I heard an interesting story this morning on NPR regarding economists that attempt to predict economic performance (job creation, unemployment, economic growth) for a given month. As a whole, these economists are referred to as “the consensus” and their impact on markets can be significant. Organizations base much of their activities on what “the consensus” predicts. What’s ironic is that “the consensus” is wrong more often than not.
It’s easy to fall into “the consensus” way of thinking. A consensus exists when everyone agrees. For example, we can be united in our communications or actions related to a problem or solution. However, is it possible to have diversity in unity?
Given that “the consensus” is often wrong, we run the risk of pluralistic conformity, shared bias, and ignorance: in short, unreliable consensus. This is an important point when Latinos consider the diverse issues impacting our community.
Let’s keep in mind that consensus is not always what gives credibility to the solution.
Might just be me, but there seems to be a great deal of buzz related to Latino topics today (marketing, education, politics, etc.) via Twitter including President Obama’s appearance at the NCLR Conference in D.C (#NCLRConf). A lot tweets regarding organizations and leaders “investing” in the Latino community in different ways. What I find ironic is how investing often lacks the most important element – time.
Increasing your presence or investment alone will not provide the results you want. Whether investing in financial markets or in the Latino community – it’s investment of time that will eventually provide the ROI.
LATISM was represented last week at the Hispanic Policy Conference in Washington D.C. Here’s a great overview by LATISM Director Elianne Ramos. With 150 Latino leaders from a variety of backgrounds and settings, the meet up at the White House was genuinely momentous.
Having been involved in these types of meetings for years (as I know many of you have), one always walks away with a sense of mission and purpose only to see that same enthusiasm fade away after time. My assumption is that those in attendance were empowered to hold these officials accountable. How? Access. Transparency. A Voice.
When it comes to the vast array of Latino issues – we must not be antagonistic – but we must demonstrate resolve from those who wish to partner with our community.
It’s hard to believe that I began HTM over two years ago this month. The last year was filled with change and new realities. Our move to Madison, Wisconsin from Cincinnati, Ohio was the biggest event of the year for me and my family. Not surprisingly, many of the same issues facing Latinos in Ohio are just as prevalent in Wisconsin – and in some cases – more so. The politics in Wisconsin these days is very interesting to say the least. Anyway, I’m just starting to get acclimated to my new surroundings and have already made some contacts within the community.
The big news over the last year (for me at least) was the census results. And while everyone knew the final numbers would be significant, no one I think realized how significant the growth in the Latino population would be in 10 years. We now know. Latinos are impacting all aspects of the United States: education, economics, business, culture, and many more aspects of American life. Yet, we also know there remain huge barriers and challenges for us a community.
As I enter the third year of HTM, I often ask myself – what’s my role? How am I adding to the dialogue? Frankly, I think my role is still evolving.
I started HTM as a way to capture trends and news occurring in the Latino workforce. However, I think HTM has grown to capture much more about our community. With this in mind, I’ve been working on reevaluating the purpose and mission of this site. Most of it has been “behind the scenes” getting input from those who I follow via Twitter and Facebook, as well as those that read my blog. They’ve been very helpful in getting me focused. Many thanks to my online communty and close friends!
In the coming weeks, you’ll begin to see some changes in HTM. Some will be subtle – others not so much. The biggest change will be a new site design that I hope will merge my “online footprint” a bit more. I’m also working on some long-term research and writing projects that have been on the back burner for a few months.
So here’s to another great year – it promises to be an exciting one. I do appreciate you dropping in over the last 24 months – and please keep coming back!
As was the case during his life, the legacy of Robert Kennedy continues to support and recognize the importance of the Latino community. I was 5 years old growing up in Los Angeles when RFK was assassinated 43 years ago today. Even at that young age, I distinctly remember and understood the sadness and grief experienced throughout our community during those horrible days. Who can forget the images of Doleres Huerta, a leader in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Workers Union, at the podium with RFK moments after winning the California primary and minutes before being shot.
Today, RFK’s legacy lives on through the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights which recognizes leaders in the area of Human Rights. Many of RFK’s ideals still live today. In 2010 the organization recognized Abel Barrera Hernandez, the founder of one of the most respected and successful human rights organizations in Mexico.
Check out an interesting discussion (podcast) on the role of white males in advocating for organizational diversity. This is a unique perspective and discussion from the CEO of DiversityInc. What’s fascinating is the role non-minority indivuals can play in advocating for a more inclusive workplace. It’s unusual to have these discussions from a “majority” perspective – and one that often lead to misunderstandings if not approached objectively. Enjoy!
Great post by Giovannie Rodriguez at New Generation Latino Consortium (NGLC) regarding multiple communication streams and social media. It seems social media has changed the way we should think about “reaching” groups or demographics. More importantly, the words or terms we use in this respect have also changed – from mainstream to multicultural – from melting pot to ethnic identity.
But therein lies the opportunity for Latinos or any other group vying for power on the new social web. We are living in a time where the mainstream has been supplanted by multiple streams, the metaphor of choice, by the way, of social networking companies that trade in conversation. The dream for Latinos may no longer be the crossover dream– i.e., the dream of entering the mainstream — but instead to create the dream stream, the one that everyone is watching, the one that most contributes to other streams, even the ones that pass for mainstream today.
These paradigm shifts have significant implications to communicating with Latinos, particularly in a work environment. How can an organization assure its message is reaching the intended internal audience, but more importantly, if it is – is it making sense?