Annual celebration recognizes and honors the LatinX community

The UO’s LatinX Heritage Month has something for everyone.

Among the choices: José Antonio Vargas speaking on his life as an undocumented immigrant, a conversation with NPR’s Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa, training for DACA allies, writing workshops, art exhibits, music and much more.

Originally created by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, the observance is now a month-long celebration that officially spans Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 to recognize and honor the contributions of Americans of Mexican, Spanish, Caribbean, and Central and South American descent. While the federal government recognizes the month as Hispanic Heritage Month, the UO uses a culturally preferred term LatinX Heritage Month.

The wide range of UO events provides the entire university with a host of opportunities to celebrate and learn about the many contributions members of the LatinX community have made to the UO, Oregon and the nation.

Yvette Alex-Assensoh, the UO’s vice president for equity and inclusion, said that observing LatinX Heritage Month is a chance to honor and celebrate LatinX students, faculty and staff.

“Particularly this year, when the national narrative on LatinX has been dominated by ICE raids, the end of the Deferred Childhood Arrival Act, and ever-intensifying white supremacist rhetoric targeting LatinXs in general — and scapegoating LatinX immigrants in particular — it’s critical for us at the UO to show our support and affirmation for how those from the LatinX community have enriched our institution and our nation,” she said. “I hope many join in the abundance of events that we at the UO are offering.”

Alex-Assensoh’s article, “Empowerment Through History: A Reflection on Latinx Heritage Month,” can be found on the DEI website, along with further information about LatinX Heritage Month events.

—By tova stabin, University Communications