Sept. 10, 2019 (MINNEAPOLIS) The City of Minneapolis is honoring Latino Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) with a series of events and activities for the community and City employees — an opportunity to reaffirm the City’s pledge to be an inclusive and welcoming city for all residents and spotlight the many contributions Latinos have made to Minneapolis.
Latino Heritage Month recognizes the significant contributions Latinos have made to the United States. Sept. 15, the first day of Latino Heritage Month, is significant because it marks the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept. 18.
The Latino population in Minneapolis has grown significantly in recent decades with more than 44,000 Latino residents in the city today, representing 10.5% of the city’s population. Latino businesses have revitalized important commercial corridors in the city, including Lake Street, Nicollet and Central avenues.
The City is also establishing a new Futuro Latino Empowerment Commission to advise the mayor, City Council and other City leaders on important issues facing the Latino community. The City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution establishing the commission at its meeting Sept. 13.
“Latino Heritage Month is more than a great opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage our Latino brothers and sisters bring to Minneapolis,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “It’s an opportunity for City leaders to recommit themselves to supporting the community’s success. From recruiting and retaining Latino employees to supporting Latino small businesses, this is a time for our city to grow through inclusion.”
“As the Latino community grows to become the state’s largest minority group, it’s important for us to take the time to learn about the history and highlight the experiences of Latinos in our city,” said City Council Member Alondra Cano. “As Minneapolis’ first Latina City Council member and as the daughter of undocumented immigrants, I am deeply aware of the increasing challenges our Latino community faces today. This is why honoring Latino Heritage Month is valuable, as it provides all of us with an opportunity to step up to take action and be an ally to this community. I hope you can join any one of the many events taking place this month to honor, elevate, and celebrate the role and resiliency of Latinos in Minneapolis.”
Latino Heritage Month highlights:
- Kick-off celebration, Friday, Sept. 13
- Resolution establishing the Futuro Latino Empowerment Commission and Latino Heritage Month during the City Council meeting, which begins 9:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers, room 317, City Hall.
- Noon-1 p.m. in room 319, City Hall. A presentation by ¡Somos! (the City of Minneapolis Latinx employee resource group) and a discussion with City leaders about efforts to recruit and retain Latino employees. Mayor Jacob Frey and Council Member Alondra Cano will provide remarks and City Coordinator Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde will moderate a discussion with department leaders.
- The Interstate 35W bridge will be lit in orange and teal to honor Latino Heritage Month in the evening.
- Welcoming Week celebration, Friday, Sept. 20
- La Hora Latina: As part of the City’s Welcoming Week celebration in partnership with Wellstone International High School and Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County, the City is hosting La Hora Latina 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Powderhorn Park. There will be music, free food, salsa lessons with Rene Thompson and a performance from Grupo de Danzas Colombianas and Mi Peru-Minnesota.
- Workshop on new wage theft rules, 8-10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27
- Staff from the City and the Minnesota Department of Labor will host a workshop at Mercado Central, 1515 E. Lake St., on the state and City’s new wage theft measures. The presentation will be offered in Spanish with translation to English if needed.
- Latinos and the Census, 8:30-10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30
- A community conversation with Minneapolis Public Schools Supt. Ed Graff, Minneapolis Regional Chamber President and CEO Jonathan Weinhagen, Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower facilitated by Council Member Alondra Cano at the Midtown Global Market’s main stage, 910 E. Lake St. As Latinos become poised to be the state’s largest minority group, this discussion will raise awareness about the impact the Census will have on the Latino community in their schools, jobs and community.
- Organizing for Immigration Action, 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1
- A community action forum to support immigrant families and advance immigration policy solutions co-hosted by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Council Member Cano with participation from the City’s Neighborhood and Community Relations Department and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. The event will be held at Powderhorn Park Recreation Center, 3400 15th Ave. S.
- First episode of “Somos Minneapolis” radio program, 3-4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8
- The City is launching a new 10-part radio series program focused on developing stronger connections with the City’s Latino community. This new series is in addition to the City’s ongoing “Mi Ciudad Minneapolis” radio program on La Raza, 1400 AM.
- Map and Meet Latino Businesses, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8
- A networking event for Latino businesses and a chance for people to learn how to contract with Latino businesses at El Colegio Charter School, 4137 Bloomington Ave. S.
Additionally, ¡Somos! Employee Resource Group, is spearheading a series of employee events throughout Latino Heritage Month, including educational and networking activities. The group’s mission is to promote understanding of the Latino culture and foster recruitment, retention and professional advancement of Latino employees at the City.
For more information about community and employee events, visit minneapolismn.gov/latinompls
. Use the hashtag #latinompls on social media when you participate in Latino Heritage Month events. Meet Minneapolis also has list of events for the month and a guide to Latino restaurants, arts studios and businesses on its website