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Project 55

As we lean in to all things Latinx during Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s an apt opportunity to highlight an important number: 55. Or more accurately, 0.55. Hispanic women earn only 55 cents for every dollar earned by their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.

That’s not a typo. Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Hispanic women continue to be grossly underpaid (source: https://www.latinaequalpay.org).

Yes, that statistic is equal parts horrifying and depressing. But if these past 18 months that ushered in a pandemic, gnarly election cycle, and social justice awakening have taught us anything, it’s that knowledge is power. The more we are aware of an issue, the better equipped we are to solve it.

So tell your boss, your peers, coworkers, friends, your mentors, mentees, yourself. Talking about salaries and money can be awkward, but at minimum, let’s ensure that we’re creating the environments and processes to help Hispanic women get their fair value.

And while we’re working on that big goal of pay equality and pushing 0.55 much closer to 1.00, here’s a list of 55 easy ways to be a Hispanic ally, any day of the year.

 

55 easy ways to be a Hispanic ally

Inquire: Take a minute to learn about Hispanics’ growing presence and importance in the U.S.

1. Hispanics accounted for 51% of the U.S. population growth over the past ten years

2. The number of Latinos enrolled in college increased from 2.9 million in 2010 to 3.6 million in 2019

3. 62% of the country’s overall Hispanic population is of Mexican origin

4. The fastest population growth among U.S. Latinos has come among those with origins in Venezuela, Guatemala, and Honduras

5. The percentage of Hispanic adults who used mobile devices to access the Internet jumped from 76% to 94% in 2015

6. Hispanic spending power grew to $1.9 trillion in 2020, an increase of 87% from 2010

7. One in five U.S. college students is Latino

8. Latinos are the youngest demographic in the country, with an estimated 32.5 million Millennials and Gen Zers across the country

9. Approximately every 30 seconds, a Latino in the U.S. turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote

10. Four out of five Latinos (80%) are U.S. citizens as of 2018

11. In the ten years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, Latinos accounted for over 50% of homeownership growth, and this trend is predicted to accelerate for at least the next 20 years

12. Hispanics are expected to account for 64.8% of the labor force growth between 2020 and 2029, adding 7 million workers

Sources: U.S. Census, Digital.gov, Finding Latinx, Urban Institute, U.S. Department of Labor, The University of Georgia

Inspire: Know and share stories about remarkable Latinas and their contributions. Here are a few who have changed our world and made it more interesting.

13. Rita Moreno – Actor from Puerto Rico who has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. Her countless credits span more than seven decades, and she’s continually worked to break the Latina stereotypes found in classic cinema.

14. Dolores Huerta – Advocate for workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights. She helped lead the change alongside Cesar Chavez for migrant farm workers, including the Delano grape strike in 1965. “¡Sí Se Puede!” was her rallying cry.

15. Diana Trujillo – The first Hispanic immigrant woman admitted to the NASA Academy program, she designed the Perseverance Mars rover’s robotic arm. During the Perseverance mission, she delivered NASA’s first Spanish-language planetary-landing broadcast.

16. Frida Kahlo – An artist renowned for her paintings, she was also a founding member of the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana, a group of 25 artists commissioned to spread public knowledge of Mexican culture.

17. Sylvia Rivera – Pioneer LGBTQ activist who took part in the historic Stonewall uprising in 1969. Sylvia worked tirelessly for the rights of low-income gay and trans individuals, often bucking mainstream organizations and calling out flaws in their work, while working at the community level herself.

18. Selena Quintanilla – Singer who single-handedly revolutionized the Tejano music industry, incorporating her Mexican-American background into her music to succeed in a male-dominated industry.

19. Sonia Sotomayor – The first Latina appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and an advocate of women’s rights, criminal justice reform, and immigration reform. She was first inspired by the strong-willed Nancy Drew book character. She grew up in poverty but graduated from high school as valedictorian and attended Princeton on a full scholarship.

Impact: Support Hispanic philanthropies that align with causes and issues you believe in.

20. The arts – NALAC is dedicated to promoting, connecting, and cultivating Latino arts and cultures

21. Economic mobility – AVANCE transforms the lives of underserved families

22. Education – The Hispanic Institute provides an effective education forum for an informed and empowered Hispanic America

23. Education – Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides services and scholarships to exceptional students

24. Entrepreneurship – Latino Business Action Network empowers Latino entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through research, education, and national ecosystem development

25. Health – The National Alliance for Hispanic Health works to improve the quality of care and its availability to all

26. Immigration – United We Dream empowers people to fight for justice and dignity for immigrants and all people

27. Mentorship – Los Primos Dallas connects Latino youth with professionals

28. Politics – Latino Victory helps build political power in the Latino community so that the voices and values of Latinos are reflected at every level of government

29. Voters’ rights – Voto Latino is dedicated to uniting and empowering Latinx communities by registering them to vote

30. Women’s leadership – Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas promotes the advancement of women in public, corporate, and civic life through education and personal and professional development

Invest: Over the past ten years, the number of Latino business owners grew 34%, compared to 1% for all business owners in the U.S., according to a recent study from Stanford University. Buying from Hispanic-owned businesses can help them thrive while also providing some retail therapy.

31. Books – Lil Libros

32. Jewelry – Mixed Millennial

33. Beauty products – Vamigas

34. Luxury clothing and accessories – Cuyana

35. Clothing – Mi Vida

36. Gifts – The Chingona Box

37. Dallas: treats – Encanto Pops by Diana Diaz and family

38. Dallas: baked goods – La Casiata Bake Shopwhich sells mole con pollo croissants(!)

39. Online yoga and wellness workshops – Samarasa by Susan Marrufo

Immerse: Add Hispanic creators to your lists. Here are a few favorite books, shows, and artists for you to enjoy.

Read

40. Children’s literature – Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

41. Young adult literature – House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

42. Immigration/history – Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario

43. Fiction/suspense – Sirena Selena by Mayra Santos Febres

44. History – From Coveralls to Zoot Suits: The Lives of Mexican American Women on the World War II Home Front by Elizabeth Rachel Escobedo

Follow

45. TikToker Fernanda Cortés (@fernandacortesx), who posts videos that teach people about Latina trailblazers and funny and endearing cultural truths

46. Eva Longoria on Instagram (@evalongoria) to see her latest business endeavors, directorial and production projects, funny mom moments, and activism efforts

Watch

47. Flamin’ Hot, a movie coming out in 2022 about the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos backstory according to Richard Montañez, who has taken credit for the product and moved up the ranks at Frito-Lay

48. Gentefied, an American comedy-drama streaming television series created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, on Netflix

49. John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons on Netflix, which is part school lecture, part stand-up routine, and 100% unapologetic for creating visibility for Latinos

50. Stand and Deliver, a now classic movie based on the true story of a high school mathematics teacher, Jaime Escalante, who successfully taught struggling students

51. Jane the Virgin, a sitcom with an all-Hispanic cast that brings to life endearing everyday moments in Latino culture, and some fantastical elements of telenovelas

Listen

52. The Latin American History Podcast, by Max Serjeant, which aims to tell the story of Spanish and Portuguese America from its very beginnings until the present day

53. Latinos Who Lunch podcast, a candid discussion where art, history, and culture meet

54. Terapia by Cimafunk – Named for and inspired by Afro-Cuban identity, this bright, upbeat album blends together different sounds and identities – and is guaranteed to make you bounce to the beat

55. El Mal Querer by Rosalía – A blend of traditional flamenco with contemporary pop, based on Flamenca, a 13th century book about a woman imprisoned by her jealous fiancé – thought to be the first modern novel

Bonus idea: Make it a goal to connect with and invite more Hispanics into your professional network. There are plenty of Latino professional groups, associations, and resources. Feel free to ask for introductions to my fabulously talented connections. 

Latina Equal Pay Day is October 21 this year. It’s a fitting way to close out a month of celebration and recognition and, hopefully, spark a sense of activism.

Acknowledgments

55 sketches artwork by Narely Martin, brand strategist

Art direction by Lorena Reyes, senior art director