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Latinx Heritage Month: Home

Latinx Heritage Month

From the WPI DEI Team:

Latinx Heritage Month is a National Holiday that centers and honors the history, culture, influence, achievements, and contributions of U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities, particularly their contribution to American Society at large. The term “Latinx” refers to people of Latin American origin or descent and is used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina.

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

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Latin Americans in STEM:

From the Smithsonian Institution:

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