As we observe the National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 - October 15 in the midst of such social and political challenges, Oregonians can look to our rich, resilient, resourceful, and diverse Latinx communities throughout the state for inspiration.
From urban, suburban, rural, frontier, coastal communities – from Astoria to Ashland, Cascade Locks to Coos Bay - we are contributing to the economy, social fabric, and well-being of Oregon.
When we observe the many gifts of our population – one half million or almost 14% of all Oregonians – among them we discover that:
~ Our 18 to 44 years of age group comprises 70% of the 187,000 Latinx people eligible to vote. They will make a difference in our local, state, and national elections this November.
~ Two-thirds of us were born in the United States and one third in other countries from the regions of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, providing a melding of language, culture, history, ethnicity, traditions, and values - all of which we honor with deep pride.
~ What will make this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month more meaningful is to acknowledge the racial awakening earlier this summer.
We will continue to deepen our intersectionality of identity and lived experiences.
We will grasp the effects of shared suffering through generations of institutional racism and prejudice of not only our Latinx families, but also our Black, Indigenous, and Asian siblings, and all communities who continue to be targeted with bigotry.
We are further emboldened to persist and participate in myriad ways for social transformation and justice to assure the community and the civity (an emerging praxis in anti-racial work) we all deserve.
As Latina Associates for Collaborative Engagement (LACE), a group of bilingual, bicultural women from Afro-Latinx, Latinx, and Indigenous communities of the Americas and the Caribbean, we commit to both lead and support as protagonistas the systems change and social transformation that Oregon needs.
We invite other non-nonprofit, civic, and government sectors throughout the State of Oregon, to join us in these efforts in honor of this special month.