From September 15–October 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. This encompasses the panoply of hispanic peoples who have made their home here in California and in the rest of the United States.
Being a Californian means having a front-row seat on cultural diversity, as it ranks Number One in diversity metrics. It’s also no surprise that California boasts more people of Hispanic heritage than any other state, given its rich cultural history before it joined the Union.
National Hispanic Heritage Month History
The celebration started in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, it was expanded to a month-long period, which includes Chile’s Independence Day on September 18 (El Dieciocho) and El Dia de la Raza on October 12.
Unmet Diversity Goals
This month celebrates the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. As a learning institution, we still struggle with our diversity goals: The latest data from 2020 shows lagging diversity on campus.
That said, it’s important to recognize that however diverse a society we are, there is more work to be done.
There has been recent success, with 2020 seeing the largest number of Hispanic students admitted to UC Berkeley.
Striving for HSI Status
A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is defined as an institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate, full-time-equivalent students who are at least 25-percent Hispanic. Sadly, UC Berkeley does not yet meet those modest requirements, despite Chancellor Carol Christ marking it as a “boldest goal” for the institution.
This year on September 13, President Joe Biden issued a Proclamation on National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week (Sept. 12–18, 2021). Hopefully, we can join the HSI ranks in the near future.
Next Generation of Hispanic Leaders
Meeting diversity goals is everyone’s responsibility, and we proudly sponsor groups and organizations that highlight Hispanic heritage.
Find out more about the research and resolutions these groups are leading.
- UC Berkeley Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association (list of Latinx student organizations)
- The Latinx Research Center
- Latino Business Student Association
Here are some upcoming events at UC Berkeley that can deepen your understanding of Latino culture from a variety of lenses and perspectives.
Xquipi' Guie'dani (Guie’dani's Navel, El ombligo de Guie’dani)
Sept. 24–Oct. 1
Yo, niña (I, Girl)
Un traductor (A Translator)
Lectures and Conversations
Una escuela llamada América: A conversation with director Antonia Mardones Marshall
Novedades/Lançamentos: New Scholarship @ Berkeley
Ficciones etnográficas: literatura, ciencias sociales y proyectos nacionales en el Caribe hispano del siglo XIX
Brushing the Seas of History: A Conversation with Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida
Latinx Alumni Reunion: Hosted by Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association, Chicanx Latinx Student Development, and Latinx Research Center
We join you in celebrating Hispanic Heritage throughout the upcoming four weeks and for a future of diversity and success.