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September 21, 2000

Commissioner Susan Ness
Remarks on Hispanic Heritage Month

Although I cannot join you in person this morning, I am pleased that the Commission is taking the time to celebrate the cultural diversity that enriches our daily lives. These special occasions are brief opportunities to learn about traditions and points of view that may be unfamiliar to us, but yet as close to us as our next door neighbor.

We reflect upon the way that cultural differences have enriched our lives and, further, upon the opportunities personal growth that cultural diversity brings to our children.

I am extremely proud of some of the initiatives that the Commission is working on to increase the educational opportunities for all children, and in particular, for low income, rural, and minority children. The E-rate, for example, already gives so many children the technological tools that will help them succeed in this Information Age. Because of the E-rate, many children today can access the Internet from their classrooms, opening up their world to other worlds, and providing teachers with a wealth of instructional support.

And we will continue to work to address the digital divide between those who have easy access to technology in their educational environment and those who do not, so that each one of our children can achieve his or her full potential.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, let us rejoice in our accomplishments, our distinct cultural backgrounds, and our efforts to work together to ensure that the American dream suffers no linguistic or cultural boundaries.