Mes de la Herencia Hispana 2023

Clebrando Juntos

Hello everyone!

Once again, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month – from September 15 to October 12.

Some question why it is important right now when campaigns for equity, diversity, and inclusion all around us are, making us think we finally got it right.

The truth is that for many, the reality about Latinos remains hidden, and for many more, it only comes to mind every election season when the issue of immigration arises.

Others say Latinos are so well integrated into the mainstream now that it is difficult to see them apart.

The reality is different. Latinos continue fighting to be recognized as serious participants in the political, social, and artistic life of the United States. While some Latinos have broken barriers, there are many for whom the barriers have only grown bigger and deeper.

The Latino community is not homogenous but complex and very diverse. It is a community that shares many things yet has many differences.

We have been locked into labels that assume many things and do not respect those differences and our complexity. Starting with the Latino/Hispanic label, for most Americans, all Spanish-speaking individuals are "messicans," so it makes sense to put all of us together under one label.

There are other labels, such as "BIPOC" (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), which try to encapsulate everyone who is not white Anglo-Saxon and where we Latinos lose all of our identity and complexity.

Therefore, it is important to show the richness of our diversity and the pride of our traditions during these five weeks, when most Americans are receptive to everything Latino.

We thank the directors of UC and UC ANR for the opportunity they give us to promote our culture and raise awareness among our colleagues about the realities of the Latino community.

During this time, we want to recognize the work of the UC ANR Latino professionals who focus their research, work, and effort on helping our community have more opportunities for education and a better and healthier way of life.

Let’s Celebrate!

Ricardo Vela

Chair Latinx & Friends Affinity Group.