Sullivan Honors Hispanic Heritage Month
Boston - Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to American society at large.
The term Hispanic or Latino (or the more recent term Latinx) refers to a person’s culture or origin—regardless of race. On the 2020 Census form, people were counted as Hispanic or Latino or Spanish if they could identify as having Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.” Important to note that for the first time in 2020, the Census Bureau changed the possible responses to its standard two questions regarding Hispanic or Latino origin and race. As explained by the Bureau: “[t]his change enabled a more thorough and accurate depiction of how people self-identify, yielding a more accurate portrait of how people report their Hispanic origin and race within the context of a two-question format. These changes reveal that the U.S. population is much more multiracial and more diverse than what we measured in the past.”
Latinx in the U.S. Today
The 2020 Census provides extensive information about the Latinx population:
- In the U.S., 18.5% of the population, or approximately 62.1 million people, identified as Hispanic or Latino. That 18.5% represents a 23% growth in the same demographic since 2010
- Just over half the total growth in the country’s population was a result of the increase in the U.S. Hispanic population
- By 2060, it is projected that the Hispanic population will reach the 111.22 million mark
Latinx Contributions to U.S. History
- Early desegregation of schools – Paving the path for Brown v. Board of Education, in 1946 there was Mendez v. Westminster. In the landmark case, a judge decided that California could not segregate its school system based on national origin or language ability.
- Fought in World War II – Estimates range between 250,000 and 500,000 Latinos fought the Axis powers in World War II. Because military records didn't track ethnicity and generally counted Latinos as white, researchers have trouble pinpointing the figure.
- Helped with the Battle of Yorktown – As George Washington prepared to face the British at the Battle of Yorktown, he looked to the Caribbean for money. Cuba pitched in with a flood of private donations.
- Mars Exploration – Orlando Figueroa, who is from Puerto Rico, was the head of the Mars exploration program during two of its most successful Rover expeditions, Opportunity and Spirit.
We encourage everyone to check out this list of ideas on how to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this year.
Sullivan & Worcester (Sullivan) is a leading AmLaw 200 law firm. With over 200 attorneys in Boston, London, New York, Tel Aviv and Washington, DC, they guide organizations that are rewriting the rules. Sullivan’s clients, including Fortune 500 companies and emerging businesses, rely on Sullivan’s strategic vision, comfort with complexity and intense focus on results. As a global law firm, Sullivan’s reach extends beyond the United States. Sullivan has represented clients around the world and has a deep bench for working on a variety of matters and issues affecting clients globally.