- All School
WRITTEN BY BSM STUDENT, VICTORIA ZAMORANO '24
Each year, Benilde-St. Margaret’s organizes events to honor the heritage of its student population. During Hispanic Heritage Month, BSM welcomed Jesús Ramirez, an indigenous Meshika advocate from Minneapolis, to speak with students regarding the Indigenous Latino identity.
Ramirez began his presentation with an ancient Meshika ceremony of blowing a large seashell, or concha, in the four cardinal directions to give thanks. “Who am I? In America, I am known as Jesus Ramirez. In Mexico, I’m known as Jesús Ramírez. My indigenous name is Zemani.”
Following the Meshika ceremony, Ramirez explained, “In America, I’m known as Mexican-American. In México, I’m known as Mexicano, or Mestizo. And in my indigenous language, I am known as Tlaxcalani.” Over the following 60 minutes, Ramirez spoke on his identity as an indigenous person, sharing the origin of the Tlaxcalan people as one of the seven original tribes of Mexico.
Ramirez has done extensive work in the Minneapolis area in advocacy for the Latino community. He has served in the Osseo Area school district as an equity specialist for over 12 years, as well as previously working as both a teacher and an instructional coach. Ramirez’s passion for uncovering inequities that lie within the American educational system has led him to speak on his identity as an indigenous person, and how this affected his experience growing up in the Los Angeles area.
“Events like this are important for our community to understand and learn more about one another from people who share their authentic life experiences,” said Mr. Dennis Draughn, director of equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Ramirez’s speech was one of the various celebratory events organized at BSM during Hispanic Heritage Month, including a Latino/Hispanic Student Collective’s (LHSC) field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art to view the Latin American Art exhibit, and the first of two joint LHSC and BSM cooking club meetings where students cooked traditional Brazilian dishes.
Future events are being planned by students in addition to participating in this year’s Culture & Heritage Fair which was held in November.