Hispanic

It is estimated that Hispanic Americans are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. Hispanic Americans, sometimes called Latino Americans, have cultural and linguistic origins in Spanish and Latin America. Like many other ethnic groups, Hispanic Americans are a diverse group of people, with a proud heritage and culture that is interwoven into the history of the country. Their values and customs such as commitment to family, religious faith, integration of food, film and music have enriched the American way of life.

Hispanic students at Andrews University are 16% of the student population mirroring the population of Hispanics living in the United States. In addition to our US born Hispanic students, international students from Bolivia, Brazil (Latino), Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela and other countries are a part of the Andrews University family of Hispanic students. Adelante https://orgsync.com/49957/chapter is the primary Hispanic social club on campus. Each year they organize a banquet, vesper programs and a musical/talent show and other events.

Current Facts and Demographics
According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates as of July 1, 2011, there are roughly 52.0 million Hispanics living in the United States, representing approximately 16.7% of the U.S. total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. The U.S. Hispanic population for July 1, 2050 is estimated to reach 132.8 million, constituting approximately 30% of the U.S. population by that date.

The terms Hispanic and Latino are commonly used interchangeably, yet they actually don’t mean the same thing. Hispanic refers in the purest sense to speaking the Spanish language. Latino refers to geographical country of origin. These may or may not be the same thing. For example, Brazilians are Latino, yet do not speak Spanish. Spaniards (individuals from Spain) are Hispanic, yet are not Latino. Some individuals fit both terms- for example a Mexican is both Hispanic and Latino. While the majority of Hispanics and Latinos are foreign born, 36.2% of the US Hispanic population was foreign-born in 2011.

Click here for a brief history of Hispanic Americans

Legal Issues
The vast majority of legal issues faced by Hispanics tend to be related (in some way or another) to immigration, citizenship, or immigration reform. Sadly, all 'denominations' of Hispanics are typically clumped together as illegal immigrants. While this is categorically untrue, the fierce debate over immigration as well as what to do with people who have already made it here (legally or illegally) rages on. Many Hispanics feel as though the immigration laws are inconsistent and contradictory.

The critical areas in which large numbers of Latinos face bias, mistreatment and significant unmet legal needs include those related to employment, education, housing, the criminal justice system, health services, access to the legal profession and media representation.

Resources
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
LCLAA - Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities
NIMHD - National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Minority Health report on Hispanics

Content provided in part by Luis Mancebo, Dr. Erich Baumgartner’s Fall 2013 Diversity, Leadership & Culture class (LEAD 689/789).