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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is important in continuing to create spaces where employees feel seen, heard, and have a sense of belonging. During this time, we reflect on the contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx(e) Communities. There are so many ways to celebrate such a diverse community, but before planning out what that looks like in your workplace, it is important to understand why Hispanic Heritage Month is so important to the community.
The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week but was later expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988 to cover the 30-day period from September 15th – October 15th. The starting date of September 15th is significant as it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize all celebrate their independence throughout Hispanic Heritage Month as well. Hispanic Heritage Month serves as a reminder and a celebration of the strength we draw as a nation from our immigrant roots. Recently, the White House released a proclamation celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
I hope these ideas give you a starting place to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in your workplace. While planning your activities for the month, it is important to remember the following:
Celebrate the Diversity – There are over 20 countries within Latin America with many different cultures. There is not one universal Latinx(e) experience, and it is important to recognize this.
Ditch Stereotypes – There is more to Hispanic Heritage Month than just Mexico, and there is more to Mexico than pinatas and sombreros. It’s important that we use this time to learn more about different cultures within the Latinx(e) and Hispanic communities and don’t rely on harmful tropes and stereotypes.
Continue the Celebration – Hispanic Heritage Month may only be 30 days long, but your Hispanic and Latinx(e) employees should feel supported all year long. Make sure you continue to empower your employees from this community beyond this month and utilize this month to learn more about the community.
Foster an Inclusive Workplace – Make sure that your employees who are not from these communities know that the events being held are for all! Encourage all employees to participate in your events so they can also continue to learn about these beautifully diverse cultures.
Eisen previously served as a Recruiter of Enterprise Accounts on the Atrium Works team and is champion of diversity and inclusion.
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