October 8, 2021

Our mission: At Choose Chicago, we “Choose Compassion” and are committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful work culture with a brilliant mix of people because we are equally different. We firmly believe in the strength and power of our diverse group of partners, employees, and clients who drive business and innovation while building a collaborative connection within our community and the neighborhoods we serve.

A message from Roz Stuttley: Director, Equity Diversity and Inclusion

Community. Culture. Art. Cuisine. From the dynamic and vibrant history of our Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods, to the lesser known but equally distinguished Mexican population in Albany Park, Chicago shelters a diverse Latinx/Hispanic population. 

In this issue, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the city’s Latinx/Hispanic community. Those who make up this community are still navigating challenges associated with discrimination and a lack of representation. But we are all change agents, and we can make a difference together. 

It starts when you take a pause to really see the person you walk by every day, then take the time to learn their story. You never know what you will discover, and moments of discovery can create a lifetime of impact.

Choose Chicago celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. Will you?

With compassion,

Roz Stuttley
Director, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Choose Chicago/Choose Chicago Foundation

Celebrar! Vivir! Explorar!

Celebrate. Live. Explore.

National Hispanic American Heritage Month marks the independence of Latin American countries, like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this month honors and celebrates those who can trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and Spanish-speaking nations in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. 

In 1989, National Hispanic American Heritage Month became an officially observed month-long celebration from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15. This year’s theme is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. If you haven’t done so yet, here are a few ways you can celebrate: 

  • Support a Hispanic-owned small business. Visit Only in Chicago Spotlights for ideas. 
  • Take a dance class. Dance is a huge part of Hispanic culture, with many countries specializing in different types of dance. From merengue to bachata, the possibilities are endless. Grab a friend or co-worker, choose a type of dance, and get those feet moving. Send us a :15 second video of your #HispanicHeritageDanceMoves. Or check out Chicago’s Little Village group Xochitl-Quetzal Aztec Dance at one of their upcoming performances. Their dances tell a story, and are inspired by the Aztecs who flourished in Mexico right up until the fall of their empire, exactly 500 years ago this year. Learn more about their culture and regalia. Flowers are a traditional symbol. 
  • Learn to cook a Hispanic dish. Choose a country, find its national dish, cook, and then share it with friends and family along with some facts about the ingredients and place where the food originated. Try Mexican pozole, Spanish paella, or Puerto Rican jibaritos (a Chicago invention).
  • Support your local Latinx street vendors who sell items like fruit, corn, tamales, cotton candy, etc. A friendly smile and a sale from one of your favorite treats can go a long way.
  • Dive deeper into Hispanic culture, cuisine, and art throughout Chicago's neighborhoods with our guide to Latinx culture and heritage in Chicago
  • Take advantage of the free Chicago Greeter program to explore a local neighborhood that highlights Hispanic culture, like Pilsen or Albany Park.

Becoming a Choose Compassion Advocate

Resources provided by Anthony Molino

What is LatinX?
It is becoming more common to describe people of Latin-American descent as Latinx rather than Hispanic or Latino. Author and sociologist G. Cristina Mora explains why the term has changed and the history behind the label.

Who’s really Latina? A recent controversy draws outrage over identity, appropriation
The controversy around identifying as Latino without having Latino ancestry surfaced in the recent case of the prominent civil rights lawyer Natasha Lycia Ora Brannan.

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