YES Prep Public Schools
Samantha Ramirez

What is Latinx Heritage Month?

Latinx Heritage Month, also known as Hispanic Heritage Month, started out as a week-long celebration in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was later expanded to an entire month under President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Unlike many other affinity months, Latinx Heritage Month begins in the middle of the month on September 15. This day is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, while Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Why Latinx?

Mural by Michael Healey, art teacher at YES Prep Northline Secondary

Mural by Michael Healey, art teacher at YES Prep Northline Secondary

As we shared last year in our blog titled “Hispanic vs. Latinos vs. Latinx Explained”, there is a difference between each terminology. Hispanic began to be used in the United States after the need to distinguish Latin American immigrants from the white classification arose. Latino is used as an alternative to Hispanic but in recent years the term Latinx has gained popularity. Replacing the feminine and masculine ending of Latina and Latino for the gender-neutral or non-binary term pushes back the gendered language to be more inclusive.

For this reason, YES Prep is proud to also adopt this term moving forward in order to be more inclusive of all people.

Annual Latinx Leadership Summit

In 2016, we revised our core values to better reflect the reason YES Prep was founded: to eliminate educational inequities and advance social justice. As part of this focus, we expanded our efforts to provide opportunities for students to develop pride in their identities and build relationships within the communities with which they identify.

In order to build these communities within our student populations, YES Prep offers five student affinity summits each spring, one of those being the Latinx Leadership Summit. Due to the pandemic,  the 2021 Latinx Leadership Summit was held virtually; however, this did not stop students from attending. The summit revolved around the question “What’s next for the Latinx community”.

Latinx Identity YES Prep logo

Last spring, our Latinx Leadership Summit leads worked with Brenda Valdez, an external graphic designer, to develop a Latinx identity YES Prep logo. Valdez took colors from a variety of indigenous patterns throughout Latin America to represent our diverse Latinx community and created this new identity logo. You can see this logo across our social media accounts in commemoration of LHM.

We are proud to serve our Latinx students and the communities they’re from.

We hope you will join us in celebrating Latinx History Month! Follow us on social media @yespreppublicschools to stay in the know of all Latinx Heritage Month activities happening across our campuses. PLUS! Be on the lookout as we will be sharing book reviews written by our students on Latinx novels and scholarship alerts for our Latinx students and alumni.