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Latinx Heritage Month - Dr. Gallardo

Dr. Miguel Gallardo HeadshotWhat does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

"First, I prefer to use the term Latinx and do not really use the term Hispanic. I think this is important because for me Latinx Heritage Month is a recognition of who we are a Latinx peoples, and the diversity within our communities. We are very diverse and a recognition of this diversity is critical to truly appreciating Latinx Heritage Month. This brief time each year is an opportunity to understand and appreciate Latinx communities contributions to the very fabric of this nation. We recently celebrated Labor Day, and for many in Latinx communities it was important to honor immigrant workers by remembering that the building of the United States was on the backs and labor of many who fled persecution, violence, and poverty in their countries of origin. For me, this is an important aspect of this month. I want people to learn about who we are as Latinx communities, and understand the wealth of knowledge, labor, customs, and cultural impact that we have had, and continue to have, here in the United States".

How can people support Hispanic Heritage initiatives?

"Learn who Latinx peoples are. We are as impacted by what we are not told, as much as by what we are told. There are too many missing pieces of information about who we are. I hope during this time that people and systems take time to engage in a learning process and not simply culturally appropriate aspects of our culture, go to a Latinx restaurant, celebrate, but have no idea who we are as human beings, family members, and contributors to what makes the United States a flourishing nation".

How do you envision Hispanic Heritage progression?

"I hope that we do not recognize Latinx heritage one month out of the year, but that we take the time to celebrate my cultures and ensure that they are embedded in the very fabric of the United States all year. I hope this for diverse communities all over. While I appreciate the month, if we are going to truly appreciate and embrace diversity, then our learning and engagement is year-round, and not just when the month happens. I also hope that the younger generation of Latinx youth stay connected to our heritage, in whatever form this may take. The only way we will have an impact as Latinx peoples is if we are embracing one another, unlearning colonized methods of engaging with one another, and finding ways to heal as a community from the legacies of colonization. The only ones who can liberate us are us".

Dr. Miguel Gallardo - Program Director for MA in Clinical Psychology MFT (Latinas/os)