RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam on Thursday encouraged all Virginians to celebrate Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, which is observed each year between September 15 and October 15.
“For generations, Hispanic and Latino Americans have shaped our Commonwealth and their stories are woven into the fabric of our communities. We must recognize that Hispanic and Latino history is Virginia history. And with nearly 800,000 Virginians of Hispanic and Latino descent who proudly call the Commonwealth home, our communities are richer and more vibrant thanks to their culture and traditions," Northam said. "Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month recognizes integral role of the Hispanic and Latino men and women in business and education, in our military, in our government, and in the fight against COVID-19. It is in part because of these contributions that our Hispanic and Latino communities have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic"
Northam also announced a commitment to confront generational health inequities and remain focused on ensuring that Hispanic and Latino Virginians are counted in the 2020 Census.
During the 2020 legislative session, Northam signed legislation that extends eligibility for in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants and makes obtaining valid identification accessible to all Virginia residents, regardless of their immigration status.
The Northam administration has also worked diligently to increase outreach and provide COVID-19 resources to Virginia’s communities of color, including distributing personal protective equipment, sharing culturally-competent translated guidance documents, hiring multi-lingual contact tracers, expanding no-cost testing opportunities, and hosting engagement calls and webinars.
Virginia was one of the first states in the nation to form a health equity task force and brought in experts to lead outreach for the Latino community.