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Hispanic Heritage Month is a month-long celebration of Latino history and culture in the United States. From September 15 to October 15, we observe the vibrant contributions, history, diversity, and enduring influence of Hispanic culture within the nation.
The starting date, September 15th, marks the anniversary of the independence of several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico’s independence is celebrated on September 16th, and Chile’s on September 18th, further connecting these nations in the celebration of their shared heritage. Hispanic Heritage Month embraces the mosaic of cultures and identities within the Hispanic and Latino community, spanning from Mexico and the Caribbean to Central and South America. It is an opportunity to recognize the myriad achievements and contributions made by Hispanic Americans in fields like art, music, science, politics, and beyond.
Today, Latinos make up the largest racial or ethnic group in the United States. Recent Census data shows there are more than 60 million Latinos in the United States. That is close to 20% of the total US population.
To celebrate this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, we are shining the spotlight on a few of our partners who are deeply entrenched in these communities and work tirelessly to build and maintain power with our Latino communities.
First, we want to highlight the work of Revolución Educativa, who are building power within the Latinx community of greater Kansas City through voter registration and mobilization efforts, community organizing training, policy advocacy, and political activity, to improve the educational outcomes and experience of Latinx students.
Edgar Palacios, RevEd Founder and CEO
“In Kansas City, as is the case across our nation, Latino students represent the most rapidly expanding demographic within the K-12 education system. Nationally, a quarter of all K-12 students are of Latino heritage, and here in the Kansas City metropolitan area, certain school districts boast a remarkable 60% Latino student population. To foster an environment conducive to the progress of Latino youth, we must cultivate and enhance the power and influence of the Latino community. Our students must have the opportunity to witness Latino individuals holding pivotal roles in positions of authority, impact, and decision-making. The future of our community depends on it. Like Marian Wright Edelman said ‘You cannot be what you cannot see.’” – Edgar Palacios, RevEd Founder and CEO
Next, we want to spotlight the Latino Community Network. The LCN is a Kansas Latino civic engagement and leadership development project led by and for Kansas Latino civic leaders. Their goal is to make a difference in our Kansas communities through non-partisan civic engagement and servant leadership activities using a data-driven approach.
Audé Negrete, Executive Director, Latino Community Network
“Latinos are the fastest growing minority in Kansas and will be a deciding block in the upcoming and future elections. Our nonpartisan, bilingual, and data-driven programs are helping our communities build power through civic engagement. We are proud of the Latino leaders who are joining a movement that is pivotal for health equity in our state.” – Audé Negrete, Executive Director, Latino Community Network
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