Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual, month-long time designated to celebrate and bring awareness to Hispanic culture, history, contributions and representation overall. This is a time where Hispanic culture is honored and brought forth in amazing ways, including food and art. Like any other annual observation, there is value in learning about its origins and what makes it special.
Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15 and runs until Oct. 15. There is an intentional reason why it starts in the middle of September and not at the beginning of the calendar month. There are numerous Hispanic countries that have independence days on our around Sept. 15, including Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. This is a special reminder that brings attention to these important days that deserve recognition.
This month also honors Latinos and Latinas that have made important contributions to the U.S. since the Revolutionary War. A few notable figures in the Hispanic community are Cesar Chavez, a civil rights activist and farm labor leader; Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who made history becoming the first Latina on the Supreme Court and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is making major contributions to representation in his works of entertainment.
Along with recognizing the inspiring contributions of Hispanic individuals, Hispanic Heritage Month also includes celebrating Hispanic culture. Each year, the Bridge Center puts on events geared toward this purpose.
This year, the Bridge Center held a showing of the documentary “The Hand That Feeds,” a sampling of books written by Latinx authors and a Latin American dance class. Junior Kacey Zickefoose attended the dance class. “I love dancing and having a fun time on a Tuesday, but, more than that, I loved being immersed in a culture different from mine,” said Zickefoose.
Sophonise Nielson was also in attendance. “It was a fun night to learn and freshen up my moves, to embrace a beautiful culture and to connect with some good friends,” said Nielson.
There is also going to be a cooking class on Oct. 3. “The cooking class is always one of my favorites! This year we are having students lead the cooking class, which is also really exciting! I look forward to seeing students use their new cooking skills to make delicious foods!” said Martha Draayer, director of the Bridge Center. On Oct. 9, students are encouraged to visit the Bridge Center to learn about the diversity of Hispanic and Latinx students on campus.
Although Hispanic Heritage Month is about halfway done, the celebration of cultures on Northwestern’s campus can and should continue. “Highlighting special months is an opportunity for campus to reflect on the beauty of God’s creation. We see more of who Christ is in each other, so let’s celebrate together!” said Draayer.