Many local residents took a vacation on Oct. 10 to mark Columbus Day. But Sociedad Latina skipped the day off and held an anti-racist training day instead to protest the “powerful dark side” of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas.
In a press release, the local Latino youth organization said that its board of directors previously decided not to celebrate Columbus Day because of the genocide and enslavement that followed Columbus’s 1492 arrival in the Caribbean.
This year, Sociedad Latina hired a company called VISIONS, Inc. to conduct a Columbus Day training session on racism as well as sexism, classism, ageism and heterosexism, according to the press release.
“Institutionalized racism has a powerful impact on society, contributes to divisions between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ and is the source of oppression in too many communities,” Sociedad Latina Executive Director Alexandra Oliver-Dávila said in the press release.
The release said that the organization “envisions a pluralistic, multicultural nation instead of the traditional ‘melting pot’ concept of monoculturalism traditionally taught in schools.”