First and foremost, we acknowledge the traumatic pain, racial injustice, and countless human rights violations endured by the Black and Afro-Latinx community. We see you, we hear you, and we stand in solidarity. We cannot merely express outrage or shock when these racial crimes have been the tragic reality of our country. At this tipping point, we commit to showing up, speaking out, and activating our community and platform for #BlackLivesMatter.
We understand that true allyship requires active commitment. We will not stand in passive solidarity while brazenly ignoring the work needed at home–and in the tech ecosystem. Over the years, we have seen incremental improvements in the representation and inclusion of Black and Afro-Latinx communities; however, it is nowhere near equality. Latinas in Tech commits to holding our tech partners accountable in hiring, retaining, and promoting Black and Afro-Latinx talent. Looking inward, we must also work to make this community more diverse and inclusive. It is not lost on us that our membership demographic is 1.8% Afro-Latina while 54% identifies as White–an effect of the greater issue of the underrepresentation of women and people of color in tech. At home, we must combat anti-blackness and colorism, which has kept our culture divided. As a board, it is our responsibility to exercise our own privilege and lead with conscious minds and open hearts.
To our community, we see your pain and frustration. We commend your will to harness that emotion into prompt action. You embody the Latinas in Tech spirit of empowerment, so we look to you to move with urgency and conviction. Here are several resources to help you sustain momentum and do your part:
Call to action for our members:
- Be there for your Black and Afro-Latinx colleagues. This is an emotional and traumatic time for the community, especially as an underrepresented group in a white-dominated industry.
- READ: “Maintaining professionalism In the Age of Black Death Is...A Lot”
- → Do not make the narrative about yourself or use a personal anecdote as an entry point for empathy. Be mindful of the space you take up.
- Combat anti-blackness and colorism in our Latinx culture: educate yourselves on racial equity strategies and our history with race, and then start the conversation with your parents, grandparents, and network. No matter how difficult and uncomfortable the conversations may feel.
- READ: "Non-Black Latinx Can Perpetuate Racism"
- → Do not place the burden on the Black community to speak up or show up alone. Do not stay silent or still during this critical time.
- Hold your employers accountable for racial representation, inclusion, and justice.
- ACT: Template for Holding Your Employer Accountable for Racial Justice via Rachel Cargle
- → Do not stay silent at work about racial justice. Advocate for acknowledgment and action from your employer long after the headlines pass. (Remember this isn’t a box to check but rather an ongoing practice).
- Exercise your civic duties by demanding police reform from lawmakers and hopeful candidates at the local and state elections.
- ACT: Julian Castro encouragement
- → Do not opt-out of your civic duty and relinquish your power.
- Put your money to work and donate to local grassroot organizations.
This is only the beginning of our commitment. We will continue to strategize on our long-term plan and welcome your ideas on what we can do to amplify your voice and actions. As always, we’re here for you–in community.
Latinas in Tech Governing Board