Celebrate Latino Heritage

Celebrating and honoring Latino Heritage
September 7, 2023
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The Sacramento Public Library celebrates and honors Latino Heritage. In 1968, after years of advocacy from Mexican, Caribbean, Central, and South American communities, Hispanic Heritage Week became officially recognized in the United States, and in 1988 became known as Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15, when many Latin, Central and South American countries celebrate their independence from Spain.

In Sacramento County, Latinos and Hispanics constitute nearly a quarter of the population, the library joins the Latino community in recognizing their rich cultural, economic, and societal contributions. Latino cultural heritage and influence includes more than Spanish language origins, its literary arts are shaped by the influence of Indigenous stories and cuentos that originated within thousands of Indigenous languages, histories, and thoughts. In Mexico alone, there are over 350 active languages and dialects that are pre-colonial in origin.

The term Latino is an ever evolving concept which is under significant evaluation and debate by scholars, community organizations and social justice advocates. We recognize that full celebration of Latino culture is to include all identities: political, gender, and cultural. In recognition of this diversity, the Sacramento Public Library supports inclusivity to all, including but not limited to, Afro-Latino, Afro-Latina, Afro-Latinx, Latina, Latino, Latinx, Latine, Chicano, Chicana, Chicanx, Mexica, Hispanic, Indigenous, Iberian and all beyond. 

We invite you to celebrate with us year round by exploring the great literary arts that are available in our catalogs, and over the next 5 weeks with special events from artists who have pushed forward the Latino identity narrative and represent the intersectionality of LGBTQ2S+, Latinx, Chicano/a/x and Mexica Culture, Social Justice, and #OwnVoice representation. 

Latino Heritage Events

Bilingual Storytimes
Join us in celebration of Latino Heritage Month during Bilingual Storytime events at select library locations. Our librarians will share stories and lead you through songs and activities in Spanish and English. Each child will receive a free process art activity while supplies last.
Date Time Location
Wednesday, September 20 10:30 a.m. Southgate Library
Saturday, September 30 10:30 a.m. Colonial Heights Library
Tuesday, October 3 11:30 a.m. Del Paso Heights Library
Tuesday, October 10 11:30 a.m. Rancho Cordova Library
Saturday, October 14 10:30 a.m. Valley Hi-North Laguna Library
Saturday, October 14 4:30 p.m. South Natomas Library
Friday, October 20 10:30 a.m. Nonie Wetzel Courtland Library
Saturday, October 21 11 a.m. Galt-Marian O. Lawrence Library

STEAM: Bilingual Youth Book Club 4-Part Series
School-age children are invited to join us in this bi-weekly series to learn the story of a STEAM trailblazer! Learn how their discoveries and achievements have inspired others all over the world to pursue careers in STEAM fields. Each session will include a STEAM-based activity that you can take home at the end of the program.

These programs will be presented at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Nonie Wetzel Courtland Library, and Sylvan Oaks Library with a maximum of 20 available seats per session. 
No registration required.
We will present the following titles:

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton

The Boy Who Touched the Stars/El niño que alcanzó las estrellas by José M. Hernández

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Roos, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorell

Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch

This program is a part of the Indigenous, Black, Latinx in STEAM grant project and is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.

Local Latino Community Organizations

Brown Issues Sacramento
Brown Issues cultivates the next generation of Brown leaders through civic engagement, healing, and narrative change.

Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun
Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun is a group of bilingual artists, poets, and writers, with ties to the Sacramento region. Founded by the poets Francisco X. Alarcón and Art Mantecón.

Gender Health Center
Gender Health Center is a trans and POC-led, grassroots nonprofit organization located in Sacramento, CA. Gender Health Center (GHC) centers Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) in their services, discussions, goals and vision.

La Familia Counseling Center
Their mission is to improve the quality of life for at-risk youth and families of diverse backgrounds by offering multicultural counseling, support and outreach services and programs to help families to overcome adversity, to become empowered, and to succeed in their lives.

Lavender Library
The Lavender Library is an all-volunteer-run lending library, archive and community space with LGBTQ+ books, films and more. A hub of learning and connection for Sacramento’s LGBTQ+ community.

Latino Center of Art and Culture
The mission of the Latino Center of Art and Culture is to foster artistic, economic and cultural development of the Sacramento region's Latinx community by presenting, exhibiting, and providing excellent artistic programs and services to Latinx artists, organizations and families. In this way, they actively seek social justice for marginalized and underrepresented Sacramento communities.

Latino Economic Council of Sacramento
The Latino Economic Council of Sacramento comprises civic, business and educational leaders who have come together to promote economic opportunity and upward mobility for Sacramento’s rapidly growing Latino population. 

Latino Leadership Council
Latino Leadership Council has advanced well-being in the Sacramento-Placer Latino community since 2007. The Latino Leadership Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Latino families to bilingual and bicultural services and advocating for wellness in the Latino community.

Latino Outdoors
Latino Outdoors is a unique Latinx-led organization working to create a national community of leaders in conservation and outdoor education. As part of this work, Latino Outdoors is focused on expanding and amplifying the Latinx experience in the outdoors; providing greater leadership, mentorship, and professional opportunities while serving as a platform for sharing cultural connections and narratives that are often overlooked by the traditional outdoor movement. It is a space for the community to be present, share our voices, and showcase how conservation roots have been ingrained in la cultura Latina for generations.

Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos.

Royal Chicano Air Force Archives
This organization provides access to an extensive collection of slides and silkscreen prints, along with administrative records, news clippings, correspondence, exhibition descriptions and flyers, photographs, creative writings, and miscellaneous publications of the Sacramento-based artists collective.

Serna Center at Sacramento State University
The mission of the Serna Center is to promote, foster, and enhance leadership, empowerment, self-advocacy and civic engagement among Chicanxs/Latinxs students, but also, students from other under-represented backgrounds at Sacramento State. Additionally, integrated into all programming are efforts that raise awareness of the social, political, economic, historical and cultural realities of Chicanxs/Latinxs populations. The center establishes a strong foundation that enriches cultural identity and develops a sense of familia within the campus.

Sol Collective
Sol Collective pairs young creatives with professional mentors across artistic disciplines and mobilizes the arts as a means of community building and personal empowerment. Working to amplify the voice of underrepresented communities from Sacramento to New York City.

Sacramento City College Latinx Student Success
SCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and is committed to serving, supporting, and affirming the diverse Latinx student community, which represents 33.3% of the student community.

Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's mission is to promote and develop business growth for members and to provide access to the Hispanic market. They also strengthen the region’s business community by providing education, technical assistance, access to capital, procurement facilitation and workforce development training.

Sacramento LGBTQ Center: Latinas Sin Fronteras
Latinas Sin Fronteras (Latinas without Borders) is designed to break down the barriers that stand in the way of community member access to culturally responsive services for Spanish-speaking Latinx and immigrant community members, especially transgender Latinx women

South County Services
This community-based organization offers services to promote employment, health and well-being and economic self-sufficiency in South Sacramento County including the cities of Galt, Herald, Elk Grove, South Sacramento and the River Delta areas of Isleton, Walnut Grove and Courtland.

The Washington Neighborhood Center
The Washington Neighborhood Center is located at 400 16th Street in one of Sacramento’s oldest neighborhoods. For over 50 years, the Center has provided residents of the Alkali Flat and Washington neighborhoods with services and programing in the arts, education, recreational activities, health, culture and an overall emphasis on the development of youth.