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NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Exploring how young adults feel about National Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrated September 15th to October 15th, National Hispanic Heritage Month pays tribute to the history, culture, and achievements of Hispanic and LatinX Americans and their communities. It’s important to recognize how Hispanic Americans have contributed to culture across every industry, ultimately building a more vibrant and prosperous country.


We spoke to members of the Cassandra Collective about National Hispanic Heritage Month. We also asked young Hispanic/LatinX respondents what they wish brands knew about them, not just as consumers, but as people. Young adults felt that brand marketing and activities aimed at supporting Hispanic culture should not be created for the sake of the holiday, but rather built into authentic and longstanding initiatives. Here are some further findings.

THE MEANING OF NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

As Cassandra explored in The Global Culture Forecast, there is a growing appreciation of diverse and global popular culture, and this is reflected in how young people think about Hispanic Heritage Month. While many of our respondents were not very familiar with the specifics of the holiday, they were aware of it, and supported its significance.




“Hispanic Heritage Month brings all of the cultures together. We share food and talk about where we grew up and what stands out about our culture or what makes it unique. What it means to me is unification.”

– Joseph, 18, GA


“I just see it as the month where my culture is celebrated along with other Hispanics.”

– Robert, 29, WI


“[I know] nothing really [about Hispanic Heritage Month]. I have never heard of it until just now.”

– Josh, 29, KY


“I do not really know much about it. Personally, I feel it is a great thing for people to celebrate their heritage.”

– Cohner, 22, GA


“I don't know much about Hispanic Heritage Month. My grandmother was from Puerto Rico but she didn't really transfer any of her culture to us when she immigrated, so I don't consider myself Hispanic.

– Melissa, 22, FL

HOW DO GEN ZS AND MILLENNIALS WANT BRANDS TO CELEBRATE AND SUPPORT HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH?

Several respondents wanted brands to highlight Hispanic people with a positive image. It was also important to young adults that Hispanic people are actually supported somehow, either through employment opportunities or financial aid to vulnerable communities. Young adults felt that brand marketing and activities aimed at supporting Hispanic culture should not be created for the sake of the holiday, but rather built into authentic and longstanding initiatives.




“Brands can help clear up misconceptions and debunk rumors, especially during such a politically charged time when racism against Hispanics/LatinX is common. Brands shouldn't reinforce stereotypes or pander. They should also get Hispanic/LatinX staff to head these projects.

– Danita, 19, PA


“[Brands should] show off their Hispanic staff, how hard they work, and what the company is bringing back to Hispanic communities. I don’t think brands should just donate money to other Hispanic companies, as it may never reach the workers [but instead] just the people at the top.”

– Robert, 29, WI


“They could donate a portion of the sales to a charity that helps Hispanic people around the world. Or [brands could] spread the word by promoting it on social media.

– Andrea, 14, SC


“[Brands should] do more to promote Hispanic heritage throughout the year. Not just this month.”

– Nicole, 27, PA


“[Brands] could be showcasing Hispanic models, providing a way to show their diversity and celebrate the Hispanic people representing their brand.”

– Kathryn, 33, CT


“Brands can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by showing the good that Hispanics do in the local community.

– Johnathan, 29, NC


“[Brands should] promote Hispanic artists or creators, and they could highlight Hispanic employees.”

– Beth, 15, CA


“I don’t feel brands should celebrate anything. I think they should stick with promoting and selling their brand.”

– Cohner, 22, GA

WHAT BRANDS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HISPANIC AND LATINX CONSUMERS

Several young adults we spoke with felt there was a lack of diversity in marketing towards Hispanic and Latinx consumers. They wanted brands to make an effort to more deeply understand the diversity within this ethnicity—that Hispanic people come from different backgrounds and don’t all look the same. They also wanted brands to recognize the significance behind Hispanic culture and accurately represent it in their marketing and messaging.




“Really, if I’m being honest, it would be that I have curly hair and nice light skin due to where I’m from and that all of us Hispanics look different based on where we are from.

– Joseph, 18, GA


“That I am no different than any other American, I love the country, work hard, play hard, and don’t want to be treated differently.”

– Robert, 29, WI


“Our culture is not a costume and shouldn't be treated like a toy. There's meaning behind everything in our culture, so just don't do or say anything disrespectful about it.

– Andrea, 14, SC


“[I wish brands knew to] showcase their [Hispanic employees’] hard work to the people in America today.”

– Randy, 33, CA