For over half a century, it has become a tradition in the U.S. to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th. This is a month of celebration, tribute and pride for those of us that relate to the Hispanic/Latinx culture, either because we are part of it, or because we have grown fond of this community and feel a connection. But, this is also a time for reflection.
For some time now, our community has been going through challenging times deriving from strong external narratives that fail to represent our beauty, our diversity and the real challenges that we face today and in the past. Stories that attempt to create deep social divisions. Stories that intend to tear down the very fabric of what the Hispanic and Latinx communities truly represent.
As a Latino and Executive Sponsor of HOLA (Hispanic & Latinx Organization of Leaders in Action), Microsoft’s Hispanic/Latinx Employee Resource Group, I have learned so much on my journey to represent and propel the Latino culture in the USA. It’s just amazing to see the positive impact that Latinos have daily. On one hand, 86% of all new US businesses have been launched by Latinos over the last decade and Latinas create small businesses 6x faster than any other group in the country. Latino GDP was $2.13 Trillion in 2015, and it’s growing 70% faster than the rest of the economy.
Latinos are contributing to the very fabric of this country and that is why it is extremely important that our individual voices and personal stories of struggles, achievements and contributions to the North American culture continue to collectively rise. Hispanic Heritage Month is a perfect moment to share the true narrative of who we are, and the great impact and role each one of us plays in society.
To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, Microsoft is celebrating Latinx culture and inspirational stories through Our Voz. This will include local events in the community, celebrations, as well as stories from our own Latinx employees who are making an impact in the community.
Microsoft HOLA, in partnership with our Global Diversity and Inclusion team and our many internal allies across all businesses, have established strong partnerships with key stakeholders in the Latino community. By joining forces, we have helped accelerate progress across a wide range of topics from our own internal culture and ability to bring our true selves to work, to supporting families through immigration challenges, improving education, and much more. We would like to take the opportunity to recognize and thank these organizations for their partnership and the great work they do every day to make a difference for our community. You can view the full list of partner organizations below.
It is my belief that through empathy, mutual understanding and purposeful action we can make a lasting, bigger impact that changes how we experience the world – and how the world experiences us. Please visit microsoft.com/en-us/hispanic-heritage-month/ for the most current news and opportunities to celebrate, engage and be inspired. If you want to learn more about broader initiatives for diversity and inclusion at Microsoft please visit here.
Let’s continue this conversation and share our stories to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Follow me on Twitter, @alvarocelis and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/alcelis/.
 Hispanic Sentiment Study, Zeno Group 2018
 Latino Donor Collaborative
H.O.L.A Partner Organizations
ALPFA’s mission: To empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy.
DigiGirlz is Microsoft’s own global outreach program that gives middle and high school girls opportunities to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.
HACR’s Mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions.
- HITEC Global
HITEC is a premier global executive leadership organization of senior business and technology executives who have built outstanding careers in technology. HITEC’s premiere network spans the Americas and is focused on building stronger technology and executive leaders, leadership teams, corporations, and role models in a rapidly changing, flatter, and technology centric world.
The “HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute” provides opportunities for Latino students interested in intellectual property law. This summer, up to twenty-five Latino law students from law schools across the country will be chosen to participate in an IP immersion program in Washington, DC. Candidates are selected in a highly competitive process, and the selected students are provided substantive instruction, the opportunity to observe first-hand U.S. IP institutions at work, and the chance to meet leading members of the IP legal community who will serve as mentors and potentially provide pathways for future job opportunities.
Mission: To expose and inspire underrepresented youth to become tomorrow’s business and technology leaders. iUrban Teen is a nationally recognized program focused on bringing career focused education to underrepresented teens ages 13 to 18. Youth receive hands-on exposure to a variety of careers and civic engagement that step them outside of their current boundaries. Our target demographics are African American, Latino and Native American males, however, the program is inclusive of all youth.
- KIND (Kids in need of Defense)
Microsoft, along with Angelina Jolie, founded KIND in 2008 to provide legal services to unaccompanied children entering the U.S. Brad Smith Microsoft President is also KIND Chairman of the Board. Many of our Microsoft in house attorneys and other professionals work on KIND cases on a pro bono basis, and Microsoft also supports for a KIND fellow, an attorney who works for KIND and supports Microsoft’s pro bono efforts. More information about KIND can be found Here
Empowering and inspiring adult Latinas by sharing technical knowledge, business skills, and entrepreneurship resources through hands-on workshops and community events.
- Nuevo Foundation
Inspiring kids to be curious, confident, and courageous by discovering the world of STEM.
Offers coding workshops that provide hands on opportunities for students to learn real-world problem-solving skills using coding, hardware and their own imagination.
Also, offers virtual sessions to share the stories of people who have succeeded in STEM fields with students worldwide.
Lastly, offer speaker engagements to motivate students to pursue STEM education.
SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development.
- Tapia conference
The Tapia conference is the premier venue to acknowledge, promote and celebrate diversity in computing.
Microsoft is a sponsor of TECHNOLOchicas, a campaign of our strategic partner, the National Center for Women and Information Technologies (NCWIT) and the Televisa Foundation to increase the visibility and participation of Latinas in technology. Each campaign year a Latina Microsoft technologist serves as one of the TECHNOLOchica Ambassadors featured in the campaign video and social media assets and represents our company at TECHNOLOchica events.
- We Are All Human Foundation
We use the power of dialogue to create understanding and remind us that united, we are stronger.
Tags: Hispanic Heritage Month, Microsoft Latinx, Microsoft Life