The Office of Student Diversity (OSD) and Hispanics of Today (HOT) are celebrating Hispanic Heritage month (HHM) which takes place every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
National Hispanic Heritage Week was first proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. It was expanded from a week to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
“Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off every year on September 15 which is the anniversary of independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and other Spanish-speaking countries,” said Emely Flores, advisor of HOT and assistant director of Student Diversity Programs. “HHM is a celebration of diverse Hispanic cultures in the US. It was first celebrated in the US during a week, then President Ronald Reagan expanded it to a month in 1988.”
HHM recognizes the culture and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean.
“I think it’s important to highlight all heritages and remember where one comes from,” Flores said. “HHM honors the history and influence of the various cultures that were established here from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Observing and holding events that revolve around these rich cultures on campus will help our Hispanic demographic feel celebrated and integrated to their university. It also helps educate others on the many things that make our world so beautiful.”
The OSD and HOT are hosting several events throughout HHM, one of them being the Hispanic Stars Series. Videos will be uploaded to HOT’s Instagram highlighting current and past HOT members.
“For the Hispanic Stars Series, we are highlighting current and past members,” Flores said. “The week of the… Sept. 21 through Sept. 25, several of our own Hispanics of Today members have volunteered to be featured on our Instagram by showcasing their talents. The week of… Sept. 28 through Oct. 2, past members who have graduated from PSU will be doing an Instagram Takeover where they talk about what life is like post PSU. Students are encouraged to talk a bit about themselves and describe what makes them a ‘Hispanic Star.”
According to their website, the Hispanic Star Campaign “…represents an unparalleled collective effort to create a platform to showcase and amplify the contributions of the Hispanic community to the United States, not only as an integral part of the American culture but also as an undeniable force shaping its future.”
“The Hispanic Star is a symbol of unity for all Hispanic cultures that launched this year by an organization known as “We Are All Human,” Flores said. “We met CEO Claudia Romo Edelman back in February when delegates from HOT attended the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. We have met with them virtually a couple times through the year and they have given us permission to use the symbol within our organizational initiatives.”
They will also host an online Netflix watch party.
“Most events are virtual given the current climate,” Flores said. “Nonetheless, students are highly encouraged to stay engaged, especially during a time of high isolation and anxiety. Additional to Instagram posts, HOT will be holding a Netflix watch party. Participants will need to have their own Netflix account and have downloaded the simple and easy to use NetflixParty add-on to their browser.”