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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Key Terms

Hispanic refers to any of the peoples in the Americas and Spain who speak Spanish or are descended from Spanish-speaking communities. It was coined in the 1970s by the U.S. Census Bureau to offer a pan-ethnic name for peoples such as Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans and others, whose social, economic and political needs were often ignored.

Latino/Latina describes any person with ancestry in Latin America, a politically defined region usually unified by the predominance of Romance languages. This definition usually includes Portuguese-speaking Brazil and French-speaking Haiti, but excludes Spain.

Latinx is essentially a non-binary form of Latino or Latina. The suffix “-x” replaces the “-o” or “-a” corresponding to masculine or feminine, allowing the word to resist the gender binary. (In Spanish-speaking countries, the term Latine with the suffix “-e” is circulating as an alternative to the -o/a binary.)

From: Campos, A. (2021). What's the difference between Hispanic, Latino and Latinx? University of California.

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