Sen. Menendez, Reid Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week

Sen. Menendez, Reid Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week

WASHINGTON, DC – To mark the official beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, US Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today introduced a Senate resolution recognizing the month-long celebration and honoring the heritage, culture, and many contributions of Hispanic Americans throughout the history of the United States.

In addition, the senators also introduced a separate bipartisan resolution designating the week of September 14-20 as "National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week" to recognize the 409 non-profit Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) throughout our nation for their work, achievements, and critical role in educating and empowering Latino youth.

“As Chairman of the Hispanic Task Force, it has been both an honor and a priority to ensure that issues that have a direct impact on the Latino community are front and center in the Senate,” said Senator Menendez. “At a time when Hispanic Americans are under constant attack by extremist voices, I take exceptional pride in joining millions across the nation to celebrate the vast contributions of Latino communities across the United States. I stand united with my colleagues committed to empowering the next generation of Latino leaders who want to serve this nation and build a better life for themselves, their families, and for all of us. I thank Senator Reid for joining me once again in introducing these resolutions and reaffirming our commitment to honor the rich history, progress, and the difference Latinos will make and are making in America today."

“The presence of Hispanics in America precedes our nation’s founding and has always enriched our society and culture. From Nevada’s well-established Latino community to the American heartland, Latinos are revitalizing our communities and strengthening our economy. Hispanics have excelled in business, public service, in our Armed Forces, in sports, and in the arts to name a few, inspiring all young Americans to aspire to great things,” said Reid. “I am pleased to cosponsor the National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week resolution in the Senate. Hispanic-Serving Institutions play a crucial role in educating minority students in Nevada and across the United States, serving nearly six out of every ten Latino college students. Last year, I was proud to support the College of Southern Nevada’s successful effort to be designated as a HSI, and will strongly support six other Nevada institutions on the path to qualifying. As Hispanic college enrollment rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to ensure that these institutions receive the support needed to help Hispanic students reach their full potential. By supporting and empowering Latino students, we are helping build a stronger and brighter future for Nevada and the United States.”

The resolutions are expected to be adopted by the full Senate later today.

Click HERE for a PDF of the Hispanic Heritage Month resolution. Hispanic Americans are the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the U.S. overall and in at least 22 individual states, representing more than 55 million people (17.4% of the U.S. population). This resolution recognizes the integral role of Latinos in the economy, culture, and identity of the United States.

Click HERE for a PDF of the Hispanic Heritage Serving Institutions resolution. Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), defined as colleges or universities where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment. This resolution recognizes the achievements and goals of the 409 HSIs in the United States, which represent 12% of non-profit colleges and universities, yet enroll 59% of all Latino students. They are located in 21 states (and Puerto Rico) and expand access to a college education for the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority group.