In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is September 15 through October 15, a number of Hispanic-friendly programs and events are being held across the country. As the largest minority group in the United States, the Hispanic population has shaped the economy and culture of this country. Several of these events are taking place in Pittsburgh, as well. Whether you are interested in learning more about the history of the Latinos, or are looking for something to do on a Friday night, you are sure to find something to enjoy.
The first celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month took place under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, in 1968. After a series of presidential proclamations, Hispanic Heritage Week became a 31-day celebration under President Reagan’s administration.
According to the Pew Research Center, more than 60 million Americans have ancestry from Latin America. However, public education in the United States does a poor job of teaching this important aspect of the history of our nation. So, for students, Hispanic Heritage Month is usually the only opportunity to learn about this history.
Several of the University of Pittsburgh’s partners are taking part in the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. These include La Roche University, Duquesne University, Point Park University, Community College of Allegheny County, and Carnegie Mellon University. Some of the university programs are offering a variety of Hispanic-friendly events and activities to celebrate the heritage of the Hispanic community.
This year, the UNITI Cultural Center is also hosting a networking mixer on September 13. Additionally, the National Museum of the American Latino has a program for families and the Smithsonian is commemorating 25 years of Latinidad. Other local organizations are promoting Hispanic Heritage Month, including the Catholic Relief Services.
One of the most unique features of the event is the opportunity to share your own personal experiences with the Hispanic community. You can share a poem, a song, or an artifact from your family. Those who are interested can submit their materials until October 23. Their submissions will be displayed on the University’s social media channels.
The University of Pittsburgh will also be hosting a Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Artifact Showcase. During this event, students and alumni are invited to submit their artifacts and personal writings to be featured in an exhibition. Organizers are working to put together a collaborative calendar of events to celebrate the month.
Besides the artifact showcase, other campus-wide events include a Latino-friendly film festival, an international breakfast, a global night, and more. All of these events are free and open to the public. Interested students can sign up for the Hispanic-friendly events, and can submit their personal writings or artifacts to the Latino and Hispanic Heritage Artifact Showcase committee. For more information on these events and the Latino-friendly community in Pittsburgh, check out the HHM Libguide.
The University of Pittsburgh is proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the best possible way. It is our responsibility to learn about and appreciate the diversity of our country, and to promote the importance of the Latino community. By participating in these events, you can help your fellow classmates, friends, and family enjoy the cultural riches of the Hispanic community.