Indiana University will mark National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM), which runs September 15 through October 15, with a host of educational and informative programs and special activities on IU's campuses and surrounding communities.
National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover 30 days. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
The start of the month, September 15, is significant as several Latin American countries celebrate their independence from Spain on that day. This includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also acknowledged their independence on September 16 and 18.
“The activities planned at IU for National Hispanic Heritage Month provide an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures and achievements of the Latine community,” says James C. Wimbush, vice president for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership.
“IU’s Latine students, faculty and staff are integral to this university. I hope everyone takes a moment during this time to immerse themselves in focused activities and remember and honor their important history and contributions,” Wimbush adds.
According to the Indiana Latino Institute, Latines represent the largest racial/ethnic group in the nation. Three states (California, Texas and Florida) alone account for 54 percent of all Hispanics in the country. Based on recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 554,100 people in Indiana identify as Hispanic/Latine.
At Indiana University, Latine enrollment has been on the rise for the past several years. The number of domestic students of color who enrolled in IU's regional campuses this year increased nearly 4 percent from last fall and hit a record share of the student body at nearly 31 percent.
In 2020, Indiana University Northwest became the first public, comprehensive institution of higher learning in the state to receive a “Hispanic-Serving Institution” designation from the U.S. Department of Education. It maintains that status today, with 28 percent of its students identifying as Hispanic/Latine.
Programming and Events
In addition to IU’s partnership with the Indiana Latino Expo (held September 22-23 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds), IU will host a number of special events, discussions with Latine authors, festivals and more to celebrate NHHM. Visit IU’s events calendar for a complete listing of events.
Campus communities also have access to a wide variety of digital tools, including Zoom backgrounds, social profile images and Snapchat filters, to further support National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Visit diversity.iu.edu to access digital tools and learn more about NHHM.