Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized beginning September 15 through October 15. This is a starting point resource for employers to actively support and recognize Hispanic History Month in the workplace. Learn how your organization can recognize Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a national celebration that honors the history, culture, and influence of people of the past, present, and future generations of Hispanic heritage. People who celebrate the month are descendants of South and Central America, Spain, Mexico, and the Caribbean. During the month celebrations are held that highlight the history, culture, and contributions of those Hispanic Americans.
Heritage months are designed to provide a space that not only teaches but exhibits the cultural history of a specific group. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 data, there are 62.2 million Hispanics in the U.S., accounting for 18.9% of the total population. This year, according to the Hispanic Star, an organization dedicated to the advancement of Hispanics in the United States, the themes for the month are prosperity, power, and progress.
Use the quick navigation links below to jump ahead to a specific topic:
- The History of Hispanic Heritage Month
- Why Hispanic Heritage Month Is Important
- How Hispanic Heritage Month Is Traditionally Celebrated
- Employee Considerations
- How to Recognize Hispanic Heritage Month at Work
- TED Talks and Documentaries to Watch
- Books to Read
- Podcasts to Listen to
- Guest Speakers
- How Companies Are Celebrating
The History of Hispanic Heritage Month
You may be wondering, how did Hispanic Heritage Month start? The history of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States began with a week-long celebration, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. Twenty years later the celebration was extended to a month in legislation drafted by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. September 15 was decided as the starting point of the month because of the significance of the Mexican War of Independence. Since the first presidential proclamation was given in 1968, all presidents thereafter have marked the month with a proclamation.
Other dates of note:
October 5 — Latina Equal Pay Day
Why Hispanic Heritage Month Is Important
Why do we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? The event is an excellent opportunity for companies to amplify the voices of the Hispanic population by acknowledging the critical and crucial role they play in shaping the future of the country. The month is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and recognize the Latinx/e community as employees, suppliers, consumers, and members of the overall community.
The population growth of Hispanics in the United States shows the significant impact they have on the country through political representations and economic success. Hispanic and Latino employees comprised 29.3 million of the workforce in 2022. That number has grown from 1990 when it was just under 10.7 million, and it’s because of that growth that the Department of Labor projects Hispanics will account for roughly 78% of new workers between 2020 and 2030. It’s also projected that 20% of all U.S. workers will be Hispanic by 2030.
How Hispanic Heritage Month Is Traditionally Celebrated
Hispanic Heritage Month begins with a presidential proclamation on September 15 and lasts one month through October 15. As the years have progressed, so have celebrations for the month, which include festivals, art shows, conferences, and gatherings for Hispanics and allies.
Traditionally, the month is also a time to show the importance of Hispanics in the U.S. by donating to specific Hispanic charities, learning about culture and food, and honoring influential Hispanics who have made an impact on society. It is an important time for Hispanics to stay connected to their roots and share that culture with community members, coworkers, and friends.
Hispanic Heritage Month Employee Considerations
During Hispanic Heritage Month, companies should use this as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the workplace. It could be a time to encourage employees of all ethnic backgrounds to discuss workplace experiences involving race and explain how living as a Hispanic in the U.S. may impact the overall work experience. The month can also serve as a starting point for companies to make the most of highlighting and moving forward its year-long DEI strategy.
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How to Recognize Hispanic Heritage Month at Work
Host workshops. Bring in a professional one day to assist employees as they work to improve their communication skills when speaking about Hispanic Heritage Month at work as a way to build a more inclusive environment.
Organize an event. Ensure all employees can interact in a safe space where everyone feels included. This could be a team or company-wide lunch, salsa dancing, or food tours that involve learning more about the culture.
Support or donate to charities that support local Hispanic causes. For example, consider organizing a company volunteer day at a local youth organization.
Invite guest speakers. Use a full-service speakers bureau such as Leading Authorities, Inc. (LAI) to book advocates and motivational speakers dedicated to Hispanic Heritage Month issues.
Choose a TED Talk or documentary to discuss. Recommend it at the start of the month and hold a panel discussion toward the end of the month.
Here are a few TED Talks to consider:
- America Ferrera shares “My Identity is My Superpower — Not an Obstacle” (2019)
- Antonia Cereijido discusses “Why We Should Tell More Latino Stories?” (2017)
- Isabel Escobar on “I Am Hispanic and I Am American” (2019)
Here are a few documentaries to consider:
- “Paper Children” (2020; available on YouTube)
- “The Hand That Feeds” (2014; available on YouTube)
- “The Latino List” (2011; available on YouTube)
Partner with employee resource groups (ERGs). If you don’t have an ERG dedicated to the Latinx community, consider starting one this month. If you need a reference point, read about AT&T’s Hispanic/Latino Employee Association (HACEMOS) or American Airlines’ Latin Diversity Network. If an ERG isn’t feasible, consider partnering with a local organization.
Start a book club. There is a vast selection of books that recognize Hispanic heritage. Choose a book at the start of the month so your team has time to finish it before a month-end discussion. We’ve mined the list of resources below from leading experts in Hispanic heritage.
Books to Read for Hispanic Heritage Month
- “My Beloved World,” by Sonia Sotomayor (2013)
- “We Are Not From Here,” by Jenny Torres Sanchez (2020)
- “Children of the Land,” by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (2020)
Podcasts for Hispanic Heritage Month
- Latina to Latina features one-on-one interviews with remarkable women who share stories about the Latina experience in America. The podcast is hosted by Alicia Menendez, MSNBC anchor.
- Life as a Gringo takes a look at American-born Latinos who are often challenged over their identities. The show is created by Z100 radio personality DJ Dramos.
- Hyphenated uses comedy to explore thought-provoking conversations on what it means to live between American and Latin cultures. The series is hosted by actors Joanna Hausmann and Jenny Lorenzo.
Guest Speakers for Hispanic Heritage Month
- Corina Burton is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of multimillion-dollar businesses that she developed from the ground up. She uses her own personal story to help others achieve success.
- Deborah Rosado Shaw runs a consulting and advisory firm. She was previously PepsiCo’s senior VP of chief global diversity and engagement.
- Pedro David Espinoza has been described as the “Robinhood of Technology” according to Voice of America. He works as a tech entrepreneur, investor, and inclusion expert, leading keynote speeches on diversity and inclusion. His objective is to show companies how the right DEI strategy can set them up for success.
How Companies Are Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Upcoming events for Hispanic Heritage Month:
- September 9 — National Museum of the American Indian D.C. hosts Sounds of Guatemalan Marimba
- September 14 — Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce holds a networking mixer at Y Knot lounge in Texas
- September 15-24 — Warner Bros. Discovery hosts New York Latino Film Festival
- September 16 — National Museum of the American Indian N.Y. organizes a concert by fusion band RAYMI
- September 19-21 — Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) hosts their 2023 Leadership Conference and 46th Annual Awards Gala
- September 23-24 — Latinx Games Festival throws annual video game industry event in Calif.
- September 29 — The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will announce the Hispanic Heritage Awards in a livestream on PBS
In prior years:
- SoundCloud highlighted Latinx music with curated playlists. In previous years, its ERG hosted an event where employees shared stories, played trivia, and enjoyed food.
- Uber hosted a career development workshops with its Latinx ERG, Los Ubers. Previously, the company brought in a chef to provide live cooking classes of traditional Hispanic cuisine.
- ServiceNow partnered with its Latinx at Now Belonging Group to provide programming for all employees that focus on allyship. The company previously brought in guest speakers to discuss in depth the importance of Hispanic Heritage.
- Paramount hosted a series of events including Cafecitos Mentorship & Networking and a movie screening of the film “Bonded.”
- Expedia Group hosted a series of events, including a Latinas in Tech panel discussion, to motivate employees to learn about different cultures.
- Okta led a mezcal and tequila cocktail class. Its ERG, POC@Okta, also organized a fireside chat on authentic leadership from Latinx leaders.
- Lockheed Martin hosted cook-offs and trivia night, and also created newsletters in partnership with their Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Awareness (HOLA).
- The National Hispanic Heritage Month event page will be updated soon for 2023
- Facts about the Latinx community from Pew Research
- Lean In Latinas is a nonprofit dedicated to closing the gender gap
Visit our DEI calendar for a complete list of holidays, events, and commemorations for DEI leaders to recognize throughout the year.