Election Season Advocacy at Inwood Academy

By: Sarabeth Weszely, Senior Writer
October 19, 2020

While we have been hard at work ensuring the voices in our community will be heard on November 3rd, we are well aware that the work we do year-round has vast implications when it comes to advocacy, equity and justice. Here are a few ways we have been pursuing those goals this month. 

Middle School Principal Hoekstra encouraging early voting on our social media channels

Each month, our School Culture Team chooses a theme to guide our activities, lessons, and outreach. In honor of National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month, this month’s theme is called I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper. Students and teachers have been exploring together the many ways we are responsible to each other as humans, both inside and out of our immediate school community. 

This focus has merged well with our internal efforts to encourage voting in the upcoming election, as well as our continued push to suppress the COVID-19 pandemic with social distancing and other civic responsibilities. 

Our students, families, and much of our staff come from historically marginalized populations, and we believe it is our responsibility as a leadership school to empower each and every individual with the right to make their voice heard in these important decisions our country faces. 

We have been utilizing our social media platform to encourage and equip families, alumni, and community members to complete the census, register to vote, and vote early. 

For the majority of our students who are too young to vote in the election, we have been building lessons around the electoral college and history of voting rights (see clip from Middle School Social Studies class below). 

This Wednesday night, Inwood Academy’s Family and Community Engagement Department will be hosting our first-ever Virtual Resource Expo

This event was built around the needs many of our families face, and it is open to all members of our larger community in Northern Manhattan and The Bronx. We are very excited to announce that we will have ten community partners in attendance, including New York State Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, who will share about the many resources available to our community in regards to physical and mental healthcare, housing, food, voting, immigration, and more. 

Thank you to our partners!

Dominicanos USA

Vibrant Emotional Health 

Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation

Inwood Community Services

Play, Study, Win

Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

New York-Presbyterian Male Clinic and Family Planning 

Parent to Parent

District 10 New York City Council Carmen De La Rosa

Hispanic Heritage Month ended on October 15th, and though we wish we were able to celebrate in person, we were deeply moved by the reflection and creativity of our students. Below are the winning submissions from our Virtual Talent Show. These winning students each received congratulatory gift cards and were featured on our social media channels. Congratulations to Mia, Jaylene and Briany!


Below are some selected responses from our 7th Grade literacy students, who were asked to reflect on their own Hispanic heritage and what they think it means to our country. We hope you enjoy their insights and humor—and please, remember to vote!

“When I am out in the world I see and hear people sing or play Latin music. I also hear people speak Spanish, eat in Latin restaurants, and play Dominos around my neighborhood.”  – Zoey Pinos

“Hispanic food is made in my house, like rice with beans and chicken Mangu, boiled banana, and soup. In my home, we speak Spanish with my mom and English between me and my brother. My traditions are to sit and eat with family, pray to god before we go to sleep, go to church on Sundays, and take a vacation every year.” – Steven Paleaz

“Not all English words come from England – some also come from Spanish countries. Some words are tobacco, cafeteria, canone, rodeo, tornado and jerky. Hispanic culture helped shape the culture of all Americans.” – Charlize Diaz Baez

“In my house my first language is Spanish because I am Dominican. We celebrate Dominican Independence Day. On that day we eat arroz con habichuela y carne and we listen to typical Dominican music. Me and my family also celebrate Dominican Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And finally religion is a big part of culture as my grandmother puts statues of saints and candles.” – Jaden Done

“A lot of Hispanics have changed the world. For example, it’s thanks to Mario Molina that we know what is destroying the ozone layer. This shows how Hispanics have influenced our culture and our daily lives as well.” – Alicia Garcia Romano

“There are a lot of Hispanic/Latinx artists who are listened to around the world. This country has more Spanish speaking people than Hispanic countries.” – Jay Rodriguez

Stay tuned for stories from our school-wide focus on gratitude next month!

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