You may not have realized it, but we’re actually in the middle of National Hispanic Heritage month in the United States. The period of recognition for this important topic started on September 15th, and ends on October 15th. Many organizations are embracing this period of self reflection and advancement for the Hispanic and Latinx communities, including the NCAA. The ethnic background of student-athletes, coaches, and other members of the sporting/academic landscape are being celebrated.
To this end, the NCAA office of inclusion produced a guide for member schools which provides some helpful context on the history of the Hispanic community in the United States. This educational pamphlet also includes commentary from Hispanic-American student athletes and staff members.
“I would encourage Hispanic student-athletes to be brave and seek positions of leadership in which they can get the opportunity to speak and share their experiences in a professional environment,” Purdue University Northwest men’s soccer player Ismael Contreras expressed. “Whether it be the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, student government or a different organization, take the leap and believe in yourself…” Via NCAA Hispanic Culture Guide
According to the guide, one out of every six people in the United States is of Hispanic or Latinx descent. To that end, the NCAA understands the importance of communicating with and on behalf of a notable part of the population.
“The office of inclusion is delighted to provide additional resources for the membership to educate and celebrate individuals of different cultures. Though it was created for Hispanic Heritage Month, the guide can be used anytime to recognize and support Hispanic/Latinx student-athletes and staff on campuses across the country,” said Niya Blair Hackworth, who is the NCAA Director of Inclusion. Via NCAA.org
Colleges all across the nation are getting back to connecting on an in person basis, and that level of connection holds true for the Hispanic community at campuses throughout the country. Harvard’s Nayleth E. Lopez-Lopez spoke about how the pandemic short-circuited student efforts to hold cultural events on campus, but that it is great to be back.
“I’m honestly so happy that we can finally meet up and form community with the first-years and sophomores, because I know, especially from sophomores—they got hit hard last year. I feel like they weren’t able to fully see how strong the Latin community is here at Harvard,” she said. Via TheCrimson.com