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Embracing Diversity & Celebrating Latino History Month

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National Hispanic Heritage Month begins each year on September 15 and continues until October 15. This is a time to celebrate and recognize the diverse cultures, extensive histories, and many contributions of the American Latino community.

Beginning as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, the nationwide celebration was extended to a month in 1988. It involves festivals, community gatherings, conferences, art shows, concerts, and many other events. Rather than starting on September 1, the celebration begins in the middle of the month to coincide with national independence days in several Latin American countries. These include Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, and Belize.

Facts About the Hispanic Population in the U.S.

The following facts about the Latino population in the U.S. have been provided by the Insurance Information Institute (III).

  • In 2021, the U.S. Hispanic population reached 62.5 million, as stated by Pew Research. It is the fastest-growing population in the country.
  • The six states with the largest Latino populations are California, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, New York, and Arizona.
  • U.S. Hispanics are an educated group. Among Latinos ages 25 and older, 59% had at least a high school education, and 12% had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2006, as stated by III.
  • Purchasing power of Hispanics was estimated to exceed $1 trillion by 2008.

Insurance Industry Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The insurance industry has long been committed to fostering diversity and inclusion as the centerpiece of its culture. At a 2016 leadership conference, insurance industry CEOs came together to sign a statement of this commitment in the commercial sector. Insurance industry initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion include:

  • Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA): This organization’s Diversity Task Force is made up of members representing Latin American, African American, and Asian American insurance agents.
  • Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF): Supported by nearly 180 insurance companies, the IICF awards approximately $2 million in grants annually to community nonprofits throughout the U.S., including outreach in education and literacy.
  • Women in Insurance Conference: Held by the IICF, this annual conference is one of the largest and most successful diversity initiatives in the industry.

Ways to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Activities to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in the workplace can help your team learn more about Hispanic culture while connecting with each other. For example, you may arrange for your group to:

  • Explore Latin food and drinks together.
  • Learn to Salsa.
  • Learn to speak Spanish as a team: Pick a word or phrase to learn every day. Challenge everyone to use it in email or internal conversations.
  • Take a sightseeing tour through an older Hispanic community.
  • Play a game of Loteria: This is a traditional game of chance, similar to Bingo, who uses a card deck of images. Make the prize for the winner a gift card to a locally-owned Hispanic business.
  • Go on a South American holiday together.

However you celebrate, it is important to recognize and celebrate the American Latino community during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

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