Celebrating LatinX Heritage Month: Soy LatinX

September 15th marked the beginning of LatinX Heritage Month, which spans through October 15th. Collibra, in partnership with our Black and LatinX Employee Networking and Development (B.L.E.N.D) ERG, is kicking off LatinX Heritage Month by highlighting our LatinX Collibrians and giving them the space to share key experiences that cement their identities. 

At its core, National LatinX Heritage Month is a chance for communities to celebrate the resilience, contributions and culture of all LatinX individuals. It is also a chance to show the diversity that exists within the LatinX community with acknowledgment of Afro-LatinX, Queer LatinX and Indigenous individuals. Adopting the term LatinX, rather than Hispanic, is a step towards that recognition. B.L.E.N.D has gathered several Collibrians to answer a few questions about their own experiences and how it has cemented their identity. 

Why is it important to celebrate LatinX Heritage Month?

“LatinX heritage is an extremely rich and diverse one, that is often unknown. When you grow up in Latin America, you learn in class about World Wars, the French Revolution or the Independence of the U.S. On the contrary, the kids growing up in the western world learn nothing about us, regardless of the rich history that exists in pre-hispanic/colonial times.”

Teresa Rojas, Manager Product Management (Data Privacy), Brussels

“When we’re able to embrace and learn from our differences, it makes us better. My perspective on LatinX culture comes from being the child of immigrants. For me, LatinX Heritage Month is not to glorify the stories of the “ideal” LatinX, but instead to recognize the diverse cultures, communities and experiences that played a role in building this country. The struggles and triumphs.”

– David Ocampo-Grajales, Business Development Representative (Strategic), New York

“LatinX Heritage Month recognizes and honors the enduring contributions and importance of LatinX Americans to the U.S. and celebrates the many heritages and cultures of Americans from or with ancestors from Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, Central America and South America.”

– Rosie Cordero, Senior Field Operations Analyst, New York City

When have you felt represented or proud to be LatinX?

“I’m proud to be working on the leading edge of information technology. As part of a mentorship program, I had an opportunity to serve as a guest teacher in a Manhattan public school for a few weeks. The class was made up predominantly of LatinX students, and I got a chance to expose them to my industry and, hopefully I piqued their interest in exploring the tech industry in their future.”

– David Rodriguez, Customer Success Manager, New York City

“Every single time that I have had the opportunity to be in contact with high-quality Latin American art expressions (particularly literature and cinema) I have felt extremely proud of my heritage.”

– Sergio Castro, Backend Software Engineer, Brussels

“I modeled in my college’s LatinX Heritage Fashion show where I was able to don a traditional Puerto Rican dance costume. This moment allowed me to research the more indigenous side of my Puerto Rican heritage. There’s so much that I didn’t know about where my mother’s family was from, so doing the research myself was really empowering.”

– Carlos Tifa, Business Development Representative, New York City

Do you have any role models within your family or community that have played a pivotal part in embracing your culture?

“My parents were my role models – a single mom working in corporate America, the other a small business entrepreneur.  My mother was part of a LatinX ERG when working at AT&T. My father participated in mentorship programs at his predominately LatinX high school alma mater.”

– David Rodriguez, Customer Success Manager, New York City

“Essentially all of my close family members are my role models. The majority of us were born and raised in the Dominican Republic so we’re always embracing the food, music, language, etc…”

– Juan Guerrero, Senior Business Development Representative, Atlanta

“Without a doubt, my parents, who gave value and context to my Mexican roots, for example through music and gastronomy, just to mention a few.”

– Hector Ramirez, Onboarding Engineer, Brussels

How has being LatinX impacted you in the tech industry?

“There are two sides to this coin. First, I recognize that my light complexion has shielded me from many of the roadblocks and injustices faced by others in my community, even compared to others in my own family. I’m LatinX but I’ve benefited from white privilege. On the flip side, my experiences and upbringing have made me hyper-aware of the differences in our society. And it’s my intention to play a role in closing that gap, whenever possible. I hold that same conviction for all marginalized communities (LatinX, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, etc.)”

– David Ocampo-Grajales, Business Development Representative (Strategic), New York

“As any member of a racial minority, I have had some awkward moments during my professional career. However, in general, I have been lucky enough to work with extremely inclusive and honestly friendly colleagues. My team at Collibra is probably one of the most diverse ones I have seen in my life. I just love it!”

– Sergio Castro, Backend Software Engineer, Brussels

“I believe I provide my peers with a different perspective when facing challenges and thinking through solutions that I have to offer based on my upbringing and background.”

– Rosie Cordero, Senior Field Operations Analyst, New York City

“I wear my skin every day – I’m a proud Mexican every day of the week and in every context. As Mexicans, we tend to have this image of either drug dealing or non-stop siesta taking. With my accumulated experience and everyday work, I believe I’m demonstrating stereotypes are wrong. And together with other LatinX individuals on the same path, we’re able to change perceptions.”

Teresa Rojas, Manager Product Management (Data Privacy), Brussels

LatinX Heritage Month offers people a chance to learn the complexities and the beauty that comes with being LatinX. It is a chance to genuinely learn about the experiences of our peers. It is a moment to understand the historical context of what has shaped the LatinX identity. Collibra B.L.E.N.D is excited to facilitate the month-long celebration and provide resources for Collibrians around the globe to understand, learn and celebrate along with the LatinX community. Happy LatinX History Month!

Related resources

Blog

Showing our Pride: Q&A with Collibra Pride Community members and allies

Blog

Honoring Women’s History Month: Real stories from Women of Collibra

E-book

Introducing Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud

View all resources

More stories like this one

Oct 28, 2020 - 4 min read

6 typical GDPR questions explained

Read more
Arrow
Oct 27, 2020 - 2 min read

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: #BeCyberSmart

Read more
Arrow
chief data officer guest blog
Oct 23, 2020 - 5 min read

Guest blog: CDO Summer School – A look back

Read more
Arrow