U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION SALUTES AMERICA'S HISPANIC HERITAGE
In observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights salutes the many and varied contributions of Hispanic Americans. More than 30 million inhabitants of the United States self-identify as Hispanic, making it the largest ethnic/racial minority group in the country.
"While we reflect upon the achievements of Hispanic Americans and consider how far we as a nation have come in treating them with the fairness our ideals demand, we also recognize that we have a long way to go," stated Commission Chairperson Mary Frances Berry.
The diverse cultures, traditions, and countries of origin of Hispanic Americans virtually guarantee that any summary of their accomplishments will be incomplete. Hispanic Americans have always been a significant part of U.S. history and exert a growing influence on the political, cultural, and intellectual life of the nation. The Hispanic American Civil Rights Movement, led by such inspiring leaders as Cesar Chavez, helped bring Hispanic Americans into the mainstream of American social and political life. The influence of Hispanic cultures extends to the growing popularity of Latin music and literature.
"Hispanics are predicted to make up a quarter of this nation's population by the year 2050," noted Dr. Berry. "And as their numbers grow, so too does the challenge to ensure that all of this nation's inhabitants are treated with the dignity and respect we accord to the most fortunate among us."