Provided by PWCS
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage has become deeply personal for siblings and Prince William County Public Schools students Isla and Tristan Spence. They recently had the opportunity to witness a prestigious honor bestowed on their great-great aunt for her contributions to the Hispanic community. In a historic and momentous tribute, the United States Mint and Smithsonian Institution have immortalized the legacy of Mexican American journalist and activist Jovita Idar by featuring her on a new commemorative U.S. quarter.
The unveiling of the commemorative quarter took place at a ceremony, which Isla and Tristan attended – a once-in-a-lifetime moment to witness the impact their family has had on society, reinforcing the importance of embracing and celebrating cultural heritage.
“I always knew my great-grandmother (Jovita) was her namesake, and I loved hearing the stories that came from my father and grandmother. But to witness my great, great aunt getting a quarter was really incredible,” said Tristan.
“Jovita’s bravery in standing up for the rights of her neighbors and newspaper readers is inspiring. It is cool to think that when I get change at a store, my great, great aunt might be on it. Amazing!” said Isla.
The American Women Quarters program was passed by Congress three years ago and will run from 2022 to 2025. Over 11,000 women were submitted to the U.S. Mint and Smithsonian for commendation, and only 20 were selected over four years. Idar is one of five recognized during the second year.
As a journalist, educator, and activist, Idar fearlessly used her platform to champion the rights of the Mexican American community at a time when their voices were often disregarded and overlooked. Through her writing, she shed light on issues such as education, labor rights, and healthcare disparities, advocating for a fair and equal society for all.
The Jovita Idar quarter stands as a powerful reminder of the strides made toward inclusivity and equality. It honors a woman whose fearless determination and unwavering commitment to social justice have inspired generations. Learn more about Jovita Idar.