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Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates Latino communities in East Tennessee and beyond

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept 15 - Oct. 15 and is meant to celebrate the contributions of Latino people in the U.S.

Tuesday started Hispanic Heritage Month, which is meant to celebrate Latino people across the U.S. and in East Tennessee.

Centro Hispano will host virtual events throughout the month and Latino people will have the chance to celebrate themselves and their identities. On Sept. 24, officials said they will host the 2020 Latino Awards from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m online. Anyone who wants to participate can register online.

The awards will recognize the work that community members do, and usually includes dancing, singing and food. However, in-person events were canceled this year due to the COVID-109 pandemic. This year, it will be held virtually with MC's Erin Donavan and WBIR's Louis Fernandez.

"It gives us a chance to explain to our great communities, our neighbors and our families what it means to be Hispanic and Latino," said Claudia Caballero, who works with Centro Hispano. "We have such a diversity. We are not a race, we are a culture."

The awards will include different categories for awards: the Latino Community Leader Award, the Humanitarian Award, Best Latino Restaurant and the Young Latino or Latina Award. People can vote on nominees online, on Centro Hispano's website.

Hispanic Heritage Month began as "Hispanic Heritage Week" under President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, then expanded to a month by President Reagan. 

Centro Hispano is beyond-honored to have been selected by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as a beneficiary of Unity t-shirt sales! The shirt was designed by student athletes for the March on UTK and is currently for sale at the UT Volshop online and in stores.

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