Santa Maria High School’s Chicano/Latino Studies students will host a BI-POC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Film Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday.
The free event is open to all students from Santa Maria, Delta, Pioneer Valley and Righetti High Schools in Santa Maria. Students will meet in Room 615 at Santa Maria High School, where they can enjoy watching some films, eat food and win prizes.
“Many Hollywood films still lack the diversity of our state and nation,” said Ricardo Valencia, the SMHS Chicano/Latino studies teacher. “When students get to see themselves in movies, it affirms that their stories, history and culture matters.
“When we learn the backgrounds of cultures that differ from our own, we can appreciate their struggles and notice our common humanity,” he said.
“We would like to thank Youth Making Change and the Fund for Santa Barbara for sponsoring this event,” said Guadalupe Arcos, a junior.
“We want our project to make people of color in our community feel accepted. Looking at the demographics in our schools or even in the whole state of California, most of us are minorities, making up more than half of the population.”
Said junior Ashley Mendez: “We want to showcase BI-POC through film so that our students and community can feel seen. We still continue to be underrepresented and misrepresented. You mostly see people of color playing in films as the poor maids or gardeners, but there is more to us than our ability to do physical work that others don’t.
“For this reason we have decided to honor amazing people and their stories.”