It has been truly heartening to see so many internal and external posts, activities, events, and support from Extreme Networks employees, partners, customers, and followers worldwide in support of Hispanic Heritage Month. Every year since La Raza, Extreme’s employee resource group for Hispanics and Latinos, was founded in 2019, we’ve seen an increase in awareness of Hispanic and Latino culture, traditions, and heritage from people globally. We are excited to build on this momentum as we think about the rest of the year and beyond.
Luis Rodriguez, Chair of La Raza, shares the ERG’s mission and highlights what makes Extreme different.
Here are some highlights from the month that we wanted to share.
Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation
The theme of Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 was “Unidos – Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” What better way to unite ERGs and strengthen our ERG community than by teaming up together and communing over what we have in common? That’s exactly what we did!
- Praveen Ashok from Extreme’s Maitri ERG, shares his experience visiting Guadalajara, Mexico during a business trip. To this day, he still fondly remembers the warm culture and welcoming people. It reminded him a lot of his own culture growing up in India.
- Richard Hector from Black at Extreme (BEX) and Robert Greenway from La Raza have been married 31 years to Puerto Rican women – and that wasn’t their only similarity.
- Noah Fenley from Veterans Council, shares the background of his 38-year friendship with Danny Gonzalez in “How the Gringo got into the family.” From their meeting in fifth grade in a rough city to both of their stints in the military, through weddings, christenings, and Quinceañeras, Noah and Danny have remained life-long friends.
- Leanna Thomson from Women in Networking (WIN), shares her fondest memories of being surrounded by Spanish culture from childhood through adulthood. She appreciates the art, food, language, songs, and dance. Leanna traveled to Bogota, Columbia, to help build a church and was taken with the sense of community and family there.
Events and Speakers During Hispanic Heritage Month
- Week 1: We kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations with special guest and transformation expert Guillermo Diaz Jr, who shared what he’s learned over his career, what drives him, and why you should never just stay in your lane. Throughout this insightful fireside chat, Guillermo shared many words of wisdom. One question he challenged us to answer as he concluded the session was: “Someone is going to change the world, so why not you?” He urged us to ask this question every day.
- Week 2: In Hispanic and Latin culture, it is very common for the adult children to take on the responsibility of taking care of their aging parents. We hosted a session entitled Dementia & Caregiving, which was part of a Comprehensive Caregiving Series put on by La Raza and Extreme Wellness. During this session, we talked about how to relieve the fear, anxiety, and confusion around caring for a family member with dementia with Pam Ostrowski, Alzheimer’s family consultant, dementia care expert, and author.
- Week 3: Hispanic Art Storytelling Immersive Experience Tour: We invited Extreme employees to delve into the rich history of the Spanish-speaking world through famous works of art and little-known historical facts in stories and pictures.
- Week 4: Keynote and inspirational speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez shared with us what it means to be “All-In.” Being all-in is a choice, it isn’t about being perfect but rather is more of a commitment. Gian Paul inspired us to be committed, always challenge ourselves, and always give our best.
Limited-Edition Hispanic Heritage Month Charity T-Shirt
Every year during Hispanic Heritage Month, La Raza offers a limited-edition T-shirt. This fun and colorful T-shirt is a great way to celebrate La Raza. It’s also a way to give back. For every purchase, La Raza donated $5 to NAB Institution, a non-profit organization based in Brazil that provides rehabilitation treatment and social inclusion for children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities.
A big thank you and shout-out to Rob Rosa, La Raza’s executive sponsor and Extreme’s SVP of Service Sales and Customer Success, who matched all donations.
Hispanic Heritage Month Posts and What is Ahead
To help people learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, La Raza helped spread awareness of Hispanic and Latino culture through stories, interviews, and posts, including:
- On Mondays con Mama, we had the honor to hear from some of the mothers of La Raza members who told us about our colleague’s favorite dish growing up
- Posts about influential Latino and Hispanic figures who made history and their impact on the world today
- An exploration of Latin holiday and marriage traditions and how they vary by country
- A daily dose of inspirational quotes and an Encanto drawing activity for the whole family
- Delicious street food videos and recipes that had us craving Hispanic/Latin recipes
- Employee spotlight videos helped introduce employees to one another in today’s virtual world (Watch mine below)
We ended the month with a World Cup Pre-Qualifier Trivia Contest, ahead of the upcoming 2022 World Cup on November 20 because soccer in Latin America is the most popular and beloved sport, of course!
We’ll also be celebrating and posting about the significance of Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, the joyful holiday traditionally celebrated in Mexico when departed friends and family members are remembered and celebrated.
All in all the celebrations were excellent, the conversations were inspiring, and the initiatives brought all of Extreme together. I’m excited for next year’s Hispanic Heritage Month and to bring everyone together again. ¡Muchas gracias y hasta la próxima!