For Immediate Release - September 15, 2011

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

BOSTON - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick today issued a proclamation declaring September 15, 2011 to October 15, 2011 as Hispanic Heritage Month in Massachusetts, encouraging residents to participate in community events across the Commonwealth.

"Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes Massachusetts' rich history of diversity," said Governor Patrick. "As we celebrate our differences, it is important that we turn to each other and recognize that these differences make a stronger, and more vibrant Commonwealth."

"As Massachusetts continues to strengthen its diversity, we encourage all to appreciate the various cultures that encompass our great Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "While we should recognize and value all cultures throughout the year, this special month provides the opportunity to engage with the community and celebrate the Hispanic heritage in Massachusetts and across the country."

Lieutenant Governor Murray presented the proclamation to the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys during the association's annual breakfast reception. The reception also featured an award presentation to United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz, the first woman and Hispanic to hold the job of Massachusetts' top federal prosecutor.

As the Governor's Office of Community Affairs engages in events across the Commonwealth over the next four weeks, replicas of the state's proclamation will be presented to various small businesses, community-based organizations, clergy, schools and event organizers in Massachusetts.

The state's proclamation recognizes that the nations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile celebrate their independence between the dates of September 15 and September 18. According to the United States Library of Congress, National Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for Americans to celebrate "the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America." First recognized as a week-long observation under President Lyndon B. Johnson, President Ronald Reagan later expanded the holiday from September 15 to October 15.

For more information, please contact the Governor's Office of Community Affairs.

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