How to Be an Ally to the Latino and Hispanic Community
Being an ally to Hispanic and Latino people – or to any marginalized group – is essential for advancing social justice, equity, and inclusion. It contributes to building a more compassionate, diverse, and vibrant society where all individuals can thrive, regardless of their background or ethnicity. By working together as allies, we can address systemic inequalities and create a better future for everyone.
Active allyship involves taking proactive steps to support and uplift the voices, rights, and well-being of others. Here are some ways you can best be an ally to Latino and Hispanic people.
Start by educating yourself about the history, culture, and challenges faced by Latinos and Hispanics. Learn about their contributions to society, their struggles, and their achievements. Read books, watch documentaries, and follow reputable news sources to gain a better understanding.
Listen and Learn
Actively listen to the experiences and perspectives of Hispanic and Latino individuals. Encourage open and honest conversations and be willing to learn from their experiences. Avoid making assumptions or speaking over them.
Amplify Their Voices
Share and promote the voices of Hispanic and Latino people. Retweet their tweets, share their stories, and support their initiatives on social media. This helps raise awareness and gives them a platform to be heard. Also ask yourself if you should publicly weigh in on what they are saying. Get comfortable taking a seat and leaving our opinion out of the conversation.
Advocate for Equity
Speak up against discrimination, racism, and bias when you encounter it. Use your position to advocate for equitable treatment of Latinos and Hispanics in all areas of life, including education, employment, and healthcare. This may include getting involved politically.
Vote for Inclusivity
Be an informed voter. Support policies and candidates that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. Advocate for fair representation of the Latino and Hispanic communities in government and leadership positions.
Support Hispanic- and Latino-Owned Businesses
Did you know that Latino-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment out of all businesses in the United States? Seek out and support these businesses in your community. This can help boost their economic opportunities and contribute to a more inclusive local economy.
Participate in Cultural Events
Attend Hispanic cultural events, festivals, and celebrations in your area. This not only shows your support but also helps you learn more about their traditions and heritage.
Volunteer and Donate
Volunteer your time or donate to organizations that work towards the betterment of Hispanic communities. Many nonprofits focus on education, healthcare, and social services for Hispanic and Latino people. To find a nonprofit in your area, check out this list of over 300 organizations across the U.S.
Practice Cultural Sensitivity
Even if you don't speak Spanish or are not familiar with Hispanic customs, you can still make an effort to be culturally sensitive. Respect language and traditions, and don't make assumptions based on stereotypes. Here are some tips on how to develop cultural competency at your company.
Challenge and confront stereotypes and misconceptions about Hispanic and Latino people when you encounter them – whether you find yourself holding such stereotypes or hear someone else expressing them. Promote accurate, informed viewpoints and challenge bias in your social circles.
Take Bystander Action
When you witness discrimination or unfair treatment, speak up and take action. This can be in your workplace, community, or any other setting where injustice occurs.
Remember that being an ally is not about being a savior – it’s about being a supporter. This means using your voice, connections, and resources to help create a more inclusive and equitable society for all. This requires humility, empathy, and a commitment to ongoing learning and action.
At Mustard & Moxie we are passionate allies for the Latino and Hispanic community and we work closely with Latino-led, Latino-serving organizations. For more information on how we support these orgs in their marketing and capacity building initiatives, check out our case studies!
Photo credit: Helena Lopes via Pexels