Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Embracing diversity, honoring history
- Posted on October 16, 2023
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month, or Mes de la Herencia Hispana as it is known in Spanish, is a dedicated period that celebrates the culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. This month of festivities kicks off on Sept. 15, a date chosen to coincide with the independence anniversaries of several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico's Independence Day is celebrated on Sept. 16, and Chile's on Sept. 18, making this a time of reflection and celebration for many Hispanic nations.
The history of Hispanic Heritage Month
The journey towards establishing Hispanic Heritage Month began in the 1960s through the passionate efforts of a few visionary individuals. Dr. Hector P. Garcia – a Mexican American physician, civil rights advocate, and World War II veteran – was one of the early champions of this cause. In 1968, under President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration, Hispanic Heritage Week was officially recognized. It expanded to a month-long celebration in 1988, under President Ronald Reagan's proclamation.
The goals of Hispanic Heritage Month
1. Celebrate diversity: One of the primary goals of Hispanic Heritage Month is to celebrate the diversity within Hispanic and Latinx communities. These communities encompass a wide range of nationalities, languages and traditions, and this month allows each group to shine.
2. Raise awareness: Hispanic Heritage Month seeks to raise awareness about issues and challenges faced by Hispanic and Latinx communities, including issues related to immigration, discrimination, and economic disparities. By highlighting these concerns, it fosters empathy and support.
3. Encourage inclusivity: Hispanic Heritage Month encourages inclusivity and the inclusion of Hispanic and Latinx voices in all aspects of American society, from politics to entertainment.
4. Inspire future generations: By celebrating the achievements of Hispanic and Latinx leaders and role models, the month inspires younger generations to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact on their communities and the nation.
Avanade and Adelante
Thanks to the support of Avanade, members of Adelante – our Latinx employee network – put together a wonderful and exciting agenda for Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Keynote Speaker and Adelante Leader, Oscar Perez, led a kickoff event on Sept. 15 on “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America!” This was the theme of Hispanic Heritage Month for all celebrating members of Avanade.
- On Sept. 20, "Charlas Con Julieta Collart" took place. This was an informative session with Julieta Collart, the leader of the M365 Copilot Program at Avanade. She has a rich background, including work with Accenture Labs and the San Francisco's Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation.
- On Sept. 22, there was “Una Noche de Milagros para Niños (A night of miracles for children).” Boston Children’s Hospital’s Latino Advisory Council raises both funding and awareness for Milagros para Niños (Miracles for Kids). Milagros is an initiative that provides crucial funding and support to areas of the hospital that treat and care for the largest number of Latino families – not only in Boston, but around the world. This special fundraising event made a real difference in the lives of Latino families and their children.
- "Charlas Con Camille Padilla" was held on Oct. 5. Camille, co-founder of VODIUM, shared stories about her career path from working on major campaigns in Washington, D.C. to building a product inspired by her experiences. Her founder story is as unique as the community she represents in the tech space: a non-technical, female, and Latina founder.
The month-long celebration ended on Oct. 15 and was celebrated by Hispanics and Latinx community members across the country. Thanks to the coordination and preparations made by Adelante members, the Avanade employees who participated became better equipped with additional resources and tools that will support their journeys and connected with fellow professionals for continued growth.
Hispanic Heritage Month is not just a celebration of a specific culture or history; it is a celebration of the mosaic of identities that make up the United States. It serves as a reminder of the nation's rich tapestry, where diversity is embraced, contributions are recognized, and unity is cherished. So, as you may have participated in the festivities and events during this special month, take a moment to appreciate the vibrant heritage that continues to enrich the American experience.