(KRON) — Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed September 15 to October 15 “Latino Heritage Month,” recognizing Latinos’ countless contributions throughout California’s history.

More than 15 million Latinos who call California home serve a central role “in our continued growth and prosperity,” the governor said.

Newsom’s proclamation states, “Latinos are California’s largest ethnic group, with diverse roots throughout the Americas, Indigenous communities of Latin America and Africa, and beyond. Generations of Latinos have helped shape our society, economy, culture and values since our state’s beginnings. The leadership, service, and vision of Latinos continues to enrich all facets of American life.”

The proclamation emphasized that strength is found in diversity, and all Californians should have access to opportunities regardless of immigration status.

“We continue working to make the California Dream a reality for everyone through bold action and inclusive policies to expand equality and opportunity, push back against the forces of hate that seek to divide us, and advance our collective progress,” Newsom wrote.