WASHINGTON, DC – As the nation prepares to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid today introduced a resolution to recognize the over 400 non-profit Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) throughout our nation by designating the week of September 12-18 as "National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week."

Defined as colleges or universities where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment, HSIs play a critical role in educating Hispanic youth and improving the communities in which they are located. This resolution recognizes the achievements and goals of HSIs in the United States, which represent 13% of non-profit colleges and universities, yet enroll more than 63% of all Latino undergraduate students. They are located in 18 states (and Puerto Rico) and expand access to a college education for the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority group.

“As a product of a Hispanic-Serving Institution in my home state of New Jersey, my experience is a living testimony of the important role these exemplary institutions play in providing opportunities to Hispanic students nationwide,” said Senator Menendez, chairman of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force. “At more than 56 million strong, Latinos are the nation’s largest ethnic group and it is in our best interest to recognize those empowering and nurturing future generations of Hispanic Americans who will lead this nation to a brighter tomorrow. At a time when some seek to reject our rich multiculturalism and rewrite our history, I’m very proud to be joined by my colleagues in once again introducing this important resolution.”

“Nevada is home to a vibrant Latino community and I have seen firsthand how Hispanic-Serving Institutions can improve lives and provide a ladder of opportunity for Hispanic students,” said Senator Reid. “These institutions play an essential role in empowering the next generation of Hispanic American leaders, and the United States is better off because of them. I thank Senator Menendez for joining with me on this important resolution and pledge to continue doing everything I can to ensure that Latinos have a fair shot at getting ahead and are able to continue making invaluable contributions nationwide.”

Click here to read the full resolution.