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posted: 10/14/2013 5:00 AM

Proud to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

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As a proud Latino, and a member of the Elgin Community College family, it is an honor for me to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The history of the United States demonstrates well the contributions of Latinos, as well as all immigrants groups, toward the betterment and advancement of our country in multiple areas such as education, civil and labor rights, culture, science, workforce, military and politics. The contribution is felt even in those states were the Latino population is not a large one.

As it has been for all minorities in this country, Latinos have faced serious difficulties to achieve equality, fairness and justice. Although progress has been made, day in and day out we continue to face obstacles, primarily from political groups and uninformed citizens that have made it their agenda to block any effort to bring millions of Hispanics -- most of them children, teenagers and young adults -- to a path to become U.S. residents and eventually citizens. These are human beings who have worked hard for this country, kids who have not known any other country and who were brought here due to no decision of their own.

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Year after year, the ECC family honors Hispanic heritage with a monthlong celebration that includes notable speakers, activities, food, history and many other aspects of the Hispanic culture. As I said in my welcoming remarks at the Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff breakfast, we need to continue this effort, this fight for justice and equality for all, to honor the memory of those who came before us, those who are the present, and those who will lead in the future.

Luis Martinez

Associate Professor and president of the Elgin Community College Faculty Association

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