Celebrating the contributions, history and culture of Latinx and Hispanic communities, Hispanic Heritage Month began as a weeklong observance in 1968. Originally established by President Lyndon Johnson, nearly 20 years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded it to a month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
Commemorating how these communities have influenced and contributed to American society, the terms Hispanic or Latino (or the more recent Latinx) refer to a person’s culture or origin — regardless of race.
In the decades since, National Hispanic Heritage Month proclamations have been made by every sitting president of the United States.
An organization striving to promote success of all ethnicities and cultures is the Chicano Correctional Workers Association (CCWA). The organization was formed in 1972 by California Department of Corrections Hispanic employees. CCWA dedicated itself to being an advocate for equal representation of Hispanic people as well as pursuing progress since the beginning.
CCWA Association President Evelyn Garcia is passionate about the mission. She’s also a Parole Service Associate with Community Transition Program at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison.
“Today, CCWA enjoys a diverse membership. We continue to encourage and support our members by providing training conferences and seminars in the areas of upward mobility, financial planning, marriage/family and well-being, and other subject matters to enhance our CDCR careers,” Garcia said. “Our motto of ‘Somos Familia’ (We are Family) is evident in our participation with social and community events. These include institutional functions, scholarship awards, support of youth activities and support of our military and veterans.”