Governor Cooper Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Members of Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic and Latino Affairs | Eastern North Carolina Now

RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper hosted a ceremony at the NC Executive Mansion celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month to honor the history, culture, and achievements of the Hispanic, Latino, Latinx and Latine communities across North Carolina.

Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper hosted a ceremony at the NC Executive Mansion celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month to honor the history, culture, and achievements of the Hispanic, Latino, Latinx and Latine communities across North Carolina. At the event, the new members of the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic and Latino Affairs were sworn in. The theme of this year's Hispanic Heritage Month is Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.

    "North Carolina is a stronger place to live and work, thanks to the contributions of our Hispanic and Latino communities," said Governor Cooper. "As we celebrate their achievements it brings to light the importance of our diversity and how it can bring a better, more successful life for all of us."

    "I am excited and honored to join this diverse group of leaders in supporting Governor Cooper's efforts to build a North Carolina that works for everyone," said the Honorable Ricky Hurtado, Chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic and Latino Affairs. "Our work should make it clear that an investment in the Latino community is an investment in the future of North Carolina."

    In 2017, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 23, establishing the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs to advise the Governor on issues related to the Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, Latine population and how North Carolina can better support these communities.

    The Governor has appointed the following individuals to the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, the Honorable Ricky Hurtado, Jodie Stanley, Dr. Luis F. Alvarez Caicedo, M. Stefanía Arteaga, Javiera Caballero, Javier Correa-Vega, Lizette Cruz Watko, Pablo Friedmann, M. Victoria Garcia, Lariza Garzón, Bruno Youzimark Hinojosa Ruiz, Norma Martí, Prudencio Martinez-Mengel, María J. Mayorga, Marimer Rodriguez McKenzie, Tiffany Marie Oliva, the Honorable Lou Olivera, Yesenia Pedro Vicente, Eliazar Arturo Posada, Jr., Dr. JuanEs Ramírez, Federico Rios, Juvencio Rocha-Peralta, Iliana Santillán, Elaine Townsend Utin, Daniel Valdez, William J. Vásquez, Yahel Flores and Erik Valera.

    Governor Cooper has proclaimed September 15 - October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month, when seven Latin American countries celebrate their independence days.

    On Wednesday, Governor Cooper spoke at the Sylvia Mendez Newcomers School ribbon cutting ceremony in High Point. Named after civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez, the Sylvia Mendez Newcomers School is the first school in North Carolina to be named after a Latino person. The Sylvia Mendez Newcomers School will serve immigrant and refugee children in High Point. It will operate on a 10-month schedule, with extended learning sessions scheduled throughout the year as a counterpart to the Doris Henderson Newcomer's School in Greensboro.

    Governor Cooper is committed to uplifting and supporting the inclusion and equitable access of resources for our diverse Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, and Latiné communities, which represent an important and growing demographic in North Carolina. In December 2019, the Governor created the DRIVE Task Force to recruit more teachers of color, improve equity and increase diversity among the educator workforce.

    In January 2021, the DRIVE Task Force released its recommendations and reports to increase teacher diversity, which have been reflected in the Governor's proposed budgets, including increasing teacher compensation, expanding teaching fellows and providing support for educators of color to complete their National Board Teaching Certification.

    In June 2023, based on a recommendation of the DRIVE Task Force, Governor Cooper allocated $3 million in GEER funding to reimburse teaching licensing exam fees, an identified barrier for educators of color to enter the profession.

    Reestablished under Executive Order No. 268, the Andrea Harris Equity Task Force has been reconstituted to further the economic development of disadvantaged communities, improve health and wellness outcomes in underserved communities and advance equitable and inclusive practices within state agencies.

    Governor Cooper's administration is committed to ensuring that Spanish-speaking communities have access to information across state government agencies with translators and language access plans.

    Contact: Sam Chan

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email:
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