Hispanic Heritage Month not only promotes the rich culture and heritage that so many Americans share, it sheds a distinct light on colleagues and friends, and the experiences that may have shaped who they are. It is the role of all of us to help elevate and preserve those legacies and histories.
My name is Crystal Diaz, and I work at Teradata as our Recruitment Marketing Manager for the Talent Acquisition team in San Diego. My passion for words and storytelling led me to pursue a career in communications and marketing, but my experiences as a first-generation Mexican American woman have shaped how I view and walk the world.
Growing up, I was a de facto teacher, translator and representative. A child of immigrants, I shouldered a set of responsibilities that, although sometimes difficult to bear, unearthed a certain quality of character that might not have surfaced otherwise. My parents, field workers and laborers in the agricultural heart of California, instilled the value of hard work in me from the beginning. It is the most valuable contribution they could have given me. This month, I reflect on those experiences with a greater understanding and deeper appreciation.
Navigating the waters as a first-generation college student reminded me that there were countless other young Latinas whose shoes I once filled, sometimes permeated by doubt and unease. But reflecting on these experiences also reminds me that no matter how small, we can all provide representation and a voice.
Contributions from the likes of Cesar Chavez, Frida Kahlo, and so many more, have cemented their rightful place in American history. We follow in the footsteps of these champions every day, whether we know it or not. The impact Latino Americans make, in our companies, social circles and communities, help shape our national experience and identity.
There is joy in the food, music and shared experiences we all bring to the table. In the diversity of thought we create, and conversations we facilitate.
I’m happy to be somewhere where my identity — and the co-existence of my identities — is not only welcome but celebrated. There is power in representation
, and while conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion seem to have more urgency than ever before, representing and highlighting individual voices is crucial to building the strongest foundation.
I hope you can join me celebrating and respecting the unique contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans this September. Happy Hispanic Heritage month!