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Latinx Heritage Month 2021 (DEI Team)

September 1, 2021

Latinx Heritage Month is a National Holiday that centers and honors the history, culture, influence, achievements, and contributions of U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities, particularly their contribution to American Society at large. The term “Latinx” refers to people of Latin American origin or descent and is used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina.

Latinx Heritage Month currently spans from September 15th to October 15th, however, originally it began as a commemorative week when it was first introduced by California Congressman George E. Brown in June 1968. This timing is important because the move came as a part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s. Additionally, “mid-September was chosen because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.” 

On September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48, requesting then President Lyndon Johnson, to commemorate September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. The president issued the first Hispanic Heritage Week presidential proclamation that same day. In 1987 U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres of California proposed to expand Hispanic Heritage Week to Hispanic Heritage Month. Torres believed that a 31-day heritage month would provide more time for people to “properly observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement.” In 1989, President George H.W. Bush (who had been a sponsor of the original Hispanic Heritage Week resolution while serving in the House in 1968) became the first president to declare the 31-day period from September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. In the following decades, U.S, presidents have made declarations commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month. In recent years, many communities have shifted from using Hispanic Heritage Month, to using the more inclusive Latinx Heritage Month.

National Hispanic Heritage Month Hispanic Heritage Month
The American Presidency Project

Sway Unconscious Bias
Upcoming Events

DEI Team and Museum of Science

Sway: Unraveling Unconscious Bias
(Sponsored by the by Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation)
Thursday, September 9

Are unconscious biases hardwired as an evolutionary response or do they emerge from assimilating information around us? We all have unconscious, or unintentional, biases, whether based in race, gender, age, or other designations, but is there anything we can do to eliminate them? How do they influence our world and society? How have these unintentional prejudices affected modern-day technology (specifically AI)?In Sway: Unraveling Unconscious Bias, author Pragya Agarwal uncovers the science behind our biases. Using real-world stories underpinned by scientific theories and research, this book unravels the way our unconscious biases affect how we communicate, make decisions, and perceive the world. At a time when race politics, the gender pay gap, diversity, inclusivity, and bias training in the workplace dominate our conversations, understanding how unconscious bias functions is more important than ever.

Esler Family Foundation
Upcoming Events

DEI Team and Museum of Science

The Sum of Us: A Conversation with Heather McGhee
(Sponsored by the Esler Family Foundation)
Wednesday, September 15

WPI’s DEI Team has partnered with the Esler Family Foundation for “A Conversation with @Heather McGhee - The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone” on Sept 15th! The Esler Family Foundation and partners welcome New York Times bestselling author, renowned expert on the American economy, and former president of the inequality-focused think tank Demos, Heather McGhee, for a talk about the devastating true cost of racism—not just for people of color, but for everyone.
Deeply stirring, intelligent, and compassionate...

Great Minds, Brave Spaces Leslie Priscilla
Upcoming Events

Great Minds, Brave Space - Criándome, Cuidándome: Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Reparenting our Inner Children

Wednesday, September 22, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Leslie Priscilla, founder of Latinx Parenting, is a first generation Xicana with Rarámuri lineage. She is a mother to three bicultural children and a certified Parent Coach with over 14 years of experience. Leslie shares her medicine by offering coaching, workshops, support and advocacy for Latinx/Chicanx families locally, nationally and internationally via Latinx Parenting. Leslie’s vision is of a movement rooted in children's rights, social and racial justice, the individual and collective practice of nonviolence and reparenting, intergenerational and ancestral healing, cultural sustenance, and the active decolonization of oppressive practices...



Gordon Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Guides: Be sure to visit the Gordon Library Resource Guides, to find literature and resources centering Latinx communities and related topics.

Race on Campus: What does ‘Latinx’ Mean?: Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez at The Chronicle, unpacks the term “latinx,” as an identifier, its historical context and when it should be used.

Books to Read for Latinx Heritage Month: Penguin Random House’s book list features nonfiction and fiction by and about Latinx and Hispanic authors and characters from all over the world. Ask Christelle which ones she’s read!

What is happening in Cuba?: Economic crisis and Covid-19 pandemic lead to deteriorating living conditions, electricity outages and shortages of food and medicine.

Superhero Nerd Alert: La Borinqueña: La Borinqueña is an original character and patriotic symbol presented in a classic superhero story created and written by graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. Her powers are drawn from history and mysticism found on the island of Puerto Rico.