At Hanzo, we embrace the idea that employees should bring their whole selves to work. As part of our culture, we're encouraging Hanzonians to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate their ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds. Given that Hispanics make up 18% of the population in the U.S., this month, we recognize Hispanic/Latinx communities and their cultures at work by celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month beginning on September 15.
What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
As part of the diversity awareness born out of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, National Hispanic Heritage Month began as a commemorative week beginning on September 15, 1968. California Congressman George E. Brown represented East Los Angeles and a large portion of the San Gabriel Valley, densely populated by Hispanic and Latinx communities. Congressman Brown wanted to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of these communities who've positively influenced and enriched American society throughout history.
On September 17 of the same year, Congress passed Public Law 90-498, officially "Authorizing the President to proclaim annually the week including September 15 and 16 as 'National Hispanic Heritage Week.'" President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first Hispanic Heritage Week proclamation on the same day. It was officially expanded in 1989 to Hispanic Heritage Month by George H.W. Bush.
Why Does National Hispanic Heritage Week Start September 15?
Well, it would seem that September was a month for revolution. Independence Day celebrations for five Central American nations, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, coincide on September 15. Moreover, Mexico and Chile achieved their independence from Spain on September 16, 1810, and September 18, 1818, respectively.
Why is Hanzo celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month is important?
Companies that downplay demographic differences can inadvertently increase underrepresented employees' perception of bias from their white colleagues, reducing engagement in the workplace. By acknowledging the rich histories of our colleagues, encouraging everyone to embrace their differences, and being open to learning, we can improve inclusion.
Cool National Hispanic Heritage Month Resources
People looking to learn more about this annual celebration or dive into the splendid cultural contributions to society might enjoy checking out these sites.
- The White House - A Proclamation On National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2021
- National Archives - Hispanic Heritage Month
- Pew Research - Key Facts About U.S. Latinos for National Hispanic Heritage Month
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