Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Learn About Sor Juana

During Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) we hope you'll take a few minutes to learn about Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: The First Great Latin American Poet.
It turned out that the hair grew quickly and I learned slowly. As a result, I cut off the hair in punishment for my head’s ignorance, for it didn’t seem right to me that a head so naked of knowledge should be dressed up with hair, for knowledge is a more desirable adornment,
—from The Reply to the Very Illustrious Sor Philotea de la Cruz, written in 1691
"Sor Juana was published in different parts of the Hispanic world during her lifetime and she enjoyed the reputation of being the premiere Baroque poet in New Spain (Mexico), which earned her both praise and vicious misogynistic attacks. Sor Juana was persecuted for being an intellectual and a woman, a nun, and a writer who wrote quite provocatively in the very Christian New Spain of the 1600s."
This background information comes from  Edsitement!, the National Endowment for the Humanities on the web, which your branch may find a rich programming resource. This particular unit provides background information, guiding questions, and two lessons for high school students. They work for adults just as well.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day of the Girl Oct. 11

International Day of the Girl Child 10/11/12

The International Day of the Girl honors and celebrates girls around the world – elevating the status of girls in our local and global communities, and addressing key issues related to girls’ empowerment, leadership and success.

In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to establish October 11th the “International Day of the Girl Child.” This day, the General Assembly noted, is about “helping galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential” (UN GA Resolution 12.9.11).

This October 11th, 2012 marks the first commemoration of this historic day!
What can your branch do to encourage your local girls' organizations to join the celebration?

There is an all day summit where girls from around the world can participate (and get a chance to win UGG boots) . There is also a toolkit from the Working Group on Girls that includes excellent resources, historical information and activities. You can download this toolkit at

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15

" Many Backgrounds, Many Stories, One American Spirit"

Supreme Ct. Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Cesar Chavez
Joan Baez


Visit the Hispanic Heritage Month website hosted by the Library of Congress

Why start Hispanic Heritage Month on September 15?

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

National Hispanic Heritage Month was enacted into law by Congress in 1968 as a special week and expanded to a month in 1988 to celebrate the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors immigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Carribean, and Cental and South America.

Only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population (112M) than the United States. (50.5 million Hispanics plus 3.7 Puerto Rican residents of a U.S. territory) Source: US Census Hispanic Heritage Facts