- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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National Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration that honors the culture, contributions and history of Americans whose heritage can be traced back to more than 20 Latin American countries, including those in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
In 2018, Gina Garcia brought that celebration to the University of Pittsburgh. The associate professor in Pitt’s School of Education and expert on Hispanic Serving Institutions chaired an institution-wide committee to launch the first Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month (LHHM). This year’s LHHM is the most collaborative yet and features events hosted on and off campus in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, Point Park University and other educational institutions.
Below you’ll find local resources you should know if you’re Hispanic yourself or just interested in learning more about the people, culture and countries that fit under the umbrella.
University resources and information
These seven student-led cultural organizations foster diversity on Pitt’s campus and provide a safe space for different Latinx and Hispanic-identifying communities and supporters to celebrate their cultural richness through activities, including festivals, parties, film showings and more:
Brazil Nuts Portugese Club
Brazil Nuts’ goal is to expose students to Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language and practice their Portuguese outside of the classroom.
Caribbean and Latin American Student Organization
The Caribbean and Latin American Student Association promotes intellectual and cultural exchanges through various activities from the Caribbean and Latin America.
Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
Pitt's Small Business Development Center encourages immigrant entrepreneurship through free international trade and Spanish language business consulting with a dedicated expert and programming to assist small business owners with gaining access to new markets to sell into or purchase from. Questions? Reach out to Brent Rondon at brondon [at] innovation.pitt.edu.
Latin American Graduate Organization of Students
The Latin American Graduate Organization of Students (LAGOS) is for Latin American, Latino/a, Hispanic, Afro-Latino/a graduate and professional students.
Latino Medical Student Association
LMSA empowers students through service, mentorship and education to advocate for the health of the Latino community.
Latinx Student Association
The mission of Pitt’s Latino Student Association is to motivate, educate, advocate and celebrate.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community through STEM awareness, access, support and development.
Pitt’s Spanish Club promotes the practice of speaking Spanish.
Other University organizations include:
Hispanic Latino Professional Affinity Group
This professional network provides faculty and staff with resources that promote community building, mentorship and professional development.
Center for Latin American Studies
This National Resource Center-designated effort promotes global understanding of Latin America, the Caribbean and their diverse diasporic communities through programs and initiatives for students and faculty that range in topic from preserving the Amazon rainforests to public policy reform.
Hispanic Languages and Literature Department
This Pitt department is about forming connections through language and offers undergraduate and graduate programs. It’s also home to the International Institute of Latin American Literature, the “oldest and most extensive academic organization dedicated to the study and promotion of research in Latin American literature.”
What do we call ourselves? Pitt experts and community members weigh in:
Resources beyond Pitt
Members of the Pitt community and this year’s city-wide LHHM planning committee shared the following list of organizations in the broader Pittsburgh area dedicated to partnering and supporting Latinx and Hispanic communities.
Casa San Jose
This resource center offers transportation, interpretation, case management and other services to immigrant youth and families. Its executive director also happens to be a Pitt alumna.
Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation
PHDC has championed racial equity and improving the lives of Hispanics in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and region for nearly a decade. Regional initiatives include fostering investment in and supporting existing and new Hispanic businesses.
National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures
This organization promotes Latin American and Caribbean cultures by increasing their regional visibility through cross-cultural collaborations including fundraising, leadership training research and advocacy that’s designed to revitalize and stabilize the U.S. Latin cultural and arts sector.
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
LCLAA is about workers’ rights and empowerment and offers year-round youth leadership development opportunities.
Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
PMAHCC is a regional advocate for the Hispanic business community’s civic and economic interests and provides regional business opportunities for economic development.
This group is committed to retaining diverse talent in Pittsburgh. The economic development nonprofit works with employers to target and recruit talent nationwide and address issues of diversity and inclusion within work environments.
Welcome Center for Immigrants and Internationals
This center aids immigrants and internationals in relocating to and thriving in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Latino Community Center
This group and community center empowers, advocates with and celebrates Latinx in Allegheny County.
Latin American Cultural Center and Museum
LACC is a Latin American Studies Association initiative and home to a museum, auditorium and other programming spaces designed for events that commemorate Latin American arts, history and cultures. The first exhibit, “Maya Spirituality: Indigenous Paintings 1957-2020,” opened to the public on Sept. 20.
— Kara Henderson, photography by Aimee Obidzinski