Montclair High School’s Civics and Government Institute (CGI) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 14 with an interactive gallery walk, where all students in eight committees took turns as teachers and learners.

Some committees tackled representation. The Media Committee aired an original short film on Latinx members of the media that they admire, including Ana Navarro, Maria Hinojosa, Tessa Thompson and George Lopez, while the Internal Affairs Committee created a gallery of posters for every member of the congressional Latino Caucus. The Arts Committee exposed students to queer Latinx visual artists Julio Salgado, Mundo Meza, Marco Saucedo, Armando Sebastián, Patssi Valdez, Gronk (Glugio Nicandro) and Lalo Alcaraz. The Committee on Global Action created a Wax Museum to highlight X Gonzalez, Jose Andres, Joan Baez and Ellen Ochoa.

Some committees were more issue-oriented. Current Affairs focused on the agricultural, economic, social and political advantages that Latinx and Hispanic Americans brought to each region of the United States, and the Law and Justice committee explored how the criminal justice system disproportionately targets the Latinx community, then posed solutions and actions. The Committee on the Environment looked at how climate change and poor environmental policies affect Spanish-speaking communities around the world.

The State and Local Committee turned research about statewide and local vaccination rates into action, spending Saturdays at vaccination sites handing out information in English and Spanish to dispel myths and misconceptions about the coronavirus vaccines, emphasizing that the state of New Jersey does not mandate identification to receive a vaccine dose.

CGI staff and students were thrilled to return to their traditional public displays of learning," the school said in an announcement of the activities. "They look forward to the day when parents and community members can once again attend."

— Information submitted by Montclair High School