Denver Board of Education members on Monday (June 19) applauded a proclamation celebrating June as Immigrant Heritage Month. Board Member Rachele Espiritu, the first immigrant to serve on the board, read the proclamation aloud.
The proclamation celebrates Colorado as “a land of immigrants within a nation of immigrants who have built our country’s economy and created the unique character of our nation.”
It also notes “immigrants have provided the United States, the state of Colorado and the City of Denver with unique social and cultural influence, fundamentally enriching the extraordinary character of our nation” but states these contributions have “frequently been overlooked and undervalued throughout our history.”
Espiritu briefly recounted her family’s history leaving the Philippines for what they thought would be a temporary stay in the United States — until Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. Espiritu said she was a shy little girl so impacted by culture shock in her new U.S. home that she stopped talking. She went on to earn her doctorate in clinical psychology and joined the DPS board in May 2016.