Unidos: Bradley University students discuss what Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 means to them
The U.S. National Month of Hispanic Heritage began on Sept. 15t. This year’s theme is entitled Unidos, or “united” in English. Around the country, communities host parades to celebrate those of Hispanic and Latinx heritage.
At Bradley University, the Association of Latin American Students, or ALAS, hosts a variety of celebrations both during the month and year-round to celebrate Latinx heritage on campus.
ALAS President Wendi Romero says that this month allows Latinx students to connect to their roots.
“I think celebrating this month here and kind of having that community reminds me a lot of home and like what I grew up with,” Romero said.
Despite the time of festivities, a controversy surrounding the name of the month has risen in recent years. Many believe the month should be called “Latinx” Heritage instead of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The root of the word “Hispanic” means “Spanish-speaking,” whereas the word “Latino” or “Latinx” focuses on the cultures originating in Mexico, Central and South America.
Many Latinx-Americans believe that Spain should not be included in the celebration of their heritage, and that the month should focus on the cultures of the Americas.
Romero says that the term Latinx is more inclusive to cultures that are not of Hispanic origin but are still of Latin descent.
“We try to kind of progress towards the term Latinx, it doesn't dictate what like, you know, one can consider themselves,” she says, “That's just what we find a little bit more inclusive, and a little bit more progressive.”
While the ALAS organization does not exclusively use the term Latinx, they use it in conjunction with Hispanic to ensure that Bradley students feel included and connected to their roots. They will end this month of festivities with a banquet.