Love it or hate it, we’re about to get our annual dose of Latino-centered media and events to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month! I have always embraced this month because I grew up in a very homogeneous community with family too far away to really experience cultural/familial norms and traditions. LHM has always been a gateway for me to learn about my family, my culture, and the politics behind our community.
While we should always be aware of Latinx accomplishments and struggles, I like having a specific time to really focus and recognize what’s going on. With that in mind, here is a little Latina History Month Must-Dos to help motivate and energize ourselves:
- Read Sonia Sotomayor’s biography. First, if you haven’t read it, you must! If it’s been a while, pick it back up. I’m reading it right now during my commute to work and it’s such a great reminder of what’s still possible in our careers.
- Commit to advancing your career. If you’re still searching for work or are feeling a little passive in your current career tract, sign up for LinkedIn or update your resume; not because you’re looking for new work, but because it will remind you of your accomplishments. If you’re shy about networking, commit to attending at least one networking event this month to meet your local legal community—actually, LHM is often filled with really great events focused on Latino lawyers. Take advantage!
- Register to vote. Our political power has such mighty potential. Make it a goal to register if you haven’t and to check in with friends and family to make sure they are registered to vote.
- Support Latinx entrepreneurs! There are so many incredible small-business owners. Find one you like and buy a little something!
- Learn how your work is impacting Latinxs. We talk a lot about how the legal community is not diverse, how there are few Latina lawyers (all true), but often fail to realize that who we represent isn’t very diverse either. Unless you’re doing direct Latinx policy work/poverty law/focusing mostly on Latino business, very few clients actually look like you or share your experiences. Have you ever taken a moment to ask why that is? We may think only certain issues impact Latinxs, but the truth is we all work and live under the same legal structure. Is the work we’re doing helping or hindering or excluding our community? Why don’t you have a diverse clientele? Is there something that can change this? Even just recognizing how the work we do impacts those closest to us can alter our mindset and approach to the law.
Happy Latinx Heritage Month! What’s your favorite way to celebrate and acknowledge our accomplishments?