Monthly Archives: October 2010

Intern Bridge Diversity Online Conference

Sorry for the lack of posts these last few days. Actually will be even busier the next 10 days or so working on different projects and taking a much anticipated R/R with the family.

I did want to let you know I’ll be part of Intern Bridge’s Diversity Recruiting Best Practices Online Conference on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to discussing a variety of topics related to college recruiting, particularly as it relates to Latino college students.

Brochure for the event can be found here.

Oh…. Are You Latino?

I came across this interesting contribution from Diversity Inc. online entitled “Ten Things Never to Say to Latino Executives.”  It should really apply to ALL Latinos in the workplace – not just executives. An interesting premise given that I’ve dealt with much of this issue my whole career.

People rarely assume I’m Latino. My ethnicity is often assumed to be Italian or German – but never Latino. It’s routinely opened up a world that’s not often seen in the workplace – one that exists for a moment in the after-hour elevator rides, bathrooms, or parking lots.

The “comments” are always fleeting – like a book that’s opened and shut before anyone can read it. It’s often a message that’s understood between two people knowing they’re of like minds.

For me, it’s a double-edged sword. It gives me a rare opportunity to witness the true essence of person with a dark core. And perhaps, on some occasions, it also gives me a chance to try and change their views.

Investing in Latino Student Success in College

I wanted to follow on my previous post theme regarding how nation-wide reports can viewed locally. This is related to the recent Department of Education (DOE) ”Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions Program” grant announcements. Grants were awarded to 78 HSI institutions totaling over $49 million aimed at helping Latinos succeed in college. Big numbers! However, I think the essence of this announcement comes from the stories shared by individual institutions. Check out the local impact below.

Galivan College

University of Houston – Victoria

Mt. San Jacinto College

New Mexico State University – Carlsbad

New Jersey City University

Latina Intern Making an Impact

No question that internships provide a significant impact for students and employers. Just as powerful is the impact that internships can provide for a community.

Having managed internship programs on the college and company side, I’ve seen how interns provide a unique link between education and non-profit organizations. As a result, the general public benefits because students become engaged citizens in their community. I came across one example to share with you from Durham, North Carolina. It’s remarkable and inspiring to see how one intern’s efforts can impact the educational opportunities for many people in a community.   

It sometimes goes unrecognized that interns are frequently put on the “front lines” in work settings. They’re often given tasks that either no one has time to do or, if given the choice, would rather not.

Local Latino Businesses Tell the Story

Articles regarding the increase of Latino businesses around the country have been popular in newspapers around the country this last week. The articles were likely spawned by the recent Census report showing that Hispanic-owned businesses have increased at more than double the national rate. This an incredible and notable statistic. 

Below is a sampling of different communities that have examined this increase at a local level over the last few days. There are more but this is only a sampling. Every community is different and each has a story to tell so take a look. Also note locations of some communities, not your traditional Latino regions. There is simply no denying that Latinos are a robust and growing business power. Despite the the tough economic environment, Latinos are finding a way. 

The community list after the jump.

Continue reading

Don't Wait, Make Your Dreams Happen. By Edwin Martinez

Another guest contribution from my good friend Edwin Martinez, PHR. Enjoy!

Everyone has dreams and aspirations for their lives. Believing in those dreams is what fuels many people to take action towards making them come true. Unfortunately, some people go through their entire lifetime as “victims of the circumstance” while they wait to see what happens. According to Answers.com, this phrase refers to someone whose bad luck was not of his own making; born at the wrong place at the wrong time; got out of bed on the wrong side; or crossed the road at the wrong moment. This mentality consequently impedes some people from achieving success and prosperity or realizing any of their dreams.

Sadly, some people prefer to negate their dreams based on negative circumstances and use them as an excuse to live in mediocrity. Some simply sit and wait for doors to open without ever knocking on them or just expect miracles to happen without ever making any effort. As free agents in this world, we have the ability to manifest our desires far beyond our own expectations if we first identify what it is that we really want. Unfortunately, most people do not even identify with their callings, gifts, or talents that can serve as the catapult to achieve what they want out of life. Continue reading

Changing Paradigms One Week at a Time

Sometimes a week can demonstrate how quick things can change.

In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcom Gladwell (non-affiliate link) suggests that innovation or new paradigms emerge when an idea reaches critical mass. It takes just one idea to reach the “tipping point.”

Over the last week, I’ve read about many organizations and initiatives that are changing how we think about educating all demographic groups in the United States, particularly Latinos. Below are just some examples of what I mean.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund:  Announces a new effort today to increase college-going and college-completion rates among Hispanic Americans;

Achieve Instill Inspire Foundation: Launches a program to increase the number of male Latino and African American school teachers;

La Prensa San Diego: Advocating that ALL Americans deserve an education;

U.S. Department of Education:  Launches a new video entitled, La universidad: un sueño alcanzable;

Coalition of Latino Organizations: Launches a new campaign to increase Latino college completion rates.

Portland State University: Just launched an initiative to recruit and retain more Latino students.

I’m sure to have missed many other initiatives and programs over the last week but this gives you an idea of how much movement there is to change the educational mindset.  The “tipping point” is coming – it’s just a matter of when….

The Bottom Line is Not Enough

Over the weekend I was reading through my “virtual stack” of articles that has been piling up for over a year now. I wanted to share one with you.

If you have access to it, I recommend reading an article in Harvard Educational Review entitled,  Can Higher Education Meet the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse and Global Society? Campus Diversity and Cross-Cultural Workforce Competencies (reference is below).

The article describes a 10-year study that examined the relationship between college students’ exposure to racial diversity and their success working in diverse organizational environments. Among the many implications and conclusions from the study was that diversity for diversity’s sake will not foster a progressive racial environment. Genuine diversity and inclusion takes work.

Although the competitive benefits of building a diverse workforce is obvious, it shouldn’t be the only incentive organizations use to build one. Building a true diverse and inclusive organizational climate takes authentic commitment. It means doing hard lifting like exploring differences, developing cross-cultural competencies, eliminating structural barriers – and even considering ethical concerns.

Being focused on what diversity only does for the bottom line is not enough.

Reference:  Jayakumar, U. (2008). Can Higher Education Meet the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse and Global Society? Campus Diversity and Cross-Cultural Workforce Competencies. Harvard Educational Review, 78(4), 615-651,706