National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the diverse and dynamic culture of a diaspora of people with ancestry from the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America and Spain. In the U.S., Hispanic Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration in 1968 that was enacted into law in 1988 as a month-long observance, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
National Hispanic Heritage Month commemorates several historic and significant events including the Independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (Sept. 15), Mexico (Sept. 16), Chile (Sept. 18), and Belize (Sept. 21). Día de la Raza is observed during Hispanic Heritage Month (Oct. 12) and celebrated in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Uruguay. Honoring the countries, people, traditions and cultures that were ravaged by European colonization, Día de la Raza is also recognized as Hispanic Heritage Day in Spain, Respect to Cultural Diversity Day in Argentina, Indigenous Resistance Day in Nicaragua and Indigenous Peoples’ Day in many U.S. cities.
While the U.S. designated name, National Hispanic Heritage Month, remains legally intact, the heritage month is also known by additional monikers such as Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, Latina/o/x Heritage Month, and Latinx Heritage Month which intend to recognize intersectionality of multiple social identities, including gender. During Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, and every day, WSU Vancouver celebrates the rich histories, cultures, contributions and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latinx people, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and external partners.
WSU Vancouver is dedicated to promoting an ethical and socially just society through an intentional commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity. Below are opportunities and resources for the campus community to advocate, amplify and actualize equity-mindedness, cultural responsiveness and inclusive excellence throughout this month and beyond.
- Attend heritage month events and programs curated by Center for Intercultural Learning and Affirmation.
- If you are a student, get involved with student organizations, such as the Latinx Student Association. If you are a staff or faculty member, create an employee resource group for Hispanic and Latinx staff.
- WSU Vancouver faculty and staff, apply your IDI and BaCE tools to build equity infrastructure, disrupt systemic inequities and impact classroom and university processes, practices, policies and people.
- Access resources and recommended readings from the Equity and Justice Resources page in the Office of Equity and Diversity.
- What does Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month mean to you? Submit your affirmations, reflections and creations to the WSU Vancouver Gallery of Affirmations.