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Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month: Home

About Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

From the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME):

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) celebrates Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month 2022 by honoring and highlighting the diverse culture, heritage, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino/a/x/e communities throughout history. We encourage our community to study, observe, and celebrate these communities and their rich heritage.

Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month currently spans from September 15th to October 15th, however, originally it began as a commemorative week when it was first introduced by California Congressman George E. Brown in June 1968. This timing is important because the move came as a part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s. Additionally, “mid-September was chosen because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.” 

On September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48, requesting then President Lyndon Johnson, to commemorate September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. The president issued the first Hispanic Heritage Week presidential proclamation that same day. In 1987 U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres of California proposed to expand Hispanic Heritage Week to Hispanic Heritage Month. Torres believed that a 31-day heritage month would provide more time for people to “properly observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement.” In 1989, President George H.W. Bush (who had been a sponsor of the original Hispanic Heritage Week resolution while serving in the House in 1968) became the first president to
declare the 31-day period from September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. In the following decades, U.S, presidents have made declarations commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month. In recent years, many communities have shifted from using Hispanic Heritage Month, to using the more inclusive Latinx Heritage Month.

Sources
National Hispanic Heritage Month
History.com: Hispanic Heritage Month
The American Presidency Project

Related Guides

Drawing of a woman in a ruffled top and a wide pink skirt. The skirt has names of Latin countries. The top of the poster says, "Let's Connect with our Hispanic Heritage & Community. Conectemos con nuestra Herencia y Comunidad Hispana."

The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) chose the theme “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation” for their 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month poster contest. The winning poster (pictured above) is by Ms. Irene Matos Chan. 

Ms. Irene Matos Chan, a senior Information Technology manager in the Square Tech Computer Repair & Training Centerfor the Castle Square Tenants Organization submitted the winning theme, stating:

I am biracial and I wanted to represent my Hispanic culture and the Hispanic countries. I want people to connect to their Hispanic culture and show it and express it to their community. [The poster] expresses that you should be proud of your race no matter what it is, and be proud to show it and represent it.

Learn more about NCHEPM's themes and posters.