Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time of year when the United States celebrates the cultures, history and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. It takes place from September 15 through October 15.
Hispanic and Latinos make up nearly one-in-five Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and are responsible for a large share of growth in the economy.
This demographic is a significant part of American society and deserves to be celebrated more often. The Hispanic population has been growing steadily over the years, and the number of Hispanics in the workforce is expected to continue increasing at a rapid pace.
There are many ways to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. Museums, community groups and music venues host events celebrating Latino culture. Restaurants and other businesses sell food, clothing and crafts with Hispanic origins.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to teach about the cultural influences of the Latino population in our country. It is also a wonderful way to recognize and thank your Hispanic employees for their contributions in the workplace.
Originally, Hispanic Heritage Week was only a weeklong celebration, but in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation that expanded the observance to a monthlong occasion. This was a significant milestone for the Hispanic community, which had been undercounted by the U.S. Census Bureau in the past and wanted to be recognized more thoroughly.
The 1970 Census added a new racial category, “Latino,” in response to growing concerns about the undercount of Latinos. This created a racial grouping that would allow for greater fair representation in the U.S. Census, says Juan Carlos Mora, director of the Hispanic Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.
But the new racial group was still not accurately representing the Hispanic population, so several groups emerged in the following decades to challenge the undercount and promote fair representation in the U.S. In 1972, a committee of academics and community leaders asked the Census Bureau to consider using a more accurate racial identification.
In addition, the Hispanic community was also calling for more recognition of their contributions and histories in schools. The first Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation was issued by the President in 1968.
Hispanics have been an important part of America’s history, culture and social fabric. They have been a major influence on the arts, politics, business, technology and more. The Hispanic population is a diverse group with ancestries in Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
While there are many different labels for this panethnic group, the most common terms are Hispanic and Latino. Both refer to people with Spanish-speaking ancestry, but Hispanic also translates to “of the Spanish-speaking world” and Latino/a refers specifically to a person from Latin America.
The Hispanic population is expected to grow over the next 20 years, with a projected 62.5 million Hispanics by 2021. This includes approximately 17% of the total voting-age population. Hispanics account for a large percentage of the total foreign-born population and are a critical source of talent for many businesses.