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Position: Director of Equity and Inclusion

What part of Latin America are you from? Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico

What do you love most about your culture?

Robles: “Everything. The food is amazing, and our people are just very hardworking, kind people, very welcoming and warm. We’re also very loud. I miss everything about Puerto Rico.”

What is your favorite Puerto Rican food?

Robles: “There’s so many to choose from! But I would have to say mofongo, which is one of the foods that we got from our enslaved ancestors. It’s lightly fried green plantains that you mash with garlic and pork rinds, and you form a ball with it. We eat that with different meats or fish or shellfish. It’s wonderful.”

Why is celebrating your Puerto Rican heritage important to you?

Robles: “Latinx Heritage Month is important because it recognizes the different identities within the Latinx umbrella. During the 1930s, all Latinx people in the United States were categorized as ‘Mexican.’ It wasn’t until the 1970s when we could self-identify as different ethnicities: Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, etc. It really distinguishes us, but it also provides a space for us to say, ‘This is our country too.’ And we have, and continue to, make great contributions to the United States. For me, it’s important to know that there’s many of us -- different cultures, different colors, different languages. And we’re still all Latinx.”

How do you plan to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month?

Robles: “For me, every day is Latinx Heritage Month. I celebrate my Latinidad every day. I’m very proud of my Puerto Rican ancestry. In this position, it’s really about providing those spaces of equity and inclusion for all our Latinx families, to make sure they have equitable access to communication, to education, to resources. That, to me, is the best way for us at the school district to honor our Latinx families and acknowledge their identities and their existence.”

Barbara del Mar Robles photo