As we transition out of Hispanic Heritage Month and with all the content that piles up around this time, we sometimes forget that across the board Hispanic heritage should be celebrated every day, not just in September.
Instead, our hope should be that September becomes a stepping stone and a challenge. For 30 days, we should challenge ourselves to find habits we can promise to keep for the next 12 months. List out different (realistic) ways you can support those who are embracing their Hispanic heritage or different ways you can encourage yourself to do the same.
In an effort to kickstart some habits, below are four ways you can support Hispanic Heritage Month and build a future that exists beyond it.
Own your name
This seems small, but more often than not, Latinos only passively defend their names whether because they’re tired of having to correct others so often or because they have just gotten used to it not being pronounced accurately. Make this the month that you emphasize the accent in your name or roll the Rs in the correct way. When someone butchers your name, challenge yourself to politely say, “Well, actually, it’s pronounced this way.” I know it seems small, but it’s a revolutionary act of owning not only your name but also the history that brought it into existence.
Look for Latinx-owned brands, whether online or in your local neighborhoods. Decide to support them this month and then make it a habit to go back as regularly as possible. Investing your money into their businesses helps reinforce the reality behind Latinxs’ buying power and business staying power.
Amplify on social
If you can’t spend actual dollars in stores this month, turn to free promotion. Using your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook (among other platforms) to share Latinx-owned brands you love is a way to put them on the radar of those you follow and potentially open them up to a new business, loyal clients, or other opportunities.
Know your story
Above all else this month, turn inwards and figure out what your story is. Write it down, speak it into an audio note on your phone, tell a friend about it over coffee. However you may choose to get to know your story, just get to know it. The more you talk yourself through it, the easier it will be to not turn a blind eye to all the nuances you may have ignored prior. If there are gaps in your memory, ask your family to fill them in for you. This can ultimately be the best Hispanic Heritage Month habit you can pick up because it will build your appreciation for where you’ve come from, who brought you up to this point, and all the places you’ll be able to go next.
This month is meant to celebrate so many pieces of who we all are as a community — choose to make it a time that helps unify you and those around you.