Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 50 Years Later plus updates on the Tech Industry, Black Panther, Zara, Spotify, Pew Spanish Use Insights & more

This month is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s final speech and his assassination.  There has been extensive coverage on broadcast, print and digital media  – just do a quick Google search.  Per USA Today, “Thousands of people are expected to rally in the nation’s capital Wednesday to mark 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, all with the hope of finishing his work to end racism in the U.S.” Here is a list of five speeches written by Dr. King and that, as this article states, we should all read. Here is this interview from this weekend with Ambassador Andrew Young in which he reminds us that  “Martin Luther King Jr. ‘never lost faith in the American dream’.”

On the tech front, Jesse Jackson sent a letter to tech companies asking that they redouble their diversity efforts. Fast Company profiled Arlan Hamilton’s VC which is focused on funding inclusive companies.  D Magazine had a good recap of a conversation on diversity during Dallas Startup Week. Freddy Vaca from the Pinnacle Group had some good advice: “Be unique. Every company has its own story. Create yours.”

At this point I feel like I should just do a weekly update on which milestone Black Panther has achieved – this week it topped Jurassic Park as fourth-highest grossing movie of all time in the U.S.

Spotify is looking for women of color podcasters, learn more here; Pew Hispanic released new research on Hispanic parents use of Spanish read more here and according to news reportsZara is using a diversity algorithm to scan clothing.

Congratulations to the inductees of its first-ever DiversityInc Top 50 Hall of Fame, to the 26 Women of Color Diversifying Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, Media & Beyond – proud to see Cheryl Contee on the list; and to the 2018 PRWeek Hall of Femme inductees.

Photo by James Motter on Unsplash

Diversity & March for Our Lives, the Box Office, Chance The Rapper, Intel’s Diversity Report & More

These past few days there has been extensive coverage about the March for Our Lives movement and the marches. Regardless of your politics you have to recognize and salute these students for what they have accomplished, in many instances as they grieved. Many of them opting, as The Onion reminded us, to do this instead of partying during Spring Break. What also is impressive is how the organizers of this movement have recognized that that they have an important platform, acknowledged their privilege and welcomed diversity. Some of the most impactful speeches and moments at the march were led by women and girls with diverse backgrounds. Probably the most talked about moment was Emma Gonzalez’s speech…and silence.  Then there were speeches by nine-year-old Yolanda Renee King, Dr. Martin Luther King’s granddaughter; 11-year-old Naomi Wadler’s and 17 year-old Edna Chavez. You can watch all of the speeches from DC here. Following the marches there have been some unfortunate moments including a post by Representative Steve King criticizing Emma. The only reason I highlight this is because the response from Monica Castillo in The Lily is a must read. Here is my favorite line because as a bilingual, bicultural immigrant, I can attest it’s true: “Most of us wear our biculturalism proudly every day. Maybe not on our clothes, but in how we celebrate our culture, our language, food or practices.”

If you missed this one, Chance the Rapper called out Heineken for an ad he called “terribly racist.” Read more here.  In one of his tweets he says he is “pointing out that alot of these marketing agencies are doing willfully so we overreact and tweet about it.” As far as this campaign goes, Heineken has removed the ad, which you can still find online. This is the latest brand missing the mark when it comes to diversity, and I do hope it is ignorance and not more. However, it is again a reminder on why diverse teams in advertising and marketing are important.  I don’t know if the team or agency changed from last year but not sure how the brand who did this ad called “Worlds Apart” could then do this one.

This week we’ve also seen a continued focus on diversity in media. Here is this story from CNN on how diversity is dominating the Box Office; Black Panther continues to break records; John Leguizamo announced he is expanding his studio to create more content for Latinos and there was an announcement that “One Day at a Time” was renewed for a third season after a social media campaign by fans.

Other news I am following this week include Intel’s diversity report, here is this from Portland “A School Board Member Complains to the Feds About the Quality of Education for Minority Kids in Portland,” this from USA Today titled “See Buffalo coach’s powerful words about diversity” and this guest commentary from Modern Healthcare on promoting diversity.

Congratulations to Tanzina Vega who has been named host of “The Takeaway.”  If you don’t follow her on Twitter, you should.

This week’s ICYMI is this analysis by Ronald Brownstein about diversity, an important read.

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National Geographic, Founders for Change, The Importance of Agility, SheWorks! and much more

If you have not read it, don’t miss National Geographic’s April issue. ArtNet did this piece on it. Here is the letter from the editor titled “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.” ArtNet also mentions the New York Times’ recent “Overlooked” project, with obituaries for remarkable women overlooked in the past.

This week the New York Times profiled an initiative called “Founders for Change” that I believe will have a positive impact. It reminded me of Kapor’s Capital Founder’s Commitment,  which aligns portfolio companiesaround a shared set of diversity and inclusion actions” as well as  establishes the firm’s commitment to firm’s commitment to provide exclusive resources, training, and recruitment opportunities for our founders, read more here

Here is an interesting campaign by 33 minor league baseball teams to engage Latino fans. I must confess I want the San Antonio Mission’s baseball cap – the flying chanclas. Staying on the sports front, here is a CNBC interview with Telemundo’s Cesar Conde about the World Cup.

I have followed Pattie Sellers for many years and have used her “jungle gym” example several times. Read this interview that also speaks about “agility” as an important attribute for successful leaders.

Some of you may have been following the “cultural appropriation” discussion around Bruno Mars…personally I agree with Stevie Wonder’s point of view. If you missed this debate earlier this month, read more here and here.

In entertainment news, Black Panther continues to break records, from social media to the box office and will probably break new ones by this time next week.  

One book that I plan to give to kids in my life is Junot Diaz’s ‘Islandborn’ – which the Chicago Tribune describes as “a pitch-perfect children’s book.”

I met Sylvia Acevedo years ago in Austin and it is inspiring to see her continued success leading the Girls Scouts, in this article she and other leaders talk about who has inspired them. Oh and congratulations to Maryam Banikarim for receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

I want to close today congratulating Silvina Moschini and the SheWorks! team. Almost two decades ago I met Silvina, a visionary leader, when we both lived in Houston, Texas. Today she is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, on-air commentator and mentor. Last year she officially launched SheWorks!, an enterprise that continues to grow. As we celebrate women’s history month I could not be prouder to be on the advisory board and a part of this effort. As the Company continues to grow, and we focus on other projects, you’ll hear much more. Thank you to Cindy Gallop for the recent shout out! 

Photo by Maria Fernanda Gonzalez on Unsplash

Corporate Diversity, ThePowerofAll, Latino Startups, TimesUp/Advertising and more

He who controls the budget controls the output –  Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, HP. This is a must watch interview talking about his leadership in diversity.

This is probably one of the most talked about diversity stories this week:“It’s Up to White Men to Improve Tech’s Diversity, Says Uber Exec Bozoma Saint John.” I have to agree. Other recommended reading this week includes this from the Wall Street Journal titled “Small Changes Can Increase Corporate Diversity,” this one titled “Why Diverse Marketing Teams Possess A Competitive Edge,” and this one about Goldman Sachs Group plans to increase gender diversity.

Last week the Latino Donor Collaborative launched a month-long campaign to make sure that accurate facts about the contributions of Hispanics are being used – who would have thought that in 2018 this would be needed? Having worked at Univision for many years I know how difficult it can be to 1) get covered by general media (I actually had one reporter tell me he was not writing any more about Univision after one story because he had met his “quota” for the year);  2) that we are not seen as a niche, in many places we are actually the majority; and 3) that we are not monolithic, we are a diverse community. Yet there is still so much work to be done to change misconceptions and that is why this campaign is important. Congratulations to the Latino Donor Collaborative and Ana Valdez for a great initiative – a first, of its kind.

Staying on the Latino theme, here is this important read from Giovanni Rodriguez, “Stanford Study: Latino Startups Are Growing in Numbers But Are Unbanked.” This line caught my attention: “Latina business owners, many of whom perceive themselves as ‘not qualified’ to receive funding from financial institutions compared to men, even when holding firm size constant.” Something we need to address.

This week we also saw the release of the second annual 50 Most Powerful Latina women in corporate America from The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and published in Fortune. Get to know these amazing leaders, tap them as speakers, for boards and as mentors!

Another announcement this week that I am following is how women advertising leaders are partnering with Time’s Up – read more here. Also, remember how CES missed the mark with the keynote speakers? Seems Cannes Lions took a different approach and I must say the program looks fantastic.

This week’s ICYMI, here is Vogue Magazine’s profile on the women rebuilding Puerto Rico.

Photo by Jonathan Daniels on Unsplash

The Oscars, Univision’s new initiative, The Leaky Tech Pipeline, The Future of Hispanics, UNITY shutting down, Rise of the Rest, Selena and more

The Oscars this past Sunday were a celebration of diversity with “The Shape of Water,” one of my favorite films, winning for best picture and best director; Jordan Peele winning for best original screenplay; “Coco” winning for best animated film and best song and “A Fantastic Woman” from Chile winning for best foreign-language film. There were many memorable moments, i.e. Rita Moreno presenting and Guillermo Del Toro winning, but for me personally the three most impactful moments were:

  1. Peele’s win and the reaction to the win, including this
  2. the lack of women standing when Frances McDormand asked all female nominees to stand (as Brian Stelter reminded us, only six of the 33 Oscar winners were women and there is much work to be done, read more here)
  3. seeing Dolores Huerta onstage because of her civil rights work

I am optimistic that the work being done by various organizations means this celebration will translate into more opportunities and access. [Post has been updated based on this breaking news.]

Univision recently launched a campaign titled “Se Habla USA.” Having worked there and seeing the passion, commitment and recognizing the incredible brand equity the company has, I decided to reach out to get more insight on the campaign. This is what Jessica Rodriguez, president and chief operating officer of UCI Networks, and chief marketing officer of Univision Communications Inc. shared: “Given the narrative around diversity, languages and culture in the past months, as a company that has in its DNA to stand up and represent the underrepresented, we saw an opportunity to use the power of our platforms to further instill a sense of pride.  Univision is enabling our community to truly celebrate the beautiful language of Español, Hispanic culture, and all the achievements they have brought to this country. Se Habla USA aims to create a positive narrative and unite all cultures that make this nation so great and successful.” Talking about Univision, congratulations to CEO Randy Falco and the other honorees of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s 21st Annual Impact Awards.

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Last week Kapor Center for Social Impact unveiled “The Leaky Tech Pipeline.” Its “framework and website are meant to increase understanding of the causes of disparities in the technology ecosystem, raise awareness about effective strategies and stages for intervention, and drive the development and implementation of comprehensive solutions.” On the tech front, I learned about “Rise of the Rest” from an article in Wired. I think it is fantastic and would hope to see some border cities in Texas and New Mexico added to this effort in the near future.

On Friday I attended “The Future of Hispanics” conference, a project of The American Bar Foundation.  Here is the website created for this initiative which aims “to generate findings that can be utilized by organizations and individuals who work to advance justice for the Latino community.” It was an interesting conversation, the third conference to date. Having Dr. Eduardo Padron open by sharing his story was inspiring. The information and insight focused on Florida and Miami. As one attendee said, it was a very valuable discussion. Much more to come on this effort as the organization holds additional sessions across the country.

This week we also saw the report from MarketWatch titled “When a woman or person of color becomes CEO, white men have a strange reaction;” also this must-read piece in LinkedIn by Ashlene Nand titled “Ad Agencies Are Still So Shamefully White & It’s Affecting All Of Us;” and this from knowledge@wharton titled “How Firms Can do a Better Job of Leveraging Diversity.”

Last week it was announced the shutdown of UNITY, an umbrella organization for minority journalists. I had the opportunity to attend UNITY and found it an engaging and productive event, hopefully we’ll find other ways to have these groups come together.

Finally, in case you missed it, the regional grocery retail store HEB worked with Selena Quintanilla’s sister Suzette to create a reusable grocery bag with Selena’s image. The bags not only sold out but crashed the website. This was done more than for marketing, HEB is donating $25,000 as part of the collaboration.

Today I’m in DC for the International Women’s Day Forum convened by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the U.S. Department of State, more on that next week. 

 

UnidosUS 50th Anniversary, Black Panther coverage, Dallas Mavericks’ interim CEO, equal pay, Jane Walker & much more

Last week I wrote about the challenges at USHCC and LULAC but I should have also written about UnidosUS (formerly NCLR), which commemorated an important milestone – its 50th anniversary. Per its website, the organization was launched in 1968 “What began as a small collection of young activists in Phoenix has become the country’s largest Hispanic-serving nonprofit, helping millions of Latinos define the American Dream on their own terms, then helping them achieve it.” UnidosUS has a different model than the other organizations.  It is headquartered in DC with a focus on expert research, advocacy, programs at a national level and with an affiliate network of close to 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico. I’ve had the honor of working with the team led by Janet Murguía. Learn more here about this important milestone. Congratulations!

This past week we saw a number of articles regarding what the movie Black Panther means to diversity in the film industry. From Brookings Institute to Bloomberg, there has been extensive coverage and analysis about what the success of the film means. However, there have also been important reminders that there is still work that needs to be done to address diversity and equal pay in entertainment and media.

A story that caught my attention last week from VOX was related to the Florida shooting and the student activism we have seen titled “Parkland is sparking a difficult conversation about race, trauma, and public support.”  There is also a Miami Herald profile on student Emma Gonzalez.

Additional stories I am following, this from Nation’s Restaurants News regarding struggles as it relates to diversity in restaurant leadership; the Dallas Maverick’s introduce interim CEO Cynthia Marshall; also found this interactive map detailing pay equity laws in all 50 states; PR Week published a response to “What it’s like to be black in PR video;” Beatriz Acevedo from mitú wrote about Latinos being “the blind spot of America,” Johnny Walker introduces Jane Walker and this profile on Univision News anchor Ilia Calderon.

ICYMI, Gov. Bruce Rauner drank a glass of chocolate milk to demonstrate his belief in diversity.  According to the Chicago Tribune this is “the brainchild of Hyatt Hotels diversity and inclusion executive Tyronne Stoudemire.” Not sure what to say…

Finally, here is this great read titled “NASA’s Real Life ‘Hidden Figure’ On How To Advance Women In STEM.”

Photo by Tatiana Niño on Unsplash

 

LULAC and USHCC turmoil, cities leading with diversity, Google, Black Panther, Premio Lo Nuestro, Latinistas & more

I’ve had the honor of working with many Hispanic-focused organizations throughout my career and have been following the turmoil at two of these leading Hispanic-serving organizations closely. USHCC CEO stepped down following claims of “sexual and financial improprieties” and Fernand Fernandez has been named interim CEO as the organization conducts a search. The League of United Latin American Citizens faced its own turmoil. The embattled, elected president of the organization decided not to resign following controversy resulting from a letter he sent to President Trump which led to the CEO, who has been at the helm of the organization for 30 years, to resign. Here is a good piece from Suzanne Gamboa on how things transpired. LULAC was one of the first clients I worked with at Fleishman-Hillard as they were holding the conference in Dallas, Texas in the 1990s. We will have to wait and see what happens but it has been very moving to see the many comments on social media about the important impact Brent Wilkes had during his tenure at the organization. LULAC and USHCC have done great work for our community and it is disappointing to see this turn of events.  

The current turmoil at these two organizations is concerning to say the least as the community faces so many challenges. Raul Reyes has this great piece in The Hill touching on this.  Having said that, there is great work being done by these and other Hispanic-serving organizations including NALEO, UnidosUS (formerly called NCLR), MALDEF, Latino Donor Collaborative and professional groups including Prospanica (formerly called NSHMBA), HNBA, SHPE, and ALPFA to name a few. It is unfortunate that the issues facing two groups are taking away from the important work being done.

This story from PBS stating that cities are “pitching their diversity in order to lure businesses” caught my attention. It’ll be interesting if diversity plays a key role in Amazon’s decision for its second headquarters.

Other headlines this week include NLRB siding with Google and this from NBC regarding NASCAR’s two milestones this week as “Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. and tire changer Brehanna Daniels will make history during the Daytona 500 race weekend.”

Did you think I would ignore the premiere weekend of Black Panther? Of course not! This headline from the New York Times says it all : ‘Black Panther’ Smashes Box Office Records and Hollywood Myths. This from Peter Rubin is an important point and here is this from CNN. Here is also this Letitia Wright profile in Vanity Fair.  One of my favorites moments was this one, when Serena Williams surprised Black Girls Code students.

This week don’t miss Univision’s Premio Lo Nuestro as it celebrates its 30th anniversary. Read more here.

Finally, ICYMI, here is this great Makers interview of Yai Vargas from Latinistas

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