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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Today marks Day 1 of Hispanic Heritage Month! As a very proud Afro-Latina, it serves as a time for me to reflect on the rich culture, accomplishments, and continued challenges of the Latine community.

Unlike most celebrations that run from the beginning to the end of a month, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th, representing the independence of several Latin American countries. Although termed Hispanic Heritage, kindly note that pan-ethnic labels Hispanic and Latinx used to describe people in the U.S. tracing roots to Latin America and Spain are not interchangeable. For my blog, I will use the newer alternative “Latine” that is both gender-neutral and truer to the language we share since “x’s” after consonants are not found in the Spanish dictionary.

Hispanic Heritage Month allows Americans to celebrate the traditions and history and appreciate Latin Americans and their integration into the United States, ultimately enriching the culture, art, and scholarship. The legislative history of Hispanic Heritage Month is indicative of the United States coming to terms with our cultural integration and seeing our unique differences as an added strength to the American spirit and character.

Yesterday, I tuned into the U.S Small Business Administration’s kick-off to Hispanic Heritage Month by joining their virtual summit. In the webinar titled Support Latino Biz: How these Mayors are Leading the Way, Lori E. Lightfoot (Mayor of Chicago), Regina Romero (Mayor of Tucson), Steve Adler (Mayor of Austin), and Eric Garcetti (Mayor of Los Angeles) shared their efforts to support Latino businesses and entrepreneurs, the jobs they create and the positive impact they bring to the communities each of them oversees.

We also heard from Jennifer Lopez who reminded us that people of color suffer disproportionately and lack access to resources and knowledge to grow their businesses. The lack of Role Models who empower others to develop their entrepreneurial spirit so that more small business owners feel confident to build a better future for themselves and their families was another topic JLo explained is a continued challenge of the Latine community.

According to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, more than 4.7 million Latine-owned businesses contribute to over $800 billion in the American economy EVERY YEAR! The Latine community is a vital part of the economy and everyone needs to understand that just like Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage should be celebrated, acknowledged, and supported beyond a month.

The Cause Mall encourages you to be intentional with your support towards people of color, especially during these difficult times when we really need each other. There are many ways you can support Latine-owned businesses and their owners including: 1) buying from them; 2) recommending them; 3) supporting their business networks; 4) connecting them to other businesses and opportunities; and 5) ensuring they are represented in more spaces.

#HispanicHeritageMonth #LatineBusinesses #TheCauseMall #PurchaseWithPurpose

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