Confession time: My intern and right-hand gal, Shweta, and I were reviewing our content and social media calendar recently h to see what holidays and celebrations are coming up that employers might benefit from HR tidbits about. We saw National Hispanic (now Latinx?!?) Heritage month starts in September and thought great – we can celebrate this!
Then, we started to think – who are the Latinx thought leaders we follow? Who are the Latinx authors we read? Who are the Latinx creators we adore? And I am embarrassed to say, I struggled to think of names. The names that did come to mind were Cesar Chavez (yay – an Arizonan!) and Ted DeGrazia (another Arizonan my grandmother knew) who I know of both from growing up in Arizona, Paul Coehlo who I’ve read, and Pablo Picasso whose works I studied as a kid in art class.
How can a list of 10, 20, 30 names not come to me right away? I may not know a ton of South American and Spanish thought leaders, but surely, I should know tens or hundreds of Mexican and Mexican American leaders from growing up in Arizona, right?
I’m embarrassed. I’m appalled. I’m feeling some shame for reading mostly white authors and listening to white podcasters the majority of my life. And I want to do better. I’ve started Googling lists of Hispanic (which as a government-created term is probably not great to start with) and Latinx leaders, writers, podcasters, poets, artists, and influencers. I’ve found lists, but I know there are more folks that I should be reading and listening to, studying and reflecting on their work, sharing with others, and asking more questions.
As the #BLM movement has moved to the front of my consciousness in recent months, I’ve received a ton of resources that I’m slowly going through and I can now name tens, if not hundreds, of leaders that have shaped me and my thoughts and actions for the future. If I have questions, I know 50 resources where I can go to get quality information, statistics, advice, or opinions.
I am realizing that my Latinx resource list is woefully small. That’s where you all come in. Who are the Latinx people that inspire you and why? What have been the most meaningful resources and reads in your life? Can you help me build my list?
As Cesar Chavez said, “Preservation of one’s culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” I firmly believe he had it right and I want to take it one step further to push myself to learn about other cultures more deeply than I ever have before. The success of the future depends on our empathy and willingness to understand each other.
Drop me a note below. I’d love to hear from you.