As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Porter Novelli hosted an engaging and passionate conversation around diversity, being Hispanic, being Latino and growing up as a minority.
We were privileged to have two very genuine, authentic and powerful panelists who shared their experiences navigating a totally different culture and how the world around them has evolved in the past couple of years.
We want to capture some of these insights and share reactions from our own team around the powerful discussion. It was truly eye opening not only to Hispanic/Latinos, but to every PNer that can relate.
- Being Hispanic is not the same as being Latino. Hispanics come from Spanish-speaking countries while Latinos include everyone that comes from any country in Latin America.
- We have a background of resilience. We know how to adapt and to be strong in moments of adversity.
- We are not all immigrants. Even when born in the US, Hispanics and Latinos are always perceived as “not American enough.” For example, residents of Puerto Rico are not entitled to vote in any United States election.
- We need to work hard to eliminate stereotypes. Smiling too much does not mean we are dumb. Our accent is not “cute.”
- We know we need to prove ourselves.
As we work towards building awareness and educate society so people can understand and support Hispanic and Latino colleagues, we should develop strong allyships and a space were people can relate and grow together. In our jobs, we will find that clients need more education around the things that differentiate this community and the things that bring us together. Our responsibility as marketers and communicators is huge, as we have the power to influence conversation and develop responsible messaging, using the right channels to develop a culture of tolerance, inclusion and respect.
Here are some reactions of our colleagues on the panel:
“’Diversity is inviting people to the party; inclusion is asking them to dance.’ As a first-generation Latina discovering my purpose in the communications industry (and who’s always up for a dance), listening to the dedicated efforts from industry leaders aiming to expand, educate, and create an equitable environment for all was truly encouraging.
One thing we can learn from Latinos this Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month is that an engaged community can be the foundation of powerful change. I think we are all currently witnessing an awakening opportunity to listen, understand, and advocate for humanity, compassionately.
Sí se puede – yes we can.”
Gladys Cardenas, PN So Cal
“The panel discussion was very empowering and informative. As Hispanics, I think we still have some work to do to be seen, heard and respected throughout the various industries and platforms. Our cultural differences should not be looked upon as a hinderance or stop us from excelling in all fields. Our ancestors were warriors and we have that fighting spirit which empowers us to work hard and strive for great achievements.
Culturally, we have strong family values and I believe that this is the building blocks of a strong community. We need to continue to build and enhance our Hispanic community to reflect the aspirations we can achieve; not only in our life-styles but in employment, political and educational opportunities.
I leave you with something my mother used to say when I felt defeated – ‘Somos fuerte, sigue adelante.’ (We are strong, keep going) I miss her wisdom!”
Millie Houston, PN Corp (NY)