How Do Latinos Really Feel About Hispanic Heritage Month? An Investigation

Art by Alan López for Remezcla

On September 15, 2018, anti-Latino sentiments run high, Central American children remain in immigrant detention away from their parents, and the current election cycle is a constant reminder that many politicians are not on our side, especially for those who identify as Afro-Latino or Indigenous. The date also marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, but the truth is that for many of us, the month-long celebration has never lived up to its full potential and does little to fix the problems our communities face. But for better or worse, the next 31 days will see an influx of stories, images, and conversations about our cultures.

Hispanic Heritage Month grew out of National Hispanic Heritage Week, which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law in 1968. In 1987, Representative Esteban Torres pushed for a month-long commemoration. He argued that supporters of his bill “want the American people to learn of our heritage. We want the public to know that we share a legacy with the rest of the country, a legacy that includes artists, writers, Olympic champions, and leaders in business, government, cinema, and science. [The month-long celebration] will allow our nation to properly observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement.” Torres’ bill did not pass, but a year later, a similar bill – proposed by Senator Paul Simon – did, with President Ronald Reagan signing it into law on August 17, 1988.

Unlike Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month begins mid-way through September. This is because September 15 and 16 mark the independence days of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Despite the original intentions of Hispanic Heritage Month, the celebration is largely seen as a marketing opportunity. It’s disappointing but not surprising considering the word “Hispanic” has been associated to our buying power since the term first appeared on the Census. As Cristina Mora, a UC Berkeley professor, explained to Latino USA, “After 1980, the Census Bureau creates some of the first reports of now Hispanics in America, whereas activists groups might use the income figures to show Washington that Hispanics have higher rates of poverty, for example, Univision executives would use those exact income figures and show General Mills or McDonald’s and say, ‘Look, this is Hispanic buying power.’”

Among Remezcla’s editorial team, Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t inspire warm and fuzzy feelings, so we wanted to get a better idea of how other Latinxs felt about it. We surveyed 18 journalists, artists, activists, and more, and though they’re not representative of our entire community (we did try to include as many different perspectives as possible), we found that many of the people we reached out also didn’t feel a special connection to HHM. Many objected to the word Hispanic and said that in their experiences, the term Latino was more well received. (A Pew Research Center poll finds that 50 percent of people do not have a preference between the two, and that of those who were partial to one of the options, more veered toward Hispanic.) Most respondents had also not heard of Hispanic Heritage Month until they were adults (or nearly adults), and those who had learned of the observation earlier said it wasn’t in any significant way.

From how exclusionary the term Hispanic can be to the parts of the month that frustrates them most, here’s what they had to say about HHM.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to learn about our cultures, especially those of us who may be second-, third-generation immigrants. And not just our culture, but the cultures and traditions of other countries who also observe this month. Bigger picture thinking, it’s a good vehicle to bring in other members of the community, maybe those who don’t identify as Latino/Hispanic, so they, too, can learn about our heritage, cultures, and contributions.” –Juan Escalante, activist and communications manager at America’s Voice

“It was an invented month created by the government to keep Latinos in check. We can do better. We don’t need a month to be proud of who we are. Every day needs to be HHM.” -Julio Ricardo Varela, Latino Rebels founder and In The Thick co-host

“I think it’s a combination of celebrating culture and learning about our very diverse histories. I think this is also a great time to re-define and push what we *think* being Latinx means. We can do this by centering diverse and intersectional stories. Many of us are at the center of these stories whether we be Queer and/or Trans, Afro-Latinx, Asian-Latinx, Muslim, etc. This is an opportunity to share narratives that aren’t regularly told and that’s what we should keep pushing for.” Diosa Femme, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“I think it’s meant to be a reminder for Latinos to take pride in our culture. It should, however, serve as a moment for other people and institutions to not only educate themselves about our history, but to also take concrete actions that uplift our community.” -Paola Ramos, Latinx advocate

“Whenever Black folks gain something in the United States, whether it be an all-Black superhero film or a museum, non-Black Latinxs demand the same thing. And I think that’s what happened with Hispanic Heritage Month. Its purpose, like Black History Month, was to be a time to learn about our shared histories, celebrate our culture and take a look at our current status in this country. However, I think that objective has been swallowed up by profit-seeking brands, including ones owned or run by so-called ‘Hispanics.’” -Raquel Reichard, journalist

“The purpose of HHM is to celebrate ourselves and our ancestors. It’s to show the world how varied we are, and how much we’ve done and continue to do. It’s to celebrate the fact that we have this incredible array of cultures with so much flavor. It’s to educate younger people in our community about ourselves, so they know how incredible their bloodlines are, and how much they can achieve because they are part of a resilient, beautiful community.” -Tiffany Vazquez, content manager at Giphy

“It’s good for us all to know our history, especially that of our ancestors’ resistance. We have to share it with each other, because nobody else will. In some parts of the United States, it’s somewhat dangerous to do so. But perhaps we ditch the month and commit to keeping each other educated year round.” –Suzy Exposito, assistant music editor at Rolling Stone

“There’s no real purpose. It’s just there so people can say that it’s there, you know what I’m saying?” -Shea Serrano, NYT best-selling author and staff writer at The Ringer

“It was intended to share and celebrate the contributions of Latinos in the US and abroad, but it’s definitely become another opportunity for organizations with capitalist agendas to profit off the community. There are organizations who are still uplifting its true intent – and I applaud them – educating our community on our histories and impact.” -Janel Martinez, Ain’t I Latina? creator and journalist

“I think Hispanic Heritage Month is just another way to commodify culture. Just like Christmas.” -Jessica Alvarenga, writer and photographer

“The first time I learned about Hispanic Heritage Month was in elementary school. To celebrate, we were told to dress up as conquistadores and indios.” -Jessica Alvarenga, writer and photographer

“I learned of it only a few years ago, so it’s definitely not something we had when my old ass was in school.” -Zahira Kelly-Cabrera, artist and socio-cultural critic

“I didn’t really begin to pay attention to it until I started teaching. We would have all these posters and whatnot and there’d be activities and celebrations and so on. Prior to then, I can’t remember it ever playing a part in my life, not even when I was in school.” -Shea Serrano, NYT best-selling author and staff writer at The Ringer

“Wow! I could be wrong, but I don’t remember ever discussing Hispanic Heritage Month in school – and I grew up in East Orlando, where every other student is Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, Cuban or Venezuelan. My earliest memory of Hispanic Heritage Month, I think, was in church. This is the time of year when Pentecostal pastors put up Latin American flags throughout their churches. That’s basically all Hispanic Heritage Month was to me until I started my career in media.” -Raquel Reichard, journalist

“I think I first heard of Hispanic Heritage Month during my college years. I really can’t pinpoint a specific point in time when HHM was more prevalent in my life before that. I remember the Hispanic Latino Student Union (HLSU) would treat HHM as their marquee set of events. I never really understood why Latino/Hispanic students didn’t ensure that their events and galas didn’t include other parts of the University; it always felt a bit insulated to me.” –Juan Escalante, activist and communications manager at America’s Voice

“[The] first time I remember being truly cognizant of Hispanic Heritage Month was in high school. I attended a predominantly white high school, where there were very few Black/Latino students. For us, Hispanic Heritage Month provided a sort of built-in “excuse” or seemingly “valid” reason to celebrate ourselves and our cultures with organized events. At the time, I was happy to have a space in the school year that had some formal recognition of our varied experiences. It was a time when white students, faculty, or staff couldn’t question the point or purpose of Latinx-centered events.” -Mala Muñoz, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“I wasn’t aware of Hispanic Heritage Month until I was in college, or even grad school. It definitely wasn’t taught in any school I went to, which is horrible but not surprising. Most people of color have to find out their histories on their own, if their histories are even documented.” -Tiffany Vazquez, content manager at Giphy

“I think the first time was in high school. I took part in a show to celebrate HHM and I choreographed a merengue dance to ‘Moviendo La Cadera” by Los Hermanos Rosario with a group of friends. But other than that, there wasn’t a major educational component pushed in the classroom. Which is a bit of a downer.” -Jenny Lorenzo, actor and content creator

“I must have learned about LHM well into my adulthood. It wasn’t something that was ever mentioned during my school years in the ’90s. I grew up thinking that the Puerto Rican Day parade was all we had.” –Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, creator of The Gran Varones Project

“I’ve observed Latino Heritage Month (my preferred term for the month) for years in academic settings, but I wouldn’t say it’s particularly meaningful to me. I observe Afro-Latinidad every day through my existence, research and writing, so whether the month existed or not, I’d still consciously uplift our narratives not just during September 15 to October 15.” -Janel Martinez, Ain’t I Latina? creator and journalist

“Having grown up in the South Bronx, college was the first time I was in the minority as a Latinx. And so in that time, HHM presented me an opportunity to show others why I’m proud of my culture and identity. It gave me an opportunity to be part of what those old Univision videos did for me, give people a window into what’s special about my people. It also gave me an opportunity to give some definition to the sancocho that is my background. My father is from Ecuador, Quiteño, serrano, and my mom is Puerto Rican.” -Victor Paredes, director of strategy at Wing

“Hispanic heritage month, like the term Hispanic itself, has a specific history and political origin. I cannot reconcile the state-sanctioned commercial acknowledgement of a Hispanicized version of our communities with the continuous state-actuated brutalization of the people of Latin America and of Latin American descent who have created lives, established families, built communities, and sought refuge here in the United States.” -Mala Muñoz, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“I don’t feel a strong attachment to it on a personal level. However, I have a soft spot for the highlights and recognition that is given to Latinos/Hispanics and their work throughout those four weeks.” -Juan Escalante, activist and communications manager at America’s Voice

“It’s not something *especially* meaningful to me because I celebrate my culture every day, year-round by existing and being proud of my identities. I do enjoy the specific programming that communities put on during this time of year.” -Diosa Femme, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“I def love the idea of having a month dedicated to celebrating us as a people. I think there def needs to be a lot more content across the board – magazines, TV, newspapers, internet content should all be about celebrating us as a culture – not for the sake of making money but for the sake of educating the masses on how beautiful we are.” -Curly Velasquez, editor at BuzzFeed

“I haven’t spent much time thinking about Hispanic Heritage Month as I am right now, so I guess it’s safe to say that it’s not very meaningful to me. Unlike Black History Month, which actually feels like a time to inform one another on critical Black figures and movements and discuss the status of Black individuals today, Hispanic Heritage Month just feels like a marketing campaign. It’s a time when big brands add Spanish in their commercials or a stereotypical Latinx-looking family at the dinner table in their ads to tap into our buying power. And, honestly, I guess that makes sense. After all, when I hear the word “Hispanic,” after quivering in disgust, I think of the Hispanic market. It’s a generic identity that was crafted by corporate America to make billions.” -Raquel Reichard, journalist

“I love any opportunity for the Latinx community to celebrate each other, and for people outside of the community to learn about our cultures, so it is definitely meaningful to me, but it’s not something I grew up with because I had no idea it existed for a long time.” -Tiffany Vazquez, content manager at Giphy

Zahira Kelly-Cabrera:  I don’t necessarily ID as Hispanic, but let’s be real, that was the unifying term for Latinxs in the US for the last few decades, so I have family who does ID as such. It may not be – dique – politically correct, but then WTF is correct about Latino/a in general? They’re colonial terms, but they do serve a purpose.” -Zahira Kelly-Cabrera, artist and socio-cultural critic

“I do not identify as Hispanic since it was created by the US government and the community itself did not create the term. Rather, I identify as Latina, which I know is still debated by many. However, identifying as Latina connects me to other US-born Latinas and Latin American women and encompasses my identities as a Peruana-Mexicana. There are plenty of organizations that choose to name their events Latinx/Latino Heritage Month, regardless of HHM being the national identifier.” -Diosa Femme, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“Because Hispanic, as I understand it, refers to Spanish speakers, I would prefer a Latinx History Month, so that we can better account for people of the Latinx diaspora who don’t speak Spanish. Although both my parents are Latinx, I grew up with one parent who spoke Spanish and another who spoke Kriol. And after being educated in majority-white, strictly anglophone schools in the States, I have a strange relationship with Spanish and don’t speak it as fluently as I used to.” –Suzy Exposito, assistant music editor at Rolling Stone

I identify with terms that are a lot more fluid in nature. I find that ‘diasporic’ speaks more to my experience and existence. ‘Hispanic’ is a very US-centric concept. For census purposes, I identify as ‘Latinx.’” -Jessica Alvarenga, writer and photographer 

This is an unpopular opinion, but I use them interchangeably. I always have. I have been in different discussions, primarily with academics, about the use of one term over the other but haven’t changed course.” -Juan Esclante, activist and communications manager at America’s Voice

“I have never identified as Hispanic. I was raised to identify as Mexican and Xicana, with pride and awareness of the Yaqui and Tarahumara identities of my great grandparents. … The formation of a Hispanic Heritage Month, at no point in our history here, has ever addressed or compensated the abuses the Latinx families of his and con generation endured. … Has the existence of a Hispanic Heritage Month had any impact whatsoever on the wellbeing or health outcomes of Latinx communities? History and the current state of the world tells me no. It is Hispanic heritage month, and Central American children are being held prisoner by the state, enduring sexual violence and acts of psychological torture in Immigration Detention Centers. The treatment of undocumented peoples, the history of forced sterilization of Latinas in LA hospitals, the deportation of residents, naturalized citizens, DACA recipients, and Latinx parents with US born children all point to the hard truth that Hispanic Heritage Month is not even a band-aid, it’s a slap in the face.” -Mala Muñoz, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“For me, the term adheres to a traditional image of what it means to be “Latino” and leaves out the beauty of our diversity. I don’t see queer Latinos reflected there, or Afro Latinos, or Latinos that are defying the odds or even English-speaking Latinos. Today, I prefer to use the term “Latinx” when referring to our community as a whole—because that ‘X’  is an invitation to everyone that has traditionally felt left out.” –Paola Ramos, Latinx advocate

“The term Hispanic is limiting to me. Not to say Latino/a/x doesn’t have it’s own limitations, but Hispanic – a person from Spain – does not identify me, una negra, a Garifuna-American via Honduras. Hispanic is not it.” –Janel Martinez, Ain’t I Latina? creator and journalist

“I don’t really identify as Hispanic, and I low-key cringe when I hear other Latin folk refer to themselves as Hispanic. But I also have trouble with the word Latino as that also is a Euro word. Latinx still feels too young and not rooted in tradition somehow – and yet that seems to be the point and why I feel like I am closer to it. I think the term is on the right path, but not fully there yet. I think when we find a word that acknowledges our indigenous roots and (for a lot of us) our African roots – I’ll like it more. For now though, I feel closest to the word Latinx.” -Curly Velasquez, producer at BuzzFeed

“I am not in love with the term “Hispanic” for all of the historical connotations the word has. This term can be traced back to the colonization of the countries where our ancestors are from, which brings up a lot of pain. It’s also a term of erasure, leaving out Latinx cultures that never had Spanish as a primary language (Brazil, other Indigenous cultures). I would feel a lot more proud celebrating HHM if it was named to actually include everyone in the Latinx community.” -Tiffany Vazquez, content creator at Giphy

“Most people I grew up with in Miami, Florida also identified as Hispanic. It wasn’t until I moved to the west coast that I realized that not everyone identifies with Hispanic and, in fact, prefer Latino. It can be confusing for sure, but I’ve learned a lot about the differences over the years. And having worked in the Latino digital space for four years now, I’ve come to gather from endless comments, messages, and general feedback from our audiences that more people prefer Latino over Hispanic because they don’t identify with Spain.” -Jenny Lorenzo, actor and content creator 

“I personally do not identify as Hispanic. I don’t judge those that do because i try not to police how people identify. I have always just preferred latino. which is why when i post about HHM, I used Latinx Heritage Month instead.” Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, creator of The Gran Varones Project

“It feels like a term still stuck in the ’80s and ;90s. Maybe if the month were called LATINOS ARE HERE 24/7 365 DAYS [a year], maybe I would like the month.” -Julio Ricardo Varela, Latino Rebels founder and In The Thick co-host

“[It’s] an opportunity to recognize and highlight the contributions of the Hispanic population and culture in the United States.” –Américo Mendoza-Mori, Quechua and Spanish professor at the University of Pennsylvania

“I learn about histories that i was not taught in school. i learn about the histories of people from all over Latin America.” –Louie A. Fonseca-Ortiz, creator of The Gran Varones Project

“This is a time when mainstream media attempts to pay more attention.” -Paola Ramos, Latinx advocate

“The amount of festivities and recognitions that happen across the country – everyone in the Latino/Hispanic communities come together regardless of our differences to acknowledge our contributions to this country we call home.” -Juan Escalante, activist and communications manager at America’s Voice

“Often, we see the same narratives being told by mainstream media but it’s exciting to see Latinx-owned publications and media shine light on the nuances of our lived-experiences.” -Diosa Femme, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“Latinx news outlets do publish articles and videos that highlight Latinx change-makers who aren’t so well-known.” -Raquel Reichard, journalist

“We talk about food, music, art, film, celebrities, Latinx people who have made historic achievements, Latinx people who have fought for us and for civil rights. Also, many Latinx cultures are so different from one another, so it’s incredible to continue learning about our brothers and sisters from other countries/cultures.” -Tiffany Vazquez, content manager at Giphy

Is there a best part? I can’t think of one. Maybe when it ends on October 15? -Julio Ricardo Varela, Latino Rebels founder and In The Thick co-host

The worst are the clichés that emerge —the mariachi bands, the tacos, las piñatas…” -Paola Ramos, Latinx advocate

“[HHM] attempts to highlight latinxs. Those highlights tend to be superficially done by corps and are usually nonblack and very erasing of Afro-Latinxs.” -Zahira Kelly-Cabrera, artist and socio-cultural critic

“The risk of reducing our different cultures to one or two things. The risk of having a superficial approach while celebrating Hispanic cultures.” –Américo Mendoza-Mori, Quechua and Spanish professor at the University of Pennsylvania

“Pandering. To some degree Hispanic Heritage Month is like a mini “Cinco de Mayo.” You’ll have the Republican Party issue a shameless proclamation celebrating “diversity” and “contributions” of Latinos/Hispanics, but their actions say otherwise.” –Juan Escalante, activist and communications manager at America’s Voice

“At its worst, it’s merely reduced to food and music or just a means to comply with diversity policies.” -Victor Paredes, director of strategy at Wing

“Everyone just plans for this month as if this is the only time to pay attention to country’s Latino community in this country.” -Julio Ricardo Varela, Latino Rebels founder and In The Thick co-host

“We have a LOT of work to do when it comes to intersectionality and togetherness among the Latinx community, and the celebration of HHM reflects that. We have a long way to go in terms of fighting for each other and accepting all Latinx people of all origins, cultures, races, sexual orientations, and skin tones. We still have a long way to go in terms of fully accepting third or fourth generation Latinx who don’t speak Spanish. We still have a long way to go in terms of accepting people who speak Spanish differently than others, or even other dialects. There’s still so much acceptance to fight for within our communities, and once we begin that dialogue, so many beautiful outcomes can result from that.” -Tiffany Vazquez, content creator at Giphy

“Depending on who is recalling those histories, we can be tricked into believing that latino/a/x people who made history are all cis-men, heterosexual and/or all really light-skinned. i think publications have gotten better over time, but there is much work to be done.” -Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, creator of The Gran Varones Project

“It can uphold the traditional, very one-dimensional view of Latinidad. I’m seeing more acknowledgement of the various racial and cultural identities, and nationalities, that make up Latin America and the Caribbean, but there’s still more work to be done.” -Janel Martinez, Ain’t I Latina? creator and journalist

“Nationalism.” -Jessica Alvarenga, writer and photographer


The definition of a brand is a license that consumers give you to play a role in their lives. Brands should play an honest role in culture because they are now inseparable from mass culture. So brands should see HHM as an opportunity to honestly honor and advance how our country views Latinx. Sheer corporate greed is never a successful business strategy and that includes HHM.  Brands should participate in an honest and thoughtful celebration of the importance of Latinx culture. Over the years I’ve seen these efforts be well received when it’s about lifting up the community, raising sensitivity and promoting well-being. And yes, I’ve also seen those that are opportunistic or simply an act of compliance. HHM should not be just a box you check, that is insulting and frankly a waste of resources and time. People see through it much to the detriment of your brand.” -Victor Paredes, director of strategy at Wing

I would rather have someone hit me constantly with a hammer than see so many brands suddenly “discover” Latinos. There’s a reason why we love to find out all those great Hispandering examples. It’s so annoying to be marketed because of this.” -Julio Ricardo Varela, Latino Rebels founder and In The Thick co-host

“I would like to know how many companies who profit off of Hispanic Heritage Month have turned around and invested that money into political campaigns and organizations that have had directly harmful or violent impacts on Latinx communities? How much of the profits garnered during Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations are redistributed into direct support and resources for Latinx peoples? How many of those companies have underpaid, overworked, and exploited Latinx staff? How many of those companies have employed Latina janitors who have been raped on the night shift in their buildings? How many companies continue to abuse and exploit migrant and child farmworkers, like they exploited of my father, my grandmother, and my great grandparents not so long ago?” -Mala Muñoz, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“Marketing to Latinxs is not one dimensional, we are complex and come from a large variety of different cultural backgrounds. Brands need to really research our diversity before commodifying our culture to be sold, especially when they only think of doing this on HHM. The whole month sound like a great idea in theory but has now turned to a watered down version that excludes our complex history and sells cultural stereotypes to the masses. I am not here to see the red, orange, and yellow hues with a slapped on slogan with the ‘taco font.’ (Google it.)” -Itzel Alejandra Martinez, photo editor at Remezcla 

If you are a brand that is profiting from this – then you better ensure there are Latinos represented in your leadership. Anything less than that, is pure hypocrisy and Hispandering.” -Paola Ramos, Latinx advocate

“It feels gross. Gimmicky. We are here all year. You selling me some dulce de leche frappe in October doesnt make me feel seen. Same with black history month.” -Zahira Kelly-Cabrera, artist and socio-cultural critic

While not surprising at all, it does gross me out. I think it ruined what could have been a time of intentional representation, unity, education, and reflection.” -Raquel Reichard, journalist

“I always question the authenticity of corporations that push not only HHM but also the feminist movement or other movements as a marketing tool. While we’re all entitled to shop wherever we choose to, I intentionally choose to shop from Latinx-business owners, eat at Latinx-owned restaurants because I know my money is going back to my community members.” –Diosa Femme, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“It’s only natural for brands to treat us a huge marketing opportunity. Latinx people have $1.7 trillion in purchasing power, so there’s no way brands are ignoring that. As much as it pains me to know that brands are primarily chasing our money, I do think there are benefits. This means brands will put real money towards researching our wants and needs, and we may have more representation as a result of that. We’ll see more of us in commercials and in advertising in general. It’s unfortunate that it has to be because we are a strong economic force, but that’s how capitalism works until we burn the system and the patriarchy down.” 😉 –-Tiffany Vazquez, content manager at Giphy

“Latinos are a huge market and exploitation is to be expected. However, we do not have to accept. We cannot allow brands to recall our histories. we should be doing telling our own histories. this allows us to control the narrative. this also allows us to continue to write history that accurate, affirming and all-inclusive.” –Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, creator of The Gran Varones Project

“It’s all pretty cheap considering the government is putting more of our people in cages than ever before. For every time I get paid to write about Latinx music and culture, because that is my livelihood, I try to give back – whether in protest, in talking it through with documented family members who already got theirs, or in funneling money to my friends and their families who are trying to navigate this xenophobic hellmouth safely. I try, oh my god do I try.” –Suzy Exposito, assistant music editor at Rolling Stone

“When it comes to months dedicated to celebrating Latinos/Hispanics, Black history, women’s history, LGBTQ+ pride, etc., I think it should always be about balance and intent. You want to truly connect with your community. Is your brand/product something that can really make a difference in the lives of Latinos/Hispanics? Is there a worthy, charitable cause behind it? Is the brand highlighting Latino/Hispanic, family-owned business? Those are campaigns I can get behind to celebrate this occasion.” -Jenny Lorenzo, actor and content creator

“Abolish ICE. Reunite refugee children with their families. Compensate our communities financially for the abuses that the state has perpetrated against us and continues to perpetrate against Central Americans. Impeach Trump.” -Mala Muñoz, co-creator & co-producer of Locatora Radio

“We still have a lot to do to incorporate Hispanic and Indigenous heritage into the national conversation. Therefore, besides awareness, this can be an opportunity to get involved. Schools, universities, local governments and community organizations, the same organizations that usually host HHM events can promote and facilitate spaces for people to enrich our identities.

There are already many youth ongoing initiatives that can be our inspiration: Chicanos who travel to Oaxaca to produce films in Zapotec languages. Nuyoricans that founded organizations to promote Taíno traditional dances. Ecuadorian and Peruvian Americans who teach Quechua in public libraries and community centers. Hispanic Americans who create professional organization that acknowledge their Native Heritage. Everyday citizens who resist and celebrate the living legacy of their ancestors. –Américo Mendoza-Mori, Quechua and Spanish professor at the University of Pennsylvania

“If we are not including Black Latinxs, queer and trans Latinx in LHM, then we are telling an incomplete story.” –Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, creator of The Gran Varones Project

“I never understood why they went with Hispanic Heritage Month and not Hispanic History Month. If you call it Hispanic History Month then the point of it is right there in the title: to take a month to teach people about the contributions of Latinos and Latinas to America and American culture. Calling it Hispanic Heritage Month turns everything muddy and unclear.” -Shea Serrano, NYT best-selling author and staff writer at The Ringer

“Let’s give ‘em hell, fam.” –Suzy Exposito, assistant music editor at Rolling Stone