Day 3: The Latin-Blazers Series – Hispanicize 2017

Solving America’s New Diversity Crisis 

There is indeed a diversity crisis in America and it was the focus of today’s robust discussion at Hispanicize. The session featured a panel representing the PR, TV/film, nonprofit and corporate industry. 
The panel includes Mekahlo Medina, Ramon Escobar, Natalie Boden, Gloria Rodriguez, Rick Najera, Semhar Araia, and Audrey Ponzio. Everyone agreed that there are obvious gaps when it comes to including diversity and multicultural efforts and it’s time to change the game. Starting from the PR point of view, brands are responding to consumers by rethinking strategies to reach diverse audiences. Panelists also spoke about what diversity is or should be, and that is, the inclusion of all cultures, all genders, and even thoughts and ideas. New generations are encouraged to embrace their diversity no matter where they are from. Future generations who will become the new leaders can ensure that diversity is the rule, not the exception. At the end of the day, we must hold ourselves as the example and represent! If the multicultural and diverse community does not stand up to tell their own stories with our own voices, then how can we expect anyone else to do it for us? 
Aha moment:
Diversity is the appreciation of difference and unlocking its incredible value. No matter how hard the conversation might be, diversity will always win in the end. 
Tweet me:
“Diversity is about the different thoughts and beliefs in the room. Inclusion is when everyone is respected and heard.” @Semhar #Hispz17 @hispanicizeevent




Improving User Engagement in Today's Mobile and Social World

This session was quick and to the point. Just how we like them! Here's the gist--if you want to increase user engagement for your website it needs to be simple, consistent, easy, and clean. Also, make it mobile friendly ASAP. Did you know that if your page does not load in less than five seconds, you'll lose over 70% of visitors? As for social media, the tips are easy to follow too. For example, have evergreen content, sprinkle in some trending topics, and offer in-depth posts. Choose to focus on one or two of these areas and make it your trademark. If you're a content creator, don't forget to establish best practices that will help you earn followers and money for your content. All your hard work and creativity should be rewarded and there are many ways of doing this through engagement. 
Aha moment:
Less is more. Make your written content as powerful as you can so it speaks without a lot of visual components. This will make your page run smoother and faster. Do use awesome graphics and video in social media and complement copy with a call to action.
Tweet me:
"If we care, we share. Everyone loves an emotional story." -Tim Buckley, @Google #Hispz17 @hispanicizeevent

Afro Latinas in Social Media: A Conversation on Identity, Influence & Impact

Four dynamic Afro-Latinas led a candid discussion about the lack of being represented in many spaces. These influential bloggers—Dania Santana, Bren Herrera, Rocio Mora, and Dania Peguero--expressed their concerns about the lack of diversity by sharing their personal stories and achievements about what it means to be Afro-Latina. These women faced an identity crisis as young adults growing up in environments that did not always embrace their color or culture. Facing the dilemma of being too black to be Latin, and too Latin to be black, they learned to empower themselves and teach younger generations how to embrace their Afro-Latinidad. The richness of the culture whose roots stem from around the world are a selling point to bring together both communities by bringing in valuable assets that unite. 
As bilingual content creators their own personal self-discovery is shared on social media where they use their influence and voice to talk about race, culture, and color with a national audience.  
Aha Moment:
There is still a disconnect with the identity and representation of Afro-Latinas. The conversations must start at home in our communities in order to help the next generation flourish by honoring both cultures.
Tweet me:
By embracing my blackness and being able to talk about being Afro-Latina, I am challenging what media is defining as beauty. - @BLnegrabella #Hispz17 @hispanicizeevent

Pictured: Bren Herrera (white jacket), Rocio Mora, Dania Peguero (flower dress), Dania Santana (yellow dress)