Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Diversity & Cultural Awareness
Since 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month has been nationally recognized from September 15th- October 15th every year. These 30 days are meant to honor and celebrate all that the Hispanic/ Latinx community have contributed to our society, and how they continue to do so every day. The dates within this month of time are significant to this community all over the world, a few of these include:
- September 15th- the Independence Day of 5 of our Central American neighbors including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua
- September 16th- Mexico’s declaration of independence from Spain in 1810
- September 21st- Belize celebrates independence from Great Britain in 1981
In addition to these celebrations, there are several other holidays being celebrated throughout the country as well. In 2019, 60.6M people in the U.S. identified as Hispanic/Latinx, making them the largest ethnic/racial minority. Since then this number has only grown, making it more important than ever to celebrate this month and appreciate the diversity of our country.
Why Celebrate in Your Workplace?
What makes Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) so valuable to society as a whole is it’s call to embrace diversity and acceptance in everyday life, which is why it’s so important to address as a company. The diversity within a workplace is what makes organizations so successful, different people with different backgrounds and cultures bring their own experiences to the table and with this comes limitless opportunity for growth and development. Building awareness of what HHM is, educating employees on all the potential that comes from cultural diversity, and advocating for this inclusive culture will strengthen your team and raise awareness around building off of each other’s differences.
4 Ways to Celebrate
Every year Hispanic Heritage Month is given a new theme, this year’s theme is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” Hope has been a relevant theme over the past year as we’ve trifled with the changes this pandemic has had in both our personal lives and workplaces, so whether your office is remote, in-person, or a mixture of both, we’ve included a way to celebrate this month whatever the case below:
- Embracing the Culture
Whether it’s through reading a quick article about Hispanic heritage, watching a culturally-rich film, reading a novel written by a Hispanic/Latinx author, or recommending a visit to a local Hispanic/ Latinx -owned restaurant, encourage employees to take time to learn about this culture in their own ways. Reach out to your team with a few suggestions, receive feedback on a favorite idea or two, and engage in some conversation afterwards with thoughts about the experience- this is a fun and educational option that can be done remotely or in-person based on employee preference.
- Provide Donation or Volunteer Opportunities
There are many organizations dedicated to the Hispanic/Latinx community that are always in need of help and/or donations. Take some time to search for some local organizations to recommend, or take it a step further and reach out to one to consult about their specific needs and how your company may be able to help! Asking for employee recommendations is also always a good place to start. Having a member of your team with a personal connection to one makes the cause much more meaningful.
- Celebrate Virtually with Free Events
For the entirety of HHM there are online events all over the country being held. Select an event for your employees to join in on and immerse themselves in Hispanic/Latinx culture for part of the day! Some national events put together by the U.S. government can be found here. They also include activities that can be shared with entire families.
- Educate Employees on Diversity & Inclusion
The overarching goal of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is to embrace the diversity that it has brought us. There’s always advantages to discussing this with employees, including promoting an inclusive work environment, increasing the productivity of your company with different kinds of teamwork and perspectives, and having a broader range of understanding for various types of customers. Below are a few articles for reference when it comes to discussing diversity in your organization:
- eBook: How to Maintain an Inclusive Culture
- What Really Moves the Needle on Diversity
- Key Leadership Moments to Introduce More Inclusion & Equity
For more resources on DEI discussions and training, visit our website today or connect with our experts below: