit to learn more about Pride Month and LGBTQ+ issues. The D&I Committee wishes you all a happy and healthy summer break!
Featured Events
Art installation on each campus. Pilar Chavez organizing at ES - Large banner with student-created family representations "Our Families are Awesome!" Elizabeth Ornelas organizing at Westchester Learning Complex - students get a piece of colored paper to write a message of love and add to a giant rainbow
Stories in the Spotlight
Each week we celebrate the many contributions and incredible achievements as we commemorate Pride Month
Edie WIndsor picture
Edith “Edie” Windsor was an LGBTQ rights activist whose Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor was a landmark victory for same-sex marriage in the United States. Edie was with her partner Thea Spyer for 40 years before finally getting married in 2007. When Spyer passed away two years later, the federal government refused to recognize their marriage and taxed Edie's inheritance from Thea. “If Thea was Theo, I would not have had to pay that.” She took her fight to the Supreme Court, leading to an overturn of section three in 2013 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) so that same-sex couples could no longer be discriminated from federal benefits and protections. In 2015, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Windsor died in 2017 at age 88.
Harvey Milk Picture
Harvey Milk, the “Mayor of Castro Street,’ was the first openly gay elected official in California and one of the first in the United States. After moving from New York to San Francisco in the early 1970s, Milk established himself as a leading political activist for the gay community. After entering and losing a few political positions, Milk was elected San Francisco County Supervisor in 1977. Milk worked hard to protect gay rights and to help groups who were disadvantaged. He fought against a bill that would have made it legal to fire gay teachers in California’s public schools.He sought to create low-income housing and establish day care centers for working mothers. Unfortunately, his time in office did not last long. On November 27, 1978, Milk and George Moscone, the city’s mayor, were shot and killed in City Hall by Dan White, a former city supervisor. His legacy lives on, including in documentaries like Rob Epstein’s “The Times of Harvey Milk” and Jenni Olson’s “575 Castro St. Milk’s birthday, May 22, is now celebrated as Harvey Milk Day.
Family Resources
Pride Month
Websites to explore
      Creating communities and changing hearts and minds to prevent hate crimes against LGBTQ people.
Museums and Online Events
Upcoming and previous commemorations

Ability Awareness Asian Pacific Black History Month Logo Deaf History Month Logo Health Wellness Logo 
National Hispanic Month LGBTQ Native American Poetry month Celebrating UpstandersWomen's History Month Logo