National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th- October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM). September 15th serves as Independence Day for several Latin American countries while many other countries celebrate in the following days.

HHM initially started as a one-week observance in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and later moved to a month-long celebration in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. Cultural heritage months like this one give Americans the opportunity to celebrate those who have often been disadvantaged or disenfranchised in their life experiences. In celebrating those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, this month sets aside time to honor the vibrant and rich cultures and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos.

We can look around and see the rich influences that Hispanic and Latino cultures play in the American way of life, from the fantastic varieties of food, music, and dance, to the architecture,  landscapes, and amazing festivals; with approximately 54 million people of Hispanic or Latin heritage in the United States, we have a lot to celebrate!

National Hispanic Heritage Month also gives all of us an opportunity to share in the history, heritage, and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans both from the past and the present. We have a wonderful community here at William Jessup made up of people from all different backgrounds and cultures. It is our pleasure to take the opportunity to honor those within our family who are a part of Hispanic and Latino cultures. From our students, to faculty, and staff, we exude the same vibrance and brilliance here on campus that we see across the United States! It is our hope that we, as a campus community, will honor and acknowledge the incredibly meaningful and powerful contributions that our Hispanic and Latino brothers and sisters have made.

With a culture and heritage that runs so deep, it would be impossible to highlight everyone and everything but here are few people and places that have shaped Hispanic Culture. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Ynes Mexia was a botanist, conservationist, and early pioneer in fighting to preserve the redwood forest of Northern California. Even after starting her career at 55, Ynes Mexia became one of the most successful female botanists of her time. She was a part of the evolving environmental movement in the Bay Area and was an early member of Save the Redwood League. Ynes Mexia helped pave the way for future women of color in the fields of science and conservation.

 Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías was a public health expert and women’s rights activist. She served as the first Latina director of the American Public Health Association. Her understanding of how social and economic inequality shapes people’s health guided her career.

César E. Chávez National Monument is in the very small town of Keene, approximately 30 miles southeast of Bakersfield via Highway 58. The monument is part of a property known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, the home and workplace of the Chávez family and farmworker-movement organizations. “César Chávez is one of the most revered civil rights leaders in the history of the United States…and founding the United Farm Workers (UFW) movement”

William Jessup University is also part of the Alliance for Hispanic Education ( with our dear friends at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (

Ways to get involved on campus:

Latinos Unidos:, IG: WJU_LU

Reference and to learn more: