Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

Hispanic Heritage Month: Esperanza a celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope

Message from
the Strategist

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor the contributions made throughout our history by the Hispanic and Latinx community. We strive to highlight the rich diversity that strengthens our workplace. This year, we invite you to reflect on the power of our differences and the impact we can make when we unite with shared values and purpose.

The national theme, Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope, challenges us to envision a great future knowing that our hope and resilience can lead us there. Hope and resilience help us maintain an optimistic outlook in the face of adversity and give us the motivation to take action and make progress.

Our hero image is inspired by an image created by Ms. Adriana Castillo, Human Rights Activist and Child Development Specialist who stated:

“Humanity is going through very painful moments caused by the pandemic, but we must remember that after the storm comes the calm. In this portrait, we can appreciate a hand that raises the flags of Hispanics together with people of different ethnicities looking towards a majestic rainbow that represents Hope. “Esperanza!” The thing that characterizes us as Hispanics is that no matter what storms we go through, we always look up and know that life will be dressed in colors like a shiny rainbow in the sky.”

Cultural observances provide opportunities for us to appreciate and cultivate our shared values. Shared values empower communities, and when combined with hope, resilience, and purpose, can lead us on a path toward progress. During this observance, I am reminded that every life has value and that appreciating our common humanity has the power to shape a better world.

From our Leadership

Hispanic Heritage Month: Esperanza a celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope

Hispanic and Latinx By The Numbers Infographic

  • 60.2 million Hispanics living in the U.S.
  • Representing 18.7% of the total U.S. population

Hispanic Vs. Latinx

  • The terms “Hispanic” and “Latinx” are pan-ethnic and often used interchangeably. Both terms overlap in some ways but actually mean two different things.
  • Latinx is a person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or nonbinary alternative to Latino or Latina).
  • Hispanic refers to those who speak Spanish or those who are descended from Spanish-speaking lineage, especially those of Latin America.
  • Latino is a person of Latin American origin or decent, especially a man or boy.
  • Latina is a person of Latin American origin or decent, especially a woman or girl.


72.4% Speak Spanish at home


  • 23% Population growth from 2010 to 2020
  • There are 11 states with a Hispanic population of 1M or more (AZ, CA, CO,FL, GA, IL, NC, NJ, NM, NY and TX)


  • 1.3Million Number of Hispanics or Latinos 18 and older who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces (7.3%)
  • 60 Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, PEW Research Center, Congressional Research Service

Print/Download this infographic.

Conversation with Dr. Anna Nápoles

Joy Postell, NIH’s Women’s Portfolio Strategist, sat down to have a conversation with Dr. Anna María Nápoles, Ph.D., M.P.H. In this exclusive first-look interview, Dr. Nápoles shares her unique perspective as a woman in science and the NIH’s first Latina Scientific Director.

Discussed in this interview:

  • Motivating setbacks
  • Debunking myths
  • "Truths I know for sure"
  • Mentorship and leadership
  • Her research and why it is important
  • Personal and professional vision for the future
Dr. Anna Nápoles

Vision for the Research

Dr. Anna Nápoles

Setback as a Career Scientist

Joy Postell

Minority Community

Dr. Anna Nápoles

Lack of Access in Minority Community


Learn more about representation in the federal workforce.*

2021 Winning Posters

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) supports the federal government’s observance activities each year by leading the process to select the annual theme federal agencies will use to conduct their Hispanic Heritage Month observances. Everyone, including members of the council, schools and the general public, was encouraged to participate in the submission and nomination of the 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month Poster. Visit the site to learn more about these poster submissions.


Explore opportunities to connect with the federal Hispanic community.*

Meet EDI’s Hispanic Portfolio Strategist

Gerard Roman

Gerard Roman is the principal strategist of the NIH Hispanic Portfolio. Mr. Roman has worked in Diversity Management and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for over 20 years. He joined the NIH in 2002 after a distinguished military career in the United States Army. His academic preparation includes a Bachelor of Science in social science from Troy State University and a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) Equal Opportunity Advisor, EEO Specialist, and EEO Officer courses.


*Please note: information presented from external organizations and scientific societies is not endorsed by—and does not necessarily represent—the views of the NIH.