Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) has officially begun, and Hispanic Star’s virtual kick-off has raised the bar, setting the tone for this month of celebration and reflection. Hispanic Star gathered leaders and members of the Hispanic community in a virtual meeting to spotlight the significant contributions the community has made.
The organization aims to both unify and empower the Hispanic community, recognizing the influence the more than 60 million U.S. Hispanics have had and their role in the growth, culture, traditions, history, and achievements of the United States. It also aims to take action and support the community’s needs, based on the strong conviction that “we don’t win until we all win.”
“Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for the community to be loud and proud, showcasing and raising awareness of the contributions the Hispanic community has made to the United States so that they can be seen, heard and valued.” said Claudia Romo Edelman, Founder of the We Are All Human Foundation and host of the event. “This opening ceremony was a moment to start the celebration together and continue the momentum throughout HHM and beyond.”
The program engaged various leaders to cover topics such as Hispanic heritage and pride, the community’s current reality and Hispanic success stories. Speakers such as Mauricio Gutierrez of NRG, James Fripp of Yum! Brands, Stacie de Armas of Nielsen and Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. of United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) shared key data and insights about the current state of the community, the impact of COVID-19, and how the Hispanic community can drive growth and transformation. Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner, IBM Services also shared recent findings from the IBM Institute for Business Value’s ongoing survey of Hispanic Americans. The survey revealed startling insights such as:
- Only 30% of Hispanic junior managers say that they feel they have access to mentorship, programs or on the job training.
- Only 20% say that they are empowered to overcome their professional challenges.
- 67% say they believe they have to work harder than others to succeed because of their Hispanic identity.
“Hispanics represent the biggest economic and talent growth lever for the U.S. economy this decade. We all depend on this constituency for the U.S. economy and jobs to continue to grow, and that requires that we help more Hispanics with education, economic development and leadership advancement opportunities” said Mantas. “Success will take all of us — corporate leaders, NGOs, innovators, entrepreneurs and average citizens—working together.”
Additionally, two renowned artists made a special appearance. Juan Fernando ‘”Fonseca” and Yamid Ahmad Serna shared a preview of the “Revolución de la Sensibilidad (Sensitivity Revolution),” initiative (expected to launch in November), which highlights the incredible impact of the Hispanic culture. René Pérez Joglar, ‘Residente’ shared his thoughts on the importance of music in driving change and provided insights into his recent project “Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe (Before the World Ends).” He also referenced his upcoming collaboration with Hispanic Star to spread the message about the importance of wearing a mask.
Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble (P&G), participated in a discussion in which he shared the value and importance of the Hispanic community to P&G, including the company’s commitment to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce.
“When you have people within your walls that represent the population outside of your walls, you can better understand the consumers you are serving,” shared Pritchard. “Moreover, it helps us understand our Hispanic consumers more deeply. This allows us to make sure all our advertising accurately and respectfully portrays every Hispanic person and to take a stand to promote equality.” “Hispanic Star is a unifying movement working to bring all Hispanic organizations together. There is so much good that can come from this unified effort.”
Furthermore, Hispanic Star’s kick-off included important conversations about Hispanic underrepresentation. Hispanic Stars are often underrecognized and not as well-known by new generations. For this reason, in collaboration with SAP, the Hispanic Star launched a digital experience that celebrates the lives of the most remarkable members of the Hispanic community by placing their virtual statues where they rightfully belong. “I am so proud to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month in partnership with the We are all Human Foundation with such a creative and educational experience.” shared Alicia Tillman, Global CMO of SAP. “This is a great way to learn more about the amazing contributions of these Hispanic heroes, advocates and leaders in a way that is safe, competitive and fun!”
During the event, Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) and We Are All Human presented the “COVID-19 Superhero of the Year & Hispanic Star in Action” award to Maria Fernanda Reyes, Founder and President of AdoptaHero, and to Aaron Castro, CEO and Founder of Superior Mobile Health, and Justin Salazar, Chief Strategy Officer of Superior Mobile Health. This award was presented to the Latinx businesses demonstrating exemplary service to the Hispanic community by presenting a solution during the COVID-19 crisis.
This event, sponsored by Beam Suntory, IBM, NRG, P&G, US Bank, SAP, BMS and Yum! Brands, is just one of Hispanic Star’s planned initiatives to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Buzzfeed, the Financial Times, Next Door, Univision and Intersection also partnered with Hispanic Star for this event.
Hispanic Star has developed a toolkit to help individuals and organizations join this celebration of Hispanic heritage and build a stronger narrative about Hispanics. To access, visit https://hispanicstar.org/toolkit/.