Peace Learning Center joins the nation in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15). We believe this country is made greater by the culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic Americans. In this blog we have included 1.) a brief explanation of terms, 2.) local groups whose work center the Hispanic community, and 3.) local events where we can join others in celebrating this special time!

1. Terms

Hispanic refers to people of Spanish-speaking origin. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity. 

The term was adopted in the 1970s by the U.S. government to try to classify people from Latin America under a common identity (NPR). Under federal policy, Hispanic is not a race. However, many multiracial Americans consider their Hispanic background as part of their race (Pew). 

Latino (grammatically masculine) or Latina (grammatically feminine) refers to people residing in the U.S. who are of Latin-American descent (NPR). Some use Latinx or Latine as gender-neutral terms. 

“Brazilians are Latino because the country is located in Latin America. But Brazilians aren’t considered Hispanic because the country’s primary language is Portuguese. Meanwhile, Latinx identity brings together people in South and Central America, who may share a history of Spanish colonization, but that category isn’t defined by having Spanish-speaking ancestry,” (Vox). 

2. Local Groups

La Plaza

OUR MISSION: La Plaza strengthens Central Indiana by advocating and preparing Latino students for educational success and by connecting Latino families to health and social services. OUR VISION: La Plaza is the recognized Central Indiana leader in helping Latinos reach their full educational potential by building on their strengths and fostering self-sufficiency.

Cosecha Indiana

Cosecha Indiana is part of a national movement, working towards permanent protection, dignity, & respect for all immigrant workers.

Indiana Latino Institute

OUR MISSION: Our mission is to improve health and advance education for the Indiana Latino community through statewide advocacy, research, and culturally responsive programs. OUR VISION: Our vision is to be the source of authority and catalyst for change on all aspects of Health and Education that affect the Indiana Latino Community.

3. Local Events

Día Latino de Lawrence

When: October 8 @ 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Arts for Lawrence, 8920 Otis Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46216

Día Latina de Lawrence will feature cultural food, dancing, art, crafts, community vendors, and local organizations. Partners in putting on this event include Arts for Lawrence, City of Lawrence, and the Lawrence Township School Foundation.

Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon

When: October 11 @ 12 – 2 p.m.

Where: JW Marriott Indianapolis, 10 South West St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

 The Hispanic Heritage Annual Luncheon is one of the most influential gathering of corporate, civic, and community leaders in Indiana. Together we will celebrate the economic and cultural impact Latinos have in the United States.

Indiana Latino Expo

When: October 14, 12 p.m. – October 15, 6 p.m.

Where: Global Village Welcome Center, 4233 Lafayette Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46254 

ILE is back after 2 years with a free health fair, education fair, job fair, consulate services, entertainment, food, music, and much more.