National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month


On behalf of the department, the IDEA Coalition would like to honor and acknowledge National Hispanic Heritage Month 2023. We uplift and celebrate Latinx/e communities and recognize their lasting contributions to American history, culture and achievements.

What is National Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM)?

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed annually in the United States (US) from September 15th to October 15th. Originally only established as a week observance in 1968 by Lyndon B Johnson, it was established as a month under the Reagan administration in 1988. The starting date, September 15th, is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. HHM’s timeframe also honors Mexico’s (September 16th) and Chile’s (September 18th) independence.

The purpose of HHM is to celebrate the breadth and diversity of the communities and populations that fall under the term Hispanic, including those of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American, South American, Dominican, Cuban and other Latin American descent. It is important to note that while some Hispanic Americans have immigrated in the last couple of centuries, there is also a large portion of the Hispanic American population descended from people living in North America before the formation of the United States.

The Hispanic community has grappled with different terminology and labeling throughout the past and recent years. The term Hispanic in itself was adopted in the US in the 1970s under the Nixon administration for census purposes. It is difficult to capture the breadth of a diverse set of countries, cultures and peoples under a singular umbrella term. Other terminology that the community has considered includes Chicano/x/e Latino/x/e.

To learn more about HHM nationally, please visit:

To learn more about HHM history and celebrations at UF, please visit: 

Local Events & Celebrations

Gainesville City Events: 

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with dance, music and film at Bo Diddley Plaza.

  • Friday, Sept. 15: Celebrate Dance with Latina Women’s League, 7 – 9 pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 16: Live Music by Tropix (salsa, merengue & bachata), 8 – 10 pm
  • Friday, Sept. 22: Movie Night at Bo Diddley: Family Film Encanto, 7 – 9 pm
  • Friday, Oct. 13: UF World Music Festival, 7 – 10 pm

Harn Museum of Art Events: 

  • Thursday, Sept. 14: Celebrate our newest exhibition, Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: the Rice Collection of Cuban Art, with film, music and dance! 6 – 9 pm
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26: Artist Talk: Esterio Segura will discuss his work on display in the exhibition. 6 – 7 pm
  • Thursday, Oct. 19: Artist Talk: José Bedia will discuss his work on display in the exhibition, 6 – 7 pm

Professional Society Events (Virtual): 

  • Wednesday, Sept. 20: Hispanic Excellence in the Nuclear Field, 1 – 2 pm. The American Nuclear Society hosts this event; for more information and to register, visit the ANS event page.
  • Friday, Sept. 29: Wiki Edit-a-thon, 1 – 4 pm. The American Physical Society hosts the event; for more information and to register, visit the APS event page.

Resources and Affinity Groups at UF


  • SHPE National Convention is the largest gathering of Hispanics in STEM in the nation, with an anticipated 10,000 attendees this year. The convention holds nine different tracks (with institutions including Graduate School, Undergraduate School, Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Advising, etc.). There is a diverse array of opportunities for participation in the conference as it offers networking events, a career expo, and friendly competitions. There is an anticipated 250-exhibitor turnout for the Career Fair and Graduate School Expo this year. To learn more, please connect with the local UF SHPE chapter.
  • National Diversity in STEM Conference (SACNAS) is the largest multicultural STEM diversity event. It is meant to congregate educators, researchers, students and industry individuals to propel academic and workforce development for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Chicanes, Latines and other underrepresented minorities. The conference offers workshops, poster presentations and oral presentations related both to STEM research and personal/work-related development. 

Opportunities & Scholarships

Student & Employee Affinity Groups

  • Hispanic Student Association (HSA):

    The Hispanic Student Association is the premier Hispanic-Latinx student-serving organization at UF. HSA serves as the go-to organization for all students wishing to learn and connect with the Hispanic-Latinx community at UF and the greater Gainesville area.” The group is affiliated and in coalition with smaller affinity groups (such as: Central America Latino Organization, Association of Latino Professionals for America, Dominican Student Association, PorColombia, Latino Medical Student Association, etc.). The group offers itself as a great resource and starting point to get connected with different Latinx/e communities.
  • UF Society for Hispanic Professionals in Engineering (SHPE) Chapter:

    SHPE aims to “empower the hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the word through STEM awareness, access, support and development.” Established in 1982 with a growing 480 members, the group offers an array of opportunities for mentoring/becoming a mentee, workshop, lab tours, outreach and more!. To learn more about the group and how to get involved please visit
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science Florida Chapter:

    SACNAS is a multicultural group dedicated to the uplifting and advancement of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiins, Chicanes, Latines, and other underrepresented minorities. They host various workshops, bring in guest speakers, and organize conferences. To get involved email:
  • Latinx Staff and Faculty Association:

    The Latinx Staff/Faculty Association strives to provide a welcoming and affirming space to recruit, represent, and retain Latinx staff and faculty at UF.
  • Association of Hispanic Alumni:

    The mission of the UF-AHA is to raise funds for scholarships and bring the UF closer to the 25,000 Hispanic alumni across the U.S. and abroad.