Written by Tai Jackson — SVdP Seattle
Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration lasting from September 15 thru October 15, but originally traced back to President Johnson, who first introduced Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. The week-long celebration was later changed to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. During this month-long event, we recognize and honor the cultural, historical, and societal contributions of our Hispanic and Latino communities.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to acknowledge the diversity within the Hispanic and Latino communities and their contributions historically in the United States. It’s important to remember the influence they had in shaping the nation’s history throughout various fields. The contributions of figures like Cesar Chavez in the labor movement and Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court highlight the lasting impact of Hispanic Americans in society.
Another aspect of Hispanic Heritage Month is to educate and raise awareness about the socio-economic, political, and educational challenges that are faced in the Hispanic and Latino communities; and the work needed towards addressing such disparities.
With this idea in mind, for the last 10 years, our St. Vincent de Paul Centro Rendu program has been dedicated to lifting spirits by partnering with families, churches, schools, government, and local businesses to create a community center that provides essential tools and resources needed for the Hispanic and Latino community to learn, live, work, and thrive.
Many celebrate by participating in festivals, parades, and cultural events that showcase the Hispanic and Latino traditions. This month is a time to celebrate, reflect upon, and honor the contributions of the Hispanic and Latino communities to the United States. It’s a moment to embrace diversity, learn from history, and work towards a more inclusive future.