UHart Acknowledges and Celebrates Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, also known as Hispanic Heritage Month, is nationally celebrated each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of those who trace their ancestral roots to Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean.

The 2023 Hispanic Heritage Month observance theme is “Driving Prosperity, Power and Progress in America.” The theme aims to recognize the economic, political, and social contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx population in the United States.  

We honor the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic Americans, especially the significant contributions made to U.S. society and its culture. From playwright/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda and Secretary of Education Miguel Cordona, to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, American activist Sylvia Rivera, and 18-year-old activist Emma Gonzalez, their work and influence are undeniable.

Latinx versus Hispanic: What’s the difference?

It is essential to recognize that not one term can fully capture the diverse identities and experiences of the descendants whose ancestral lineage comes from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The terms such as “Latinx,” “Latino/a,” “Hispanic,” and various forms of grouping terminology are contextual and preference-based.

"Hispanic" refers to individuals who have a cultural or ancestral connection to Spain or Spanish-speaking countries. This term is primarily tied to language and ethnicity. It includes people from Spanish-speaking countries in Europe, Latin America, and other parts of the world. The term "Hispanic" rarely considers gender, and is often criticized for its lack of inclusivity, as it traditionally uses masculine forms like "Latino" or "Hispano" when referring to mixed-gender groups.

Latinx” is a more inclusive and gender-neutral term that is used to describe people with a connection to Latin America or Spain. It is often used to encompass individuals of Latin American or Spanish descent regardless of their gender identity. It also emerged as a way to challenge the gender binary inherent in the Spanish language and promote inclusivity for people who do not identify as strictly male or female.

Serving as a vital reminder that our community's strength lies in its diversity and inclusivity, we commit ourselves to fostering an environment of respect, appreciation, and unity within our University. As we absorb and encompass this celebration, we welcome all in honoring the identities, accomplishments, and experiences of Latinx/Hispanic members of our campus community. 


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