Latinx Heritage Month started on Sept 15. Through Oct. 15, America celebrates the legacy of Latinx communities. It’s a month of acknowledgment, education, and most importantly, action.
Sept. 15 coincides with independence anniversaries for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence days in mid-September. The national month includes Columbus Day on Oct. 12 – a reminder of our dark colonial past and the racism that persists today, and a day to, rather, celebrate indigenous cultures.
To me, Latinx Heritage Month is about honoring family and the service and sacrifice that is in my blood.
I’m Chicana (Mexican American). My ancestors migrated to the United States 100 years ago. They worked the land, turning the dusty Kansas soil under the unrelenting sun; they labored in the steel mills, work made colder by the howling winds of Lake Michigan. My ancestors worked hard because they knew it was worth it; failure was not an option because their future was on the line. That work ethic is in me, and in environmental and political advocacy, the stakes get higher every day.
My grandfather was an orphan. He joined the U.S. Army as a teenager during World War II and came home with a menagerie of medals. He served a scout in the Battle of the Bulge and liberated a concentration camp on his way home. His service and sacrifice inspire me to never give up in the fight for justice.
My mom answered a call of service too: the service of education. As a teacher, she served at Florida public schools for 30 years, and she still teaches me new things today. My grandmother valued education. She graduated highschool at 16 and was a lifelong supporter of public broadcasting, youth programs, and the arts.
My family history reflects the strength of slow, snowballing change: that individuals have an impact and we must never stop forging forward. They lived the American dream; now it’s our duty to protect that dream. To honor history, we must take action.
Here’s three easy things you can do today:
- Complete your Census! You can still get counted online at 2020Census.gov. The Census provides critical data for community planning and programs. If you’re not counted, you’re not at the decision-making table. Deputy Director Jonathan Webber lays it all out here: Eleven Things to Know About the 2020 Census
- VOTE. Vote because you want a better future. Vote because you want clean water and air for everyone. Vote because Black lives matter. Vote because our climate is changing as politicians drag their feet. The general election is Nov. 3. The last day to register to vote (or update your registration, which you need to do if you’ve moved since the last election) is Oct. 5. The last day to request your vote-by-mail ballot is Oct. 24. These deadlines are quickly approaching; are you ready? You can register and request your ballot, right now, right here: www.flvoterinfo.org
- Volunteer with FCV! My teammate Savana is aiming to connect with 100,000 Florida voters before November. Have a minute to lend a hand to protect our democracy? Sign up for a phonebanking shift here and attend our Wednesday phonebanking parties!
History is made every day. To me, the best way to honor the contributions and legacy of Latinx Americans this month is to take action. Heritage is about celebration, education, and forging forward. This month, I look forward to learning and growing with you.
Census Bureau: Hispanic Heritage Month 2020
LCV’S CHISPA IS IN THE FIGHT FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER
Human Rights Campaign: Latinx Heritage Month: More Than One Word, More Than One Heritage