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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month During a Pandemic

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It’s been a tough year. Actually, that’s an understatement. Both the pandemic and fight for social justice have made 2020 complex and tumultuous. Celebrations are hard to think about when there is so much going on in the world. However, it’s incredibly important to acknowledge and honor events like Hispanic Heritage Month—particularly during challenging times; just be certain that honoring and celebrating are done with care and respect.

There are approximately 60.6 million people in the U.S. with Hispanic heritage, which is approximately 18.5 percent of the total population. In California (where we’re based) a large group of essential workers come from a Hispanic background, and they have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. Approximately 40 percent of California’s population is Latinx, but the group accounts for 53 percent of positive cases. Simply put, it’s a difficult time to be celebrating.

Running from September 15 through October 15, the U.S. Census Bureau describes the national holiday as recognizing and celebrating the “contributions Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean have made to American society and culture.” Here are a few ways to honor Hispanic Heritage Month during challenging times:

Invite a speaker for a virtual discussion
While the pandemic has halted in-person social gatherings, virtual meetings have skyrocketed. Host a business leader with Hispanic heritage via a virtual meeting to teach the importance and value of diversity in the workplace. Discuss how marketing in general should consider a whole market approach inclusive of diverse cultures versus just a general market. The team could also tap their knowledge for suggestions on creating a culturally creative team.

Pitch Hispanic stories
This month is a fantastic time to pitch stories spotlighting Hispanic leaders or Hispanic-owned companies. Hispanic consumers wield a mighty $1.5 trillion in buying power and the group includes about one in every six Americans. Find ways to make your products relatable to Hispanic media and complete market research so you know how your product or service relates to this demographic. Both English- and Spanish-language media channels will be looking for unique and interesting stories featuring Hispanic leadership.  

Raise up Hispanic voices within your company
Use your owned channels to showcase Hispanic talent within your own business. Consider highlighting influencers, thought leaders, employees or brand partners. Let them contribute specialized content including social media posts, blogs, articles or video. Whatever makes them the most comfortable. They could even do a social media takeover and post directly to your channels. 

Encourage education
One of the best ways to honor Hispanic Heritage Month is through education. Encourage your team to learn more by curating a list of resources with items such as web articles, blogs, books, movies or music albums. Perhaps people within your company will want to start a club where they engage with these resources and then have online virtual discussions throughout the month.

Honor with sensitivity
It’s been a rough go this year and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month should bring joy to your team. Remember, it’s of utmost importance that this be approached delicately, as an act of respect and appreciation, and not of cultural appropriation. Before announcing your plans to the whole office, it might be a good idea to consult with a cultural leader or even with your Hispanic staff to see how they might like to honor the month.

How is your office honoring Hispanic Heritage Month? Share your plans with us in the comments.