Tag: PlatformLatino

latina; latinista; diversity

Ep. 2 – Yai Vargas, Latinx Diversity & Strategy Expert

This episode set a high watermark for my future episodes but that only motivates me to really keep up finding high quality guests and interviews.
I’ll be honest, I recorded this episode in February 2019 and it took me a while to face my fears to really kick off the podcast. Even though this was recorded months ago it offers timeless advice that both women and men can use to really propel their careers and life skills.

Yai who reigns from the Dominican Republic has focused her career on diversity and moreover the inclusion and success for women in the workplace. Seven years ago she created the Latinista which is an organization focused on the professional development that has satellite offices in Chicago, Miami, LA with their home base in New York. The Latinista was born when Yai noticed the need for professional development for Latinas. She’s a hands on trainer who gets right to work with all the women (and men) who come and participate in her workshops. I definitely recommend you check out and attend her next workshop.
We dive into issues of DNI, affinity groups, and navigating the corporate office to achieve your career aspirations.

Lastly we close with some great takeaways on:

  • What can women do to establish a fair playing field in business and life to close the gap in the gender inequality?
  • What can men do immediately to help support women empowerment?

My biggest takeaway learned from the episode:

Be bold, offer value, and unapologetic and strategic in working towards your goals!

You can follow and find Yai and The Latinista at the links below:

Review on Netflix Special: “Latin History for Morons”

John Leguizamo’s Netflix Special: “Latin History for Morons”

Unless you have been living under a rock or your wifi is out you have probably seen it advertised in your Netflix queue. John Leguizamo’s new Netflix special “Latin History for Morons” came on Netflix not too long ago and is right in line with the purpose of Platform Latino’s mission of promoting the Latin history the United States. Leguizamo mixes in his comedy expertise to simmer the top of how much American History involves Latinos. We have been here before America was America. Hell our Spanish ancestors were the ones who sent Columbus over to find the new world. Although he brought sickness and disease, which whipped out the majority of the native people we as Latinos share that as part of our history.

“If you don’t see yourself represented outside of yourself, you just feel invisible.”

John shares his struggles in explaining to his son Latino Heroes he could use for his school project. They aren’t readily available in normal history texts. Also as Latinos it’s hard to identify with the historical role models when we don’t share the same background, language or history. This is why I was glad to see and hear his examples and his passion to use his stardom to bring light on this void in American History. Most times, we focus on the negatives but at times, we need to really dig and find the truths and successes we have had and celebrate these milestones. You can tell he put in actual research into this show that he has been performing on Broadway this past year. He quotes many books, sources, and historical figures, which brings light into how much we have been involved in the history of the United States. Here is a great link to a source that outlines many of the books referenced. It definitely expanded my reading list.

How do you expect to have a Latin Hero for your son if you don’t have one for yourself?

This quote hit close to the heart because as I build PlatformLatino I haven’t identified a Latino(a) hero I look up to myself. To be honest I am using this as a portal to learn more about Latino(a) history in the United States and to also cast more of a positive light on our successes but I should also dig deep in finding out who is my Latin Hero.

“My Hero is Me!”

We are all heroes in our own way and we need to promote that and let others see what we are doing to better the community as a whole. It could be anything from helping the homeless, to editing your friends resume we can all do small acts of kindness to better the world. Make sure you are your own Hero first because you need to believe in yourself first to grow to your full potential.

 

All in all, it was a great special that mixed amazing much needed topics with a light comedic touch. I’d like to hear in the comments what you thought of the special and the takeaways you took from the show.

The First Latino

The First US Latino: A mix of African, Spanish, and the epicenter of Latinos in America

On a lazy rainy day, I was scrolling through Amazon Prime looking for some inspiration via a documentary. As I scrolled through a bunch of documentaries, I saw one about the history of New York. I figured since it was my two-month anniversary of moving to the Big Apple; let me learn a bit more about the greatest city on earth.

History of New York

As they introduced all of New York’s greatness they started with the original story of Henry Hudson sailing into this new world and his vision of this land being a sprawling harbor and center of commerce. We all know New York as being a melting pot; home to the financial markets, sprawls of people and where world leaders meet to discuss worldly issues at the United Nations.

After the Dutch landed in New York, at the time known as New Amsterdam, there is one footnote that has been debated and is much overlooked. A man named Juan Rodriguez, translated to Dutch Jon Rodrigues.

Who was Juan Rodriguez?

Juan Rodriguez was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic by a Spanish Father and an African Mother. Little is known, other than he was able to learn and speak many languages, which allowed him to be hired as a translator for explorers coming to the “New World”. One was a Dutch merchant ship making a voyage from the DR to Manhattan. He arrived in what is now New York in 1613 and soon after met and learned the Algonquin language of the Native Americans that lived in the New York Region. He eventually married into the community and after the Dutch ship left he established a small trading post.

He is known as being the first Latino to settle in Manhattan. Not only was he the first Latino but he was also the first of African heritage, first of European heritage and the first merchant.

Personal Commentary

This is interesting in these times with major issues in the news about immigration that one of the first settlers in New York was a mixed Latino. Its also ironic that as a nation built on immigration that we still have issues with racism and prejudices. Our European ancestors came to explore and settle here they hired and worked with a man who had a Spanish/Portuguese Father and an African Mother and thru historical documents described as a visibly dark man and had no issue with it. Shows we have lost touch with a lot of our true deep down American Values that made this country what it was and what it could be. A nation for the free to grow, prosper and lay a foundation for their families.

One other thing that comes to mind is the repeated story of people coming to this country from other parts of the world to make a life of their own. His story isn’t too far off from the beginnings of Alexander Hamilton who as a parent-less teenager came to New York to make a name for himself. It just shows that if you have the determination and the drive you can make it and live to your fullest potential. No matter what the situation, your families’ history or your upbringing there is no excuse that you cannot improve your life by staying focused and motivated in achieving your goals.  I wish we knew more about Juan Rodriguez and the personal less publicized stories of the early Latino or Spanish settlers that laid the foundation or should I say platform for Latinos today.