Coffee Hour: Hispanic Heritage Month

October 05, 2021

The Equity & Inclusion Committee hosted its monthly Coffee Hour on September 23 with the theme of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated from September 15 – October 15 of every year.

Learning objectives and discussion topics focused on linguistic discrimination and the influences of Hispanic and Latin culture in our communities and at work. Following the format of coffee hours in the past, one brief video was shown and then discussed in breakout groups. Employees agreed that the video presented new content that they had never learned or understood before, such as the history of Hispanic Heritage Month (why is it split between two months?!) and the difference between the terms Hispanic and Latino.

The groups discussed what they admire most about Hispanic and Latin cultures, including the music, food, expressiveness, and emphasis on family. Even virtually, there was dancing involved as we listened to the Spotify Playlist created by the HSH Fun Committee, which was also in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, and a clip from the film In The Heights. Other highlights from discussions included investigating why linguistic discrimination exists and how to combat it in our personal and professional lives.

Members from the HSH Public Involvement team explained the process of identifying non-English speaking populations in project areas and planning outreach to ensure accessibility and inclusiveness. It was also discussed that the norm has shifted from providing accommodations for language access only when requested to providing it proactively. As always, it was a wonderful hour of learning from each other and the videos to broaden our horizons. We can’t wait for the next one!


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