The United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) each September to honor the culture and contributions of people of Latin American ancestry. This group is diverse and includes people from Spain, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Hispanic Americans have made significant contributions to the United States in many fields, including science, business and the military. Across the country, there are countless organizations and events dedicated to celebrating this month and the history of Hispanic Americans.
This year’s observance of Hispanic Heritage Month falls across two months, from September 15 to October 15. The month was created by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 and originally only included one week, but Congress passed a resolution in 1987 that expanded the celebration to two months.
In addition to celebrating its own anniversaries, the month also highlights other events rooted in the Spanish, Mexican and other Latin American cultures of this time period. These include Mexico’s Independence Day on Sept. 16, and Chile’s on Sept. 18.
The Hispanic population in the United States has grown to a total of 60 million, with more than 18 percent of the country’s population being Hispanic as of 2021. The largest Hispanic groups are people of Mexican and Puerto Rican origin, with over 37.2 million and 5.8 million respectively. Other Hispanic origin groups include Spaniards, Colombians, Dominicans, and Guatemalans.
Hispanic Americans make up one of the most diverse racial groups in the United States. They represent all aspects of the society, and there is no one Hispanic group that monopolizes or imposes its values on others.
While the term Hispanic has become an umbrella label for a diverse group of people, there are still underlying tensions within some segments of the Latino community. Some feel that the word Hispanic is a derogatory label and does not reflect the diversity of people who have Latino ancestry.
Others believe it is a good way to recognize and celebrate the heritage of a community, while also bringing awareness to some of the issues that affect it. They say the word Hispanic has served as a platform for social change, particularly regarding immigrant rights and women’s rights.
This year, we will be hosting a monthlong series of programs and events to mark Hispanic Heritage Month on our campus. The goals of these events are to foster an open dialogue about Hispanic and Latinx identities, histories, cultures, and contemporary issues in relation to education, public health, arts & culture, and other topics.
Throughout the month, we will be inviting students, faculty, staff, and allies to submit artifacts that highlight their personal Hispanic or Latinx heritage. These submissions can be written, visual, or music-based and will be displayed on our website and social media channels.
Our campus is home to several Hispanic and Latinx communities, each of which has a unique voice. Each is passionate about their culture, history, and traditions.
The Hispanic and Latinx community has come a long way in the United States, but there is still much work to be done. In order to continue to grow, we need to understand how we can best serve this group of individuals and help them reach their full potential.