Did you know that Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15-October 15? Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the great diversity within the Hispanic community and to recognize the contributions they have made to our culture and country. All too often I hear people speak of the Hispanic community as if they are monolithic, but the reality is, they are very diverse just like any other group. Considering that our Hispanic population is the fastest-growing in America what is your organization doing to celebrate the rich diversity of Hispanic Heritage Month?
There are twenty countries where Spanish is the official language. There are different dialects or regional variance of Spanish dependent upon the country of origin and local influences. In Spain, most people use Peninsular Spanish, which has three different dialects which depend on the region in Spain one is located. In America, we hear people use Hispanic and Latino interchangeably but there is a difference. Latinos are descendants of people from Latin America while Hispanic refers to people who not only speak Spanish but are also descendants of Spanish speaking populations such as Spain. Did you know the differences between Latino and Hispanic before reading this post? How are you working to be inclusive, what cultural diversity initiatives and activities could you plan for the next 30 days at your place of employment?
Initially, Hispanic Heritage was only a weeklong but has been extended to a month. In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson established Hispanic Heritage Week and under President Reagan’s leadership, the observation was extended to a thirty-day period. Considering the diversity within the Hispanic community one week would not be long enough to expose the masses to the contributions made in America by those of Hispanic origin. Does your workplace represent all the diversity of America? How do you measure diversity, equity, and inclusion? Do your minority employees feel valued, a sense of belonging and see representation in positions of authority?
Too often we hear Americans speak about our Hispanic population in derogatory terms, and the contributions made by the Hispanic population to America culture is often overlooked or downplayed. Current rhetoric could potentially have people believe that all Hispanics are Mexican, which is not true and is too naïve to even address. Our country is one made up of people from all different cultures, customs, and languages. We are so much stronger when we work together to address our common interests, which should be the betterment of our country for us and future generations.