The Noble Law Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic American Heritage Month celebrates the thriving Hispanic community in America and its influence on food, music, literature, TV, movies, style, and culture. We also celebrate the Hispanic community’s contributions to America’s prosperity—with members working as engineers, scientists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, US military personnel, elected officials, and so much more.

When Did National Hispanic American Heritage Month Begin?

The first National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968, sponsored by California Congressman George E. Brown of East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley to represent his local community. President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation for an official Hispanic Heritage Week soon after.

In 1989, Hispanic Heritage Week expanded to a Hispanic Heritage Month, designated by George H.W. Bush, who encouraged Americans to learn more about Hispanic heritage and culture. President Bush explained, “The rich ethnic heritage of Hispanic Americans gives us cause to celebrate because it is a proud and colorful portion of our Nation’s heritage.”

Today, the celebration begins on September 15th to coincide with the Independence Day celebrations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th.

The 2022 Theme for Hispanic Heritage Month

This year’s theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program chose this theme to “reinforce the need to ensure diverse voices and perspectives are represented in decision-making processes.” An examination of the most recent U.S. Census proves the point.

According to the 2020 Census, the Hispanic population in the U.S. stands at 62.1 million, or 18.7% of the US population. That number represents a 23% increase since the previous census taken in 2010. Census projections predict that trend will continue, estimating that the US Hispanic population will rise to more than 111 million people by 2060. Numbers like these highlight just how integral the Hispanic voice is to decision-making from local communities to the national stage both now and in the future.

Why Do Job Applications Ask if You’re Hispanic?

Declaring a national heritage month is a good start, but much work still needs to be done. Job applications ask if you’re Hispanic to track statistics, monitor discrimination, and evaluate the need for government policies to address issues affecting this particular ethnic group. And the truth is, Latino and Hispanic Americans face more discrimination in the workforce, education, housing, and healthcare than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics are heavily employed in farming, fishing, forestry, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, construction, food service, transportation and material moving. These industries are affected by a high degree of seasonality and tend to result in greater instability, unemployment, and underemployment. There is little doubt that the Latino market labor gap stems from current policies that ignore discrimination against the community in the first place. By 2030, the DOL estimates that Hispanics will account for 1 in 5 workers. Such growth demands that we change these policies sooner than later.

National Origin Discrimination

Workplace discrimination extends not only to the jobs Hispanics are able to get, but also impacts their ability to rise up the ranks in jobs they’ve held for years. For example, only 4% of the top-level executives in 2021 were of Hispanic or Latino origin. Worse yet, studies indicate that 87% of Hispanics have experienced racially based prejudice in the workplace.

Though parity is slow to keep up with progress, the nation has seen some improvements over the years with many high-profile and influential Hispanic Americans encouraging the community to become more engaged, speak louder, and grab their seat at the table. As this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month winds down, we should all remember its noble mission of inclusivity to help make our country stronger.

The Noble Law’s Commitment to Inclusivity

Diversity is a core value of The Noble Law. We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable work environment for all our staff. We believe every member of our team enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and discover, design, and deliver solutions. Our team has experience fighting against national origin discrimination in all its forms.

The Noble Law is committed to leveling the field for employees of all national origins by supporting clients facing discrimination, pay inequities, and other workplace-related matters. You don’t have to accept “business as usual.” Reach out to The Noble Law if you are facing workplace harassment or discrimination. We’re here to help!

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