It was a colorful, joyful celebration. The perfect way to take part in Cinco de Mayo. Hundreds gathered at the Grand Rapids Public Museum to honor the theme of hope, determination, inclusion and respect.
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. It celebrates the victory in the Battle of Puebla by the indigenous people against the powerful French army.
Among the many accomplishments symbolized by Cinco de Mayo observances, the Committee to Honor Cesar E. Chavez celebrates the determination of Mexicans as demonstrated in the Battle of Puebla. Like the steadfast commitment of the Mexican soldiers, the Committee is determined to give students the gift of opportunity through education. In doing so, the rich legacy, spirit and impact of the Battle of Puebla is forever a part of our lives throughout the year.
The 2015 Honorees this year were Michael Flanagan, Connie Dang and Chuy Morales.
Mike Flanagan has been State Superintendent in Michigan for 10 years;and was a local and regional superintendent before that. During his career in education leadership, Mike has been determined to make sure all kids in Michigan have a quality life and education–no matter their race, culture, or personal and economic circumstances.
Connie Dang serves as the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Grand Valley State University. In the community, she serves as board of trustee of the Historical Society of Michigan, member of the Unity Committee to Honor Cesar E. Chavez and a member of the West Michigan Advocates& Leaders for Police and Community Trust.
Chuy Morales, along with his wife Angie, embarked on a journey to provide a voice to many within the Hispanic Community. Their determination and passion led to the formation of an internet radio station called, La Mejor. This radio station has become a vital source of information for the Hispanic community providing program featuring education, health and sports.
The celebration also included music and dance by the Pearson family and the Cook Art Center, Mexican Folkloric Dance Class. The event proved to be inspirational, entertaining, and informative.