Representation Matters: Latina Empowerment Through Leadership
The impact of representation, or lack thereof, starts young and can affect us for the rest of our lives. Seeing and identifying with a particular character or person, whether onscreen, in a book, or in the leaders and role models we see around us, shows us the possibilities of what we can be. It helps shape our personal beliefs and goals.
When a child sees someone who looks like them succeeding, it inspires the belief in them that they too can succeed.
For me growing up, all too often, the people and characters I saw onscreen or read about in books didn’t look like me. They had a different upbringing and they didn’t understand my struggles. They fetishized my culture, customs and community. They didn’t share my experiences, my fears, my hopes or my dreams.
So how could I see myself in their place... reaching their levels of success, when I couldn’t see myself in them?
THAT is why representation matters.
I was blessed. Throughout my life, I was able to depend on a support system that encouraged me and pushed me to success.
I found role models in the community around me— from my immigrant grandparents and their rumbo al ‘sueño americano, my tradesmen-turned-entrepreneur father, my outspoken chingona mother, the teachers and mentors who despite not relating to me, told me they believed in me, and even the ones that didn’t and inspired me to prove I could be more.
But still, for those seeking a familiar face that they can relate to, learn from, and aspire to be like, there are still not enough of our faces and stories out there.
And that is why when I was asked to be part of a collaborative book project highlighting 8 Latina women, there was only one answer to give. YES.
There is immense power and courage in women of color intentionally coming together to share genuine stories of their struggles and successes at such a pivotal time in history.
Through this book, we are creating space in places not meant for us.
We are sharing our experiences to let others know the possibilities are infinite.
We have struggled to find self-love in the darkest of times... We have built businesses and failed before we ever found success.... We have started over after broken relationships... We have fought tirelessly to build lives we love.
We are like YOU and we are here and we are succeeding.
I feel blessed to share the honor of being a part of this project with some phenomenal Latina leaders and influencers:
So, if you’re looking for a book about how to get your next promotion or become a so-called leader in the workplace, this is NOT that book. But if you’re looking for a book about courage and struggle, about rising from the ashes of failure, about stepping into your power as a woman and a leader, then THIS book is for you.
You see leadership isn’t about a job title.
Leadership is about perseverance, and knowing that you can empower yourself and come through ANY struggle.
It’s about knowing that “your place” is wherever the hell you want it to be, if you are willing to put in the work to get there.
Leadership is a journey and a choice.
We hope that as you read our stories, you realize that we are very much like you... and that you too, can lead.
Please join us in celebrating the launch of our book on Wednesday May 31st at La Plaza De Cultura Y Arte. You can get a free ticket here.