Unveiling the Impact and Potential During National Hispanic Heritage Month

This year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the impact of Latinos in the U.S.

By Norma Castrejon, CAE & Josie Hernandez, IOM

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This year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month theme was “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.”  Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the culture and strength of the community while creating an inclusive space to celebrate and learn alongside allies and supporters. The Association Forum community has seen social media posts, informational articles, and suggestions of movies and shows to watch so you could learn about the impact and diversity of the Latinx community.  

This year’s theme also highlights the positive impact Latinos make on the U.S. economy and society. Latinos are the driving force in these three areas because of a rise in population, workforce participation, entrepreneurship, and economic contributions. Research indicates that Latinos make up 19 percent of the U.S. population and are projected to account for 29 percent of the population by 2060, remaining the second-largest group of Americans after white, non-Hispanics.   

Since the global financial crisis caused by the pandemic, Latinos have accounted for more than three-quarters of the U.S. labor force growth. At the same time, Latinos are proving to be leaders in entrepreneurship. Latinos started more small businesses than any other racial/ethnic group in the US over the past ten years. Lastly, the U.S. Latino GDP reached over 3 trillion dollars in 2021. If U.S. Latinos were a nation, that GDP it would be the fifth largest in the world–larger than the United Kingdom, India, and France. Latinos are creating a positive impact on the American economy and society and make the Latino cohort prime candidates to join the membership ranks of associations. The Latino cohort can be part of current and future generations of association membership; these economic markers indicate that Latinos are prime candidates for workforce development programs as well as future leaders for association boards. 

As we celebrate and take this month as an opportunity to learn about Hispanic cultures and tradition, we have found that celebrating diversity creates a more inclusive environment in the association community. It is important for organizations to create this inclusive community throughout the year. There are several ways this can be done. Organizations can conduct bias training, identify mentors and sponsors for your diverse staff, and ensure they create a path to have Latinos represented at all levels of the organization.

You can also continue to partake in activities beyond Hispanic Heritage month by visiting Association Latinos Latinx Treasures page where you can find and contribute to a curated list of movies, books, articles and playlist. The Latino cohort is extremely diverse which creates inclusivity because it gives all who participate an opportunity to explore intersectionality among the collective.   

About the Author

Norma is a senior technology consultant at DelCor Technology Solutions. Josie is an executive director at Bostrom, an association management company. In 2020, Norma and Josie co-founded Association Latinos, a group that advances Latino leadership, representation, and inclusion, in the association profession.

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