22 Aug September Spotlight: Hispanic Heritage Month
From September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and platforms the rich history, culture, efforts, and contributions of American citizens with ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central as well as South America. During this month, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate the anniversary of independence on September 15th, while Mexico and Chile observe their own liberations on September 16th and 18th respectively.
The History of Hispanic Heritage Month
The origins of Hispanic Heritage Month trace back to 1968 when it was initially deemed Hispanic Heritage Week by U.S. President at the time, Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded upon in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, changing the duration of the commemoration from a week to a full month, starting on September 15th. The date of September 15th was selected as the formal start of Hispanic Heritage Month because it is the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores, which marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
How Hispanic Heritage Month is Commemorated
While there is no specific, conventional way to enjoy Hispanic Heritage Month, it is quite common for those within the Hispanic/Latinx community to partake in an array of activities throughout the month-long cultural celebration. For example, attending Independence Day celebrations, eating tasty food, and even observing Día de la Raza (Day of the Race, October 12th) — a holiday that honors those that were conquered through colonialism — are some of the most common acts of memorializing Hispanic culture.
How You Can Support Hispanic Heritage Month
As Hispanic Heritage Month approaches, the Givinga Foundation wants to encourage continued support of Hispanic/Latinx communities beyond the designated duration of recognition. Hispanic and Latinx cultures are diverse, valuable, and influential elements of the world around us daily. Although Hispanic Heritage Month ends on October 15th, efforts, appreciation, and acknowledgments of Hispanic/Latinx communities do not have to end. While there are various ways to showcase support for Latinx/Hispanic communities, please take a look at a short list of charities that we’ve compiled to get started on giving back!
The Latino Equality Alliance, otherwise known as LEA, is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for safety, equality, and wellness for the Latinx LGBTQIA+ community.
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a charity that focuses on assisting the Latinx community through sustainable programming, workforce development, and accessible education/educational resources.
Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization that emphasizes uplifting, empowering, and educating Latinx voters through campaigns, programs, and leadership.
GreenLatinos is a national non-profit that is dedicated to addressing national, regional, and local issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the U.S. Latino community.
UnidosUS is an organization that works to create accessible, equitable opportunities for Latino individuals across the nation through research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts.