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Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month

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Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month

Happy Latinx Heritage Month! We are spotlighting our very own CEO and National Sales Director as they celebrate their rich Latinx culture and heritage.

Be sure to join us next week 10/8 at 5pm PST/8pm EST on IG live for an interview with Suz and Scarlet. They’ll be discussing their experiences growing up as latinx in the US, what it means to be latinx, and why it’s important to take a stand against injustice toward minorities!

 



Full Name: Suzan Cresencia Hernandez
Hometown: Palos Verdes, CA
Current Residence: Jersey City, NJ

What is your cultural background? How has or has not defined who you are today?
Being multiracial in the US, people are always trying to place you in an ethnic box. Either you're white or brown - not both. But the thing is, my roots are both American and Mexican. Growing up in a single-parent household, I was only raised as American. Its a surprise for most people when they learn I'm not fluent in Spanish and there's a stigma around having a latin last name and not speaking fluent Spanish. When I was younger, I disliked my Mexican side, I wanted to belong and blend in. It's why I never took up Spanish until later in my adult life. As a kid and teenager I'd face racism when people thought I wasn't white. Even now into adulthood, I still face racism. In my mid-20s, I went to business school and met latinos from around the world. It wasn't until then I started to embrace my latin side and learn about my heritage (thanks friends!). Starting to learn Spanish again, traveling to Mexico, and learning about its diverse culture - it feels like I'm making up for lost time. As the world is becoming more diverse, us multiracial folks are able to celebrate all sides of who we are. This is one reason why I'm so passionate to fight for equality for all. I understand what it's like to experience both privilege and discrimination - and I believe that all humans are equal. Character is above all else.

What does Latinx Heritage Month mean to you?
For me it's a time to reflect on the impact latinos have had and still have on society. It's a time for learning and supporting one another. I love scrolling through instagram and learning about Latinx leaders and history. A few of my favorite accounts are @mujeresdemaiz and @she_sepuede

Who is a Latinx role model?
Cesar Chavez and his civil rights activism for the rights of migrant farm workers.

Where do you see opportunity for Latinx people today?
The opportunity is focusing on the youth and helping them navigate education and moving up in the workforce. According to Fast Company, "The gap between the labor force and executive representation is wider among Hispanics than any other group. Statistics from 2017 show that Hispanics make up 17% of the labor force. However, they occupy only 4.3% of executive positions in the U.S." We need to lift one another up - and lift up our family in other minority groups. When we rise, we all rise together. Diversity is needed now more than ever in leadership positions.



Full Name: Scarlet Garcia
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Current Residence: Encinitas, CA

What is your cultural background? How has or has not defined who you are today?
I was raised by two Nicaraguan parents and I grew up learning about our traditional foods, language, and culture. Both my parents immigrated from Nicaraguan at an early age. Being a first generation born Nicaraguan American has definitely shaped my identity. I’m proud (orgullosa) of my heritage and roots. I come from a long linage of strong women and I want nothing more than to show my family that I strive to follow in their footsteps. They’ve taught me what it means to be kind, resilient, strong, compassionate, and hardworking.

What does Latinx Heritage Month mean to you?
It means an opportunity to show people that there is more to Latin American than just Mexico. There are 20 Spanish speaking countries and I think it’s important to know that. And that with each country comes with their own set of cultural practices, histories, beliefs etc. The truth is I’ve met many people who don’t know where Nicaragua is located. My hope is that Latinx Heritage Month will help pique peoples’ curiosity around Latin America’s rich cultural and historical significance.

Who is a Latinx role model?
Dolores Huerta, AOC, Selena, Celia Cruz — I guess I have many! They range from social justice activists, politicians, and the many musicians who helped shape the world of Latin music. All these icons dared to dream big, break barriers, glass ceilings, and societal norms.

Where do you see opportunity for Latinx people today?
EVERYWHERE! Many Latinx people are taught to have a strong work ethic. If you think about it our economy would come to a screeching halt if it were not for the hard work of Latinx people. We are frontline workers, farmworkers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, you name it we can do it! Si Se Puede!

Anything else?
Yes, I want to mention that as a lighter complected Latina it is very important to me that I speak up against colorism and discrimination when I see situations arise. I do not keep quiet when I see injustices and call out blatant (and sometimes not so blatant) racism. The Spanish colonial racial hierarchy is still very much alive in Latino communities and racism runs rampant among White Latinos, as well. I stand with all my brothers and sisters no matter where their skin color lands on the color spectrum. All colors are beautiful.

In the words of the great Dolores Huerta, "Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world."

Colombiana @susdraws illustrated this piece for @ultabeauty in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month

Cover image by @susdraws

Colombiana @susdraws illustrated this piece for @ultabeauty in celebration of #LatinxHeritageMonth 🎨 About the piece Susana said, "Something about my culture I wish more people knew is that Latinxs come in all shades. The media has always perpetuated our perception of what a Latinx looks like; brown hair, brown eyes and light skin. But no, we do not all look the same. Think twice before you tell someone they don’t look 'Latin enough.'⁠⠀
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I picked orchids for the background because they’re Colombia’s national flower (and coincidentally, my mom’s favorite flower!)"

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