Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the history, diverse cultures and contributions from the Latinx and Hispanic communities.
This year’s theme, Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope, announced by The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers, invites us to celebrate Hispanic heritage, resilience and hope.
Themes of resilience and hope resonate as the delta variant becomes more widespread and as Latinx communities in Washington state continue to disproportionately bear the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s also a reminder of the contributions Latinx and Hispanic people have made in the past and will continue to make in the future.
Find out the history behind the month, how you can celebrate and resources to learn more.
History of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month
The first, nationally recognized Hispanic heritage observation started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period.
Sept. 15 kicks off the celebratory month because it’s Independence Day for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Plus, within the 30-day period Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence days. Indigenous People’s Day and Día de la Raza are celebrated during this time, too.
Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month resources
The UW Medicine Office of Healthcare Equity has compiled the following resources for celebration of and continued education on Latinx and Hispanic communities.
- Join Santiago Neme, MD, MPH, medical director of UW Medical Center – Northwest and clinical associate professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, for Community Conversations: Straight Talk About COVID-19, held in Spanish and English.
- Read “Latinos Face Risks Because of Lag in Vaccination Against COVID-19” in the South Seattle Emerald, featuring Leo Morales, MD, PhD, MPH, professor and chief diversity officer, UW School of Medicine.
- Read “Cinco de Mayo: Mexican history” from Britannica and learn about the history of Cinco de Mayo.
- Read “Celebrating Diversity: Meet Mexico’s Third Gender” from the Inter-American Development Bank and learn about muxes, Mexican Indigenous individuals identifying as a third gender.
- Read “Latino Hospital Heros” from NBC News, which highlights 10 healthcare professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Watch “Why Do We Say Latino?” on PBS and learn about the history of Latino, Hispanic and Latinx terms.
- Watch “10 Great TED Talks by Hispanic and Latinx Speakers for Hispanic Heritage Month,” from Ideas.Ted.Com. Talks range from ideas of identity and personal growth to politics and immigration.
- Watch “Carlos Vives: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert” from NPR and listen to music in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month email signature
Celebrate Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month and support your colleagues by adding an icon to your UW Medicine email signature.
Visit the UW Medicine brand site to download the signature. Follow the instructions below to add the signature to your Outlook email.
Add a signature to messages via Microsoft Outlook
If you need instructions on how add an email signature, visit one of the following Microsoft Office support pages.
Editor’s Note: article updated on Sept. 17, 2021.