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WHEREAS, Virginia is proud to be home to the 16th largest Hispanic and Latino population in the country comprised of over 800,000 Virginians of Hispanic or Latino descent; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians make up the nation’s largest ethnic minority— enriching every community through their vibrant and diverse culture and heritage; and
WHEREAS, thousands of Hispanic and Latino owned businesses contribute to Virginia’s economic growth and job creation throughout the Commonwealth, which has aided in Virginia becoming the best state for business; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians have overcome challenges and obstacles to persevere and prosper in the Commonwealth through their hard work and commitment; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians are included in 18.5% of the nation’s total population; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians make significant contributions through their leadership and work in government, service in our military, helping feed our community through agriculture, inspiring children as educators, helping fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare professionals, and advancing society through science and technology; and
WHEREAS, the stories of Hispanic and Latino men and women are woven into the fabric of our communities and Hispanic and Latino history is Virginia history; and
WHEREAS, we celebrate Marymount University as Virginia’s first Hispanic Serving Institute; and
WHEREAS, since 2018, the most Hispanics and Latinos have been appointed to serve our Commonwealth and support our government’s work; and
WHEREAS, in 2021, Hispanic and Latino Virginians continue to make great strides in public office and civil rights issues, supporting the fight for justice and equality for all, and successfully advocating for the historic passage language access and protections for all immigrants regardless of citizenship status; and
WHEREAS, among the fight for equality, there have been monumental strides in education equity, with the expansion of in-state tuition and access to state financial aid for many Hispanic and Latino students, who have previously not had the opportunity to afford a quality education; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia will join with the rest of the country in celebrating the 53rd National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month by commemorating essential contributions, sacrifices, and accomplishments that Hispanic and Latino people have made throughout the United States and throughout our nation’s history;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 15 – October 15, 2021, as HISPANIC AND LATINO HERITAGE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.