Why Hispanic Heritage Month matters more than ever

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Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off on Thursday, September 15th.  I’ve been asked more than a few times both by Hispanics and non-Hispanics whether it is still needed, relevant, or meaningful more than 50 years after it was established.  

The answer is not only yes, but now more so than ever.  For Hispanics, it is a time of taking stock of where we are today, a month of pride and celebration, a rallying call to unite around our shared values and dreams.

For non-Hispanics, it is a window into a community whose incredible diversity makes it hard to connect the dots in a way that tells a cohesive story. And there is one. 

Claudia Romo Edelman, founder of We Are All Human Foundation, is the creative force behind Hispanic Star, which is launching a new biography book series for children in September 2022. 
(Claudia Romo Edelman/Hispanic Star)

For all our differences in race, origin, religion, politics, occupation, socioeconomic status, and every other demographic and belief, the truth is that the Hispanic community comes together around one principle. 

LATINO LEADER WORKS TO INSTILL ‘PRIDE AND COMMUNITY’ AS BOOK SERIES SPOTLIGHTS AMERICAN HEROES

We all believe in the American Dream. Whether our ancestors were among the first settlers in America or arrived last year, our lives and ambitions are shaped and guided by the values that drive our great nation.  

Hispanic progress is American progress. We are both 100% Hispanic and, in every fiber of our being, 100% American, too. 

Hispanics believe in progress. We are driven by it, and we are contributing to American progress mightily. Here are some facts.  Hispanics are responsible for at least 2.7 trillion dollars of GDP.  If we were a stand-alone nation, we would rank among the top ten GDPs in the world. Our purchasing power is 1.9 trillion dollars, which should signal to any company doing business in the US that a defined Hispanic strategy is critical to future growth.

Claudia Romo Edelman, center, along with colleagues, points to the Hispanic Star shout-out by Nasdaq in Lower Manhattan. 

Claudia Romo Edelman, center, along with colleagues, points to the Hispanic Star shout-out by Nasdaq in Lower Manhattan. 
(Claudia Romo Edelman)

Hispanics are entrepreneurial. We like to take charge of our destiny and are willing to put in the hours, the investment, the grit needed to own our own businesses. In the past 10 years, 86% of all new business launched were started by Hispanics.  We are also loyal and steadfast employees — an exceptional 74% of new workers are Hispanic and we account for 40% of all workforce growth. 

We are demonstrating our faith that hard work leads to success. With income growth of 77% and new home ownership of 48%, we lead all other groups in upward mobility. We are living the America Dream.

Our increasing success also comes from our belief in education. The number of adult Hispanics earning higher education degrees has increased to 73%, leading to higher-skilled occupations, including the burgeoning fields of healthcare and technology.

We are makers, not takers. The Hispanic community believes in the responsibility that comes with being American. We pay federal, state and local taxes that most recently was tallied as $308.5 billion. That amount is up $94 million dollars from just a few years prior.  

We turn out to vote in every election. Contrary to some assumptions, 80 percent of our community are citizens, many more are in the process.  And perhaps the greatest measure of our love of nation, is our participation in the military.  We are the fastest-growing population in the military, accounting for 16% of all active-duty military personnel. 

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Ambition, hard work, family values and persistence — these are the shared values of the Hispanic community — values that created America and move us forward generation after generation.  That is also why we know that Hispanic progress is American progress. 

We are the second-largest population group in the United States. We are also the youngest. We are growing exponentially. 

Hispanic Heritage Month gives us perspective and it also gives us a mouthpiece. It is time for Latinos to feel pride, to own our accomplishments that have been so hard-fought and hard-earned by those who came before us.  

Claudia Romo Edelman shared with Fox News Digital about her new Hispanic Star book series for young readers, which aims to highlight the notable contributions of Latino and Hispanic individuals to American society. 

Claudia Romo Edelman shared with Fox News Digital about her new Hispanic Star book series for young readers, which aims to highlight the notable contributions of Latino and Hispanic individuals to American society. 
(Claudia Romo Edelman)

The evidence is clear. Without Hispanics, companies can’t build a workforce ready to meet the future, politicians can’t get elected without our votes, we cannot defend ourselves nor prosper and grow as a nation.  

Use this Hispanic Heritage month to help set the record straight so that we are accurately represented as positive contributors to the United States.  

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Hispanic progress is American progress.  We are both 100% Hispanic and, in every fiber of our being, 100% American, too. 

We are all stars in America and Hispanics are one of them. Together, we shine.  Together, we can keep the American Dream alive for our children, for all American children and for generations to come. 

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