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Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrates 33 years at Stony Brook!

The 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee began this year's celebration with the 33rd Annual Opening Ceremony for Hispanic Heritage Month. The year's theme is "Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation".


Hispanic and Latino Americans have made distinguished contributions to the United States in all major fields, such as the military, music, literature, philosophy, sports, business and economy, science and politics.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination and confirmation as the first Hispanic American appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States is a source of pride for all Latinos. Latinos this year are also at the forefront of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and Department of Labor.

These victories  are important because large challenges loom ahead for us especially in the area of immigration reform and the anti-Latino bias that is associated with that issue. Two national reforms would translate our numbers into political influence; The Democracy Restoration Act that would restore voting rights in federal elections to Latino American citizens returning to their communities from incarceration and the Voter Registration Modernization Act which will automate and expand voter registration to millions of eligible Latino Americans and simplify the voting process. 

Our accomplishments are not the culmination of our journey, but rather an important mile marker along the way. This year’s theme was chosen to commemorate not only the striking advancements made by Latinos but to point out that by increasing political awareness and education today, success is inevitable tomorrow. Let us all use our potential to make great gains for our communities and our country. 

Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation 

I hereby designate October 2022 as Hispanic Heritage Month at Stony Brook University.  The purpose of the month is to focus attention on the Latino community, to provide educational opportunities, to celebrate achievements, to recognize the contributions and needs, and to present the many and diverse aspects of the Latino culture to the University.  The 2022 National theme for Hispanic Heritage Month and Stony Brook University is "Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation."    We invite everyone to use this theme to consider and celebrate the Latino individuals in our Stony Brook Community  as well as reflect on community service and contributions that Latino Americans have made in the history of our nation and this University.   

In this 33rd year of programming, a variety of events, both in person and virtual, have been planned by departments and students as is the University tradition. These include lectures, films, educational workshops, art exhibits, culinary programs and the annual closing ceremony that features awards and recognition for students, faculty and staff who have made significant contributions to the Latino community at Stony Brook.  The national observation of Hispanic Heritage Month was initiated in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. It begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16 and Chile on September 18. In 1988, the celebration was expanded to 30 days and now ends on October 15. 

During this 33rd annual tradition at Stony Brook University, I encourage you to share, explore and learn more about the rich cultural, political and historical perspectives and the social and economic impact of Latinos. By increasing our awareness, highlighting our commonalities, and promoting understanding we can further appreciate the contributions that Latinos make within the University Community and within our society.  Please join me in supporting Hispanic Heritage Month at Stony Brook.

Maurie McInnis

President, Stony Brook University

Join us as we celebrate our culture and unique histories. Here is a brief history of Hispanic Heritage Month on a national level courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.