Great Boston Globe piece on long time Latina journalist Maria Hinojosa’s series, America by the Numbers. I’ve watched a few of these episodes and find them refreshing. As the article notes, each demographic change tells a story. Hinojosa makes a sincere effort to understand what these changes mean not only to the group in focus but the U.S. as whole. She’s filling a much needed gap for intelligent and informative discussions on multicultural America, which often isn’t addressed by most mainstream media:
Hinojosa’s content is resonating in part because it does not approach the demographic changes with an inherent sense of controversy, like much of the media do. “The sentiment in many mainstream media newsrooms . . . is that the conversation around demographic change, the Hispanicizing of America, the browning of America . . . was often met with a sense of fear,” says Hinojosa, who was born in Mexico City and grew up in Chicago. “And because I am an American journalist 100 percent but I’m also 100 percent part of that demographic change, I don’t approach this change from a place of fear and panic. I approach it as a journalist and trying to understand what this means.”
Hinojosa is shedding a light on the corners of a new multicultural reality in America, and it’s working. “America by the Numbers” doubled the number of African-American and Latino viewers that typically watch PBS programming, while also maintaining the established audience for PBS news and public affairs.
The U.S. Census projection for U.S. Latinos is just a bit off:
The Hispanic population is expected to reach about 106 million in 2050, about double what it is today, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population projections. But the new Hispanic population projection for 2050 is lower — by nearly 30 million — than earlier population projections published by the bureau.
One of my favorites on the subject of diversity is Tanya Odom. She recently shared thoughts on President Obama’s last news conference for 2014. In case you missed it, President Obama took questions only from women reporters; he didn’t call on any male correspondents – by the way, expressions from male reporters in the video link above is priceless.
Tanya refers to President Obama’s goal here as a “teachable moment.” One that highlights what most women and people of color must endure everyday in the workforce, education, and particularly, in the media.
The media exerts a powerful influence on our attitudes. How is it that our world has changed so much in the last decades, and yet, women still lag behind men in prestigious professional roles? Invisibility is harmful. Moreover, people who might have intersecting identities (e.g., black women, Latino gay person) may experience “intersectional invisibility,” which is just as challenging.
My former home state of Wisconsin made a bit of news today – and not in a good way. Governor Scott Walker fired a campaign aide after it was discovered she tweeted insulting remarks about Latinos, referring to one as an “illegal mex”. It’s the second time in just a few months Walker has fired someone affiliated with his administration for making bigoted remarks about Latinos. Ironically, I was recently invited to Walker’s Annual Latino Holiday Event at the Governor’s mansion. Go figure.
In other news: I’m glad to be living in New York.
A recent California study shows Latinos disproportionally attend community colleges after graduating from high school. Why? The study points to several challenges faced by Latinos:
Previous research has found the concentration of Latinos in the public two-year sector to be attributable to many factors, including the relatively low cost, geographic accessibility, and curricular and program flexibility of community colleges (e.g., Crisp & Nora, 2010; Nora & Crisp, 2009). Researchers have also pointed to systemic disparities in K-12 school quality experienced by Latinos and the consequences that attending disadvantaged and underresourced schools have on Latino student college readiness (Nora & Crisp, 2009).
Four thought leaders weigh in on the state of Latino leaders in the workforce. Excerpts below – full article here:
Phyllis Barajas, Founder and Executive Director of Conexión
One is the fact that the pipeline to upward mobility for Latinos is faulty. It is not only about being educated. It is also about the type of jobs performed and networks that Latinos become part of in the workplace.
Juana Bordas, President of Mestiza Leadership International
Strategic thinking and the ability to analyze and synthesize information are key leadership functions that require objectivity. These actions often necessitate a mental separation from a problem or group. This can sometimes be difficult for Latinos because the culture is much more feeling and process oriented.
Darío Collado, Program Manager of the Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI)
It is going to be very interesting to see exactly how the access to power through leadership positions will transform and influence the power structure in mainstream environment that is still to be realized.
Dr. Robert Rodriguez, President of DRR Advisors.
As more Latinos view their heritage as an asset, their leadership potential grows. Corporate Latino leadership development programs are also flourishing further accelerating the growth of Latino leaders.
National Geographic’s Racial Card Project highlights what we already know – we’re fast becoming a nation of mutts.
The six-word tales that have poured into the Race Card Project create a portal that allows us to dive beyond the surface into the deeply nuanced issues of racial ambiguity and cultural identity. They are by no means comprehensive. It is not possible to explain every facet of multiracial life. But the six-word stories present a broad mosaic that informs us in these times and will serve as an amazing archive in the future as we try to understand the years when America was steaming toward a majority-minority status.
Picture via NationalGeographic
Interesting trend shows that an increasing number of Latinos are using certification as an alternative educational strategy to enter the workforce faster and with better pay. A Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce report shows this strategy as an option for many low-income students who are not convinced a four-year college degree will pay off.
Certificates with economic value are cost-effective, partly because they are the quickest education and job training awards offered by American higher education. Certificates almost always take less than two years to complete, and more than half take less than one year. They also often pay off more than two-year degrees and sometimes pay off more than four-year degrees.
Florida State student Karen Garza shares advice regarding Latino consumers; however, the same important advice should be understood by organizations targeting Latino talent:
The Hispanic consumer doesn’t want to buy from a company whose only goal is to sell a product, but wants a product that will enhance or add to their cultural identity. What sets the Hispanic market apart from non-Hispanics is that once companies prove themselves to their Latino consumer, they will get not only a happy customer, but a loyal one who is willing to tell others about a product.