As a first-generation American whose family came to the United States from the Dominican Republic in the 70s, I can’t help to think about the courage it takes to be an immigrant. Whenever you’re moving to a different country, being it alone or with your family, it brings both amazing new discoveries and challenges. When you get to a new place, you are excited about learning and speaking in another language. You’re enjoying the new sights and explore every aspect of your new home. It’s a beautiful excitement, and a passion for the novelty.
At the same time, you will encounter mixed emotions. Things as simple as jokes may not resonate the same, as your new circle of friends have different references. You’ll go through the process of getting new documents, bank accounts, and building your history from scratch. You’ll miss home and that special meal only your country has. You might find yourself dealing with loneliness in the process of adjusting to new experiences. You’ll find moments where you see doors closing and you might even second-guess your initial choice of coming to a new nation.
As you go through this experience, there is one treasure hidden in all of that: the power of the community. In no other scenario, will you see the willingness to support and connect, as when you meet compatriots while abroad. Our heritage brings us together and creates an unimaginable bond, that will turn us into real families, when ours are far away. You’ll form your own support network, that will be as proud as you are of your background and will bring comfort in a challenging, yet amazing journey. And that is exactly why I personally love celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Observing National Hispanic Heritage Month
From September 15 to October 15, the United States observes National Hispanic Heritage Month (Mes nacional de la herencia hispana), a month-long celebration that recognizes the culture, achievements, and stories of Hispanic Americans.
Started in 1968 as a week-long event by President Lyndon Johnson, the occasion has evolved over time. In 1987, Representative Esteban Torres of California submitted a bill that called for the observation to be extended into a month-long event, noting the need for the American people to learn about Hispanic heritage and legacy. A moment to acknowledge and celebrate Hispanic writers, artists, Olympic medalists, as well as leaders in science, business, entertainment, and government, who have contributed to cultural richness and construction of the country as we know today. While the bill didn’t receive much support in the beginning, it was amended by Senator Paul Simon and eventually signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Three decades later, the spirit and tenacity of the Hispanic heritage is only strengthened. This year, the theme of National Hispanic Heritage Month is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.”
Inclusivity: Leaving No One Behind
As said before, one of the main goals of National Hispanic Heritage Month is to raise awareness and increase the visibility of the Hispanic community’s contributions that have long influenced, enriched, and positively impacted American society.
With inclusivity as its main theme this year, celebrating it is of key importance, mostly because it validates Hispanic Americans’ existence in the world. It marks the celebration of Hispanic voices, and it allows the community to express themselves freely and with pride.
More importantly, it also calls for the removal of stereotypes surrounding Hispanics, and speaking up against racism. It should be known that despite the U.S. Hispanic population growing across geographies, the community still experiences discrimination and erasure around the world as a result of inequality. And it is in our hands to change that.
Advocating Equality and Inclusion
As champions of diversity, equality, and inclusion, Teleperformance continues to embrace the differences of our people. For us, it’s all about our commitment not only to celebrate our uniqueness, but also to walk in a path that leads to us becoming empowered by our differences, with a common goal to achieve a better and a fairer world.
This month, our teams across the globe celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. We are with them as they reflect on their heritage, their culture, and their proud achievements. We are with them as we all continue the fight for equality and inclusion. We are also working hard to ensure that, within our company, they have a safe space and feel, not only included, but also empowered to bring their true selves in every single day.
In the spirit of sharing and as a way of opening doors to our community, I’d like to showcase some of our initiatives:
- Mentorship program for members of the Latin community as part of our Latinx@TP Employee Resource Group (ERG)