Coming back from the Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media Annual Conference I always feel a greater sense of pride and commitment to the Latino community. This year was no different; I was inspired to support the many great causes that the organization promotes. Last week, in it’s seventh year, I witnessed the way LATISM expands its social impact in the community through many different efforts to advance Latinos in the United States.
The main takeaway I have from last week’s conference is that we are growing stronger as an organization, and as a community, and that our influence across the country is changing the lives of Latinos. I was excited to learn about the ways in which LATISM expands its social impact not only with social media influencers but also with the many Latinos attending colleges, nurturing their love for STEM, developing professional careers and contributing to the American way of life.
While reflecting on all of the above, a constant theme came to mind: LATISM sponsors. Through the years, the organization has been able to make an impact thanks to the support of loyal partners. Toyota it’s one of those partners that has provided its support to LATISM and has remained true to the Latino community by nurturing this collective effort.
As we continue to see how LATISM expands its social impact year after year by growing its grassroots concept, the contributions of loyal partners will only increase. However, it is important to take time to be grateful for those partners that have been there from the beginning, cheering us up and helping us along the way, like has doneToyota and other great partners as well. To them, I want to say thanks.
5 Ways LATISM Expands Its Social Impact
At The Conference
The Meeting Of The Minds
On the very first panel I engaged during LATISM15, Championing Diversity & Inclusion in Corporate America, I was able to voice my opinion and ask a question to Christine Cadena from Disney. While I liked her answer and appreciated the efforts of the Disney Company to create more inclusion at the corporate level and take that into their stories and characters, the best thing that happened to me there was to be seen by another member of the audience.
After the panel ended, Dr. Ruben Ayala, whom I didn’t know before that moment reached out to congratulate me for the comment and introduce himself. Turns out, he is the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs for Operation Smile and I was able to talk to him about the cases of two orphan children who need surgeries back in Latin America. Two kids that I cannot help financially, but that through LATISM and meeting the right people, I can definitely make a difference in their lives. For a writer, journalist and blogger like me, meeting a doctor might seem like a random occurrence. However, the gathering of influential Latinos is what’s going to take us further as a community, helping one another with our particular talents and skills.
Getting Loud on Social Media
As Latinos we are known to be loud, but that can be a good thing when it’s done for the right reasons and when we count on the support of a brand. There were several paralleled stories we were sharing on Social Media during LATISM, which helps to engage those Latinos that were not physically in Washington but also who care about those issues. Having the support of Toyota to voice what we care about through their #VayamosJuntos campaign, provided a fun way to get our messages across with a unifying voice. I say, #VayamosJuntos To Promote Diversity & Inclusion… What say you?
Opening Doors for Latinos
A huge way in which LATISM expands its social impact using the conference is by creating programs that specifically target segments of our population that need support. The Top Influencers Retreat personally benefited me and in its fourth year I could see the growth that has provided for fellow digital influencers. For Latinos with technological skills, in its second year, we saw new Latino hackers through El Hackathon. My favorite one this year, in its first edition, put the spotlight on the younger generation of American Latinos: The Latino Youth Summit. This event was a clear demonstration that Latino innovators are younger and younger; these kids are going to define the STEM field in the decades to come.
Support Does Exist Among Latinos & Latinas
We’ve heard way too many times that Latinos don’t support one another. That’s an urban legend, and I’ll tell you why. When you enter a room with the LATISM familia you are going to feel the genuine love and support that we provide one another, how happy we are for other’s success and how we are willing to be an integral part of the advancement of others. If there is one thing I’m thankful for is meeting Ana Roca Castro and seeing that when you believe that people can get together and help one another, it does happen. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Making Me A Success
Last, but not least, I want to express how LATISM15, and the organization in general, has made me a success. It’s not about my blogging career or making me a celebrity, no. A very tangible way in which LATISM expands its social impact is by connecting people to the people they need in their life. I read somewhere that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and to that extend I have to tell you I am great and headed to accomplish all of my goals and be successful on my own terms.
That has to do with all of the awesome women I call friends, women I’ve met at the several LATISM conferences I have attended. The LATISM Awards, sponsored by Toyota as well, was such a special night for me; and not because I was nominated or won. It was beyond personal recognition. I was so excited and emotional of seeing many of my friends being awarded, winning, rightfully so, for their accomplishments. I felt like a proud mama, with tears in my eyes, to see my hermanas as winners.
Special thanks to Ana Roca Castro for being our leader; one who is constantly showing us the way and opening doors for us all. You are definitely a force to be reckoned with. ¡Mil gracias!
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