Expanding America’s Voice

-By Corey Moses, HFT First Vice President, and Stuart Beckford, HFT Second Vice President. 

Hartford is one of the great examples of diversity within our state. Over the generations, various groups came here seeking prosperity. These new voices have provided a springboard for many families to expand our understanding of a middle-class lifestyle. They have also allowed us to have greater access to education and avenues to build generational wealth.

Community is both a sense of self and an appreciation for others who are different than oneself. Imagine our community without the diversity of restaurants that we enjoy and the different types of food that we indulge in daily. What makes our democracy great is that America accepts people from all around the world. The Statue of Liberty has these words etched on it “give us your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It is essential to remember our strength comes from the diversity we celebrate the Latino and Latinx communities for all they contribute to Hartford and the entire State of Connecticut. We are fortunate to have such a mix of people within our community to call friends and family. More importantly, It Is What Makes Us Strong, and together, we are all America.

For these reasons and many more, we honor great leaders from diverse backgrounds like Cesar Chavez for his tireless work Bridging the Gap for many workers and showing them the path to prosperity and the middle class. Chavez once said, “If you want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him. The people who give you their food give you their heart.” A union leader and labor organizer, Cesar Chavez dedicated his life to improving treatment, pay, and working conditions for migrant farmworkers. Born in Yuma, Arizona, in 1927, he became a trailblazer in utilizing non-violent means to bring attention to the plight of farmworkers. Through his tireless efforts, marches, boycotts, and numerous hunger strikes, he successfully brought the farmworkers together in Arizona, forming the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. This group then merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the United Farm Workers in 1972. Because Chavez was an agriculture worker from his youth, he faced the same hardships as the people he led. Chavez provided leadership and guidance to many workers, helping them be treated fairly and equitably for the first time.

The voice of America is becoming increasingly richer and broader, so as we reach out to our students, let’s also deepen our appreciation of our community. This community is the place we work, thrive, live, and laugh. Let’s take a moment in time to celebrate the diversity and beauty within our communities.