2012-09-26 / Features

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated


(L. to r.): State Senator José Peralta, Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, Congressmember Joe Crowley, Assemblymembers Francisco Moya and Michael DenDekker, and Queens Civil Court Judge Carmen Velasquez celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. 
Photo Dominick Totino Photography (L. to r.): State Senator José Peralta, Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, Congressmember Joe Crowley, Assemblymembers Francisco Moya and Michael DenDekker, and Queens Civil Court Judge Carmen Velasquez celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo Dominick Totino Photography On September 18, Congressmember Joe Crowley (D-Queens/The Bronx) helped celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by holding an event to honor the extraordinary contributions made by Latinos both in his district and throughout the city. During the event, Crowley paid tribute to special guest and keynote speaker, Paloma Izquierdo- Hernandez, CEO of Urban Health Plan, for her professional leadership and contributions to the community. Each year, Americans celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15 in recognition of the deep history, culture and contributions of Hispanic Americans.

“Each year, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and pay tribute to the many contributions the Latino community has made to our country. The vibrant and active Latino community here in Queens and The Bronx is deeply woven into the diverse fabric of our great city, and we are all stronger for it,” said Crowley. “Hispanic Heritage Month is also a time to honor the many leaders in the Latino community, like Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, who have committed themselves to building a bright future for everyone. Paloma’s tireless commitment to ensuring health care for the people of New York City and her dedication to giving back to her community are admirable, and I am proud to recognize her as this year’s honoree.”

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for all of us to come together to reflect on the rich history of the Latino community as well as celebrate the future. I am proud to be a part of Congressman Crowley’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration and I thank him for this great honor,” said Izquierdo-Hernandez.

As CEO of Urban Health Plan, Izquierdo-Hernandez is dedicated to reducing the health disparities in the South Bronx community. She holds master’s degrees from both Teachers College and Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in the city. Izquierdo-Hernandez has served on a number of community boards and organizations including the NYC Primary Care Development Corporation, the National Association of Community Health Centers, and the Community Health Care Association of NYS.

City Comptroller John C. Liu, state Senator José Peralta, Assemblymembers Michael DenDekker and Francisco Moya, and Queens Civil Court Judge Carmen Velasquez, who was the 2011 event honoree, also joined Crowley in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

The observation of Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 when Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to designate Hispanic Heritage Week the week of September 15 to commemorate the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days September 16 and September 18, respectively.

In 1988, the week was expanded to a month-long celebration to honor the cultures and traditions of Americans with heritage tied to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

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