School diversification must go beyond diversifying curriculum

New Mexico is a very diverse state.

It is home to a population of 2.08 million people, and the ethnic composition of the population of New Mexico is composed of 1.01M Hispanic residents (48.5%), 787,250 White residents (37.8%), 178,176 Native residents (8.56%), 37,782 Black residents (1.82%), and 32,406 two+ residents (1.56%).

The most common foreign languages in our Land of Enchantment are Spanish and Navajo. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her administration are looking for ways to reflect this diversity in classrooms.  

This is a very important step for education in New Mexico.

“We have such a problem meeting the needs of our minority students, and our bilingual education requirements,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham according to a KRQE report.

In a state as diverse as ours, this makes a big difference, especially for our immigrant community. Besides facing discrimination and racism, students who come from immigrant families struggle in an academic setting.

Having a foreign-born parent, or being foreign-born themselves, affects a student’s ability to succeed. Schools need to work to help these students succeed in both an academic and personal setting.

Governor Lujan Grisham is trying to do which is why many dreamers and allies helped Lujan Grisham’s campaign for Governor under our #HereToStay campaign, knowing she was going to make education a top priority.

“When we talk about students in the schools, they have to see themselves in the curriculum, we have to make sure we’re culturally relevant and celebrating our diversity,” Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales told KRQE in an interview.

Taking a step toward making classrooms more diverse is a big step that will help students feel included and appreciated. Making a more diverse curriculum isn’t all there is to do though.

On a national level, high schools can create different curriculums that teach students how to advocate.

However, we must go beyond just diversifying academic curriculums. Students and parents in immigrant families should receive counseling support about preparing for college, financial aid options, and college transition.

However, these are just ideas which can be turned into reality if we call our representatives and let them know how we feel.

We can already see that our new Governor will put education as a priority. Now, we hope to see more of her work as her term continues, and until then we will make sure everyone in our community supports #EducationNotDeportation.

The New Mexico Dream Team will work to ensure that our immigrant youth and youth of color are not forgotten these next four years.