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National Hispanic Heritage Month


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Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month is an annual observance dedicated to celebrating the historical and cultural contributions of the Latinx and Hispanic communities in the United States. Taking place from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, this event serves as a tribute to how these communities have significantly impacted and enriched American society as a whole.

The theme for this year is [enter annual theme]. It was chosen to recognize the significant achievements of the Hispanic and Latinx communities in the economic and political industries.

Before we dig into the history of the month and provide education, here is what you can do to make a difference this month.

Make a difference

[List ways for employees to participate]

History of LatinX or Hispanic Heritage Month

Initially instituted as a week-long commemoration in 1968 during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s tenure, Hispanic Heritage Month later expanded to a full month, spanning until Oct. 15, following President Ronald Reagan’s declaration in 1988. The Sept. 15 start date remains significant as it aligns with the independence days of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Likewise, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their national days on the 16th, 18th, and 21st of September, respectively.
Is it National Latinx or Hispanic Heritage Month?

As National Hispanic Heritage Month unfolds, the discourse about the terms “Hispanic,” “Latino,” “Latinx,” or “Chicanx” often comes to the forefront of national attention. Individuals identifying with any or all of these terms understand that these designations are distinct and not interchangeable. The nuances of their meanings and origins have sparked dialogues about Hispanic and Latino identities.

Hispanic: Created bureaucratically for census purposes by the U.S. government, the term “Hispanic” pertains to individuals in the United States with origins or lineage connected to Spanish-speaking regions, including Spain and all areas in Central and South America that were historically colonized by Spain. However, some individuals distance themselves from the term due to its association with colonialism.

Latino/Latina: This term derives from the Spanish word “latinoamericano/a” and generally encompasses individuals from Latin American countries, regardless of their language. For instance, Brazilians, despite their primary language being Portuguese, are categorized as Latino but not Hispanic. Controversy exists regarding individuals with origins in French Guiana and Dutch-speaking countries in South America and whether they should be considered Latinx.

Latinx: Emerging as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina, “Latinx” accommodates non-binary identification within the grammatically gendered Spanish language.

Chicano/Chicana/Chicanx: These designations identify individuals of Mexican heritage living in the U.S. Technically, a Chicanx is a subset of the broader Latinx category.

The primary objective of this month-long observance is to honor the heritage of Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicanx communities and to foster greater understanding. To appropriately use these terms, it’s essential to engage with one another as individuals rather than pigeonholing them into a particular label. The best approach is to inquire about an individual’s preferred identification.

Things to consider:

  • Share educational resources such as TED Talks to help educate your employees.
  • Share charities that your employees can donate to or volunteer at during the month.
  • Highlight how your company will be an ally all year.

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