Sustainability and Latinos

15 04 2011

Last week I had the opportunity to share my perspectives on social equity, Latinos and the sustainability movement at the Go Green Conference. While we still need to change behaviors in the Latino community, it is important to also change perspectives within the sustainability movement. If you’re interested in learning about what I mean when I say “changing perspectives,” continue reading…

Sustainability and Latinos

By Mando Rayo

When you think of sustainability, the environment and going “green”, what comes to mind? Is it the conscious-minded people who chooses alternative transportation, recycles and grows their own veggies? Or is it the person who lives in the city but has agriculture in their family history, tends to multiple chickens and roosters and rides their bicycle to and from work because they have no alternatives? I think of the latter.

Even though you can’t help but walk through a minefield when making generalization about any demographic and/or ethnicity in America, there are certain realities that I invite you to ponder; new information that will make you at the very least reconsider the assumptions you make when running into certain sub-segments of the Latino market.

Let me expand.

Culture, Traditions and History

Among Latino and other sustainability is a very familiar concept, in fact, it’s goes back many generations. My grandparents and their grandparents before them, farmed and cultivated their lands with vegetables, fruits and the foods they needed to feed their families and make a living. In the kitchen, they developed and passed on traditions to the next generation including reusing plastic bags and foil paper and creating new dishes from a hodge podge of leftover items. These practices, often starting out of necessity, have become traditions and part of our culture. Among Latinos and especially those in low-income communities, you have to save where you can in order to provide for your family—you have to conserve. While many Latinos may not label themselves “green,” they actually are; they just don’t do it by definition, they do it because it’s a part of their culture.

Choice vs. Necessity

Is the construction worker who rides his bicycle to work going “green” or does he do it because of necessity? How many of us are afforded the choice to leave the car at home and ride our bikes to work or for recreational purposes? Do you consider people in low-income communities as environmentally-friendly because they ride the bus? You could. A lot of us, including myself, are afforded these choices but many Latinos and African-Americans that are living in poverty do not have the luxury to make these choices. For Latinos living in these conditions, it is a matter of necessity; the necessity to get to work, make a living, getting by and providing for their families. With necessity comes ingenuity. We see it in its simplest form by recycling plastic bags and foil paper, by washing and reusing them, or by repurposing old aluminum cans or glass jars for tools and containers and even art projects. While some Latinos, especially older generations, may not consider themselves environmentalist, many of them have been doing their part through culture and traditions.

Creating Inclusion

Sustainability and the organized environmental movement for the large part has been part of the mainstream. The poor and multicultural communities have not been part of this organized movement not because they’ve been intentionally excluded, but simply because not enough relationships and connections exist between these groups. Latinos and most multicultural communities do care about sustainability and doing their part to be “green”. However,  they do it in their own informal way, rooted in cultural traditions and understandings. What organizations and businesses need to do is begin the process of understanding how these issues affect and are relevant to Latino communities. If they truly want diverse insights, perspectives, influence, connections, advocates, and $171 billion of Texas’ Latino buying power the organized environmental movement needs to take time to understand their needs, wants and aspirations. It’s about meeting their necessities, your organization/business’ needs and meeting in the middle or reaching the sweet spot. Once you hit the sweet spot, you can move forward together.

There are real connections between sustainability and Latinos. As we continue this work, we have to change perceptions as well as behaviors and start connecting the issues in more meaningful and relevant ways that include culture, traditions and experiences.

There are definitely situations in which these same Latinos, due to either lack of information or out of pure necessity are engaging in practices negative to the environment. These are opportunities for both nonprofit organizations and the business world as far as educating and empowering these individuals to take environmentally-friendly decisions.





RISE Multicultural Series: 60+ Latino, African-American, Asian Innovators y mas!

3 03 2011

RISE Week is right around the corner, March 7-11 and the Multicultural Series is in full gear, representing entrepreneurs from all walks of life! The RISE Multicultural Series showcases the often missed diversity of the Austin entrepreneurial sector. Through this series, we’re ensuring that all ideas, perspectives and experiences are at the table. We have over 60 sessions in the series that range from start-up to nonprofit and social media to basic business essentials en Español! We did not do it alone though. We had the support of RISE leadership, Cultural Strategies, sponsors and community partners. Take a look at what’s in store for the 2011 RISE Multicultural Series and sign up for session or two!

Sponsors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partners

Mex Net Alliance (also sponsor of the Multicultural Series VIP Reception)

TiE Austin

Economic Growth Business Incubator

Minority Start-up Association of Texas

Soul Citi

Austin’s Black Newcomers Association

Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce

Urban Life and Style Magazine

National Society of Hispanic MBA

Asian American Chamber of Commerce

Multicultural Series sessions:

David Ansel: The Soup Peddler: A Real Life Bootstrapped Brand Story

Shetay Ashford: Taking the Plunge into the World of Social Entrepreneurship!

George Barlow: Real Estate Franchising and the Paradigm Shift

Bettina Bennett: What they don’t teach you at university about being a successful entrepreneur

Elizabeth Bert: Social Intelligence: Essential Skill for the 21st Century Workplace

Cindy Casares: How to manage bloggers including yourself

Chin Chang: Building a united website

Jorge Chavez: Sales Management for Private Business Owners

Sreekanth Chintala: Weekend Entrepreneur

Magaly Chocano: Marketing your business in the mobile landscape

Adil Dalal: Power of Visualization for Leaders

Keisha Dirkson: Experiencing the power of networking

Kai Dupe: The Road Less Traveled: Important routes to entrepreneurship that should be explored

Helena Escalante: Prosperity and abundance mindset for the entrepreneur

Manuel Escobar: The basics of business and corporate law for entrepreneurs

Lisa Goddard: Mapping the Un-mappable: Using infographics to inspire social change

Ricardo Guererro: How to use social media effectively for your business

Manish Gupta: Social Entrepreneurship: Doing Good is good business!

Hopeton Hay: African American Entrepreneurship: Learning from the Past, Building for the Future

Victor Henry: Commercial Leasing from the Tenant’s Perspective

Elias Hermida: Que Necesito saber antes de poner un negocio?

Diego Huerta: Do everything with Nothing

Paula Hui: Building your business through community involvement

Gopal Krishnan: Progressive building of organizational capabilities in line with a company’s growth

Victor Landa: Building from the market sweet spot: How finding your niche is half the battle

Zakiya Larry: Avoiding the ‘Deer in Headlights’ Syndrome: Media Training

Vid Luther: How to hack your startup without writing a single line of code

Elijah May: Just Crazy Enough to Work: Non-traditional marketing strategies for non-traditional results

Juan Carlos Mercado: Tips for Making, Keeping Business Resolutions

Eli Mercer: Opportunities and Trends in Hispanic Entrepreneurship

Quamrul Mina: Building a cloud-based Online/OnDemand TV broadcast platform

Thomas Miranda: Innovation – What’s the Big Idea

Jette Momant: Socialize and localize your business

Martin Montero: Ingredients for social innovation ecosystem

Sonia Mukherjee: Balancing on a high wire without a Corporate Safety Net: Transitioning to Entrepreneurship

Jennifer Navarette: Business on the Go: Smartphones, iPads and Apps, OH MY!

Roy Nieto: Lessons Learned from an Inc. Magazine Fast Growth Company

Monica Peraza: The Passion test for Entrepreneurs

Edie Phillips: Make Good Credit A Reality: Don’t Let Your Past Determine Your Future

Elizabeth Quintanilla: How and why be a Certified as a Minority, Woman or Disadvantage Owned Business?

Subramanian Rama : Bootstrap Ideation

Leo Ramirez: The changing face of philanthropy

Pablo Reyna : What is this cloud stuff?

Luis Sandoval: Diversifying your integrated media strategy

Evelina: Solis: Speak Up, Move Up: Public Speaking for Today’s Professional

Jeremy Solomons: Thriving as an independent entrepreneur

Vysali Soundararajan: Negotiating Fundamentals

Boyd Stephens: The Incredible Secret Money Making Machine – REDUX

Masudi Stolard: 12 Steps to Becoming an Entrepreneur

Binitha Surendran: Impact of Globalization – Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy

Carla Thompson: But I’m Just a Girl: How You Can  I Help Change the Conversation around Women Entrepreneurs

Teo Tijerina: Entrepreneurship Roadmap

Nicole Torres-Cooke: The Strategy of Being Social Online

Rebecca Trevino: Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World’s Largest Emerging Market?

Raquel Valdez: When to buy, How to buy

Alberto Vargas: Need a new business or product idea? Try value innovation

Jikku Venkat: Product Development & Technology Innovation in a Startup Environment: Doing it Cost-effectively

Joseph Villarreal: Lessons Learned: Going from a Product Retailer to a Service Model

Juliet Walker: African American Entrepreneurship: Learning from the Past, Building for the Future

Lonnie Woods: Non Profit Management & Leadership. Building sustainable, successful and high performance Non-Profit






Update: Austin Says No to Arizona’s Immigration Law!

30 04 2010

After one day of hard work & online advocacy via Twitter, FB, snail email and one phone call, we have a proposal for an economic boycott against Arizona by the Austin City Council. Standing up for Austin is Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez who said in a press release that he didn’t want to “expose city employees to potentially hostile environment in Arizona” and “that our Austin community stands in vehement opposition to racial discrimination in any form.” And being who I am, I vehemently agree!

Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Austin Councilmember Bill Spelman and Mayor Pro Tem Martinez will introduce the resolution at the May 13th Austin City Council meeting. Meanwhile, I’ve been gathering mas support via Twitter & Facebook. So if you want to keep up to date on the resolution or show your support, please join us on the “Austin Says NO to Arizona’s Immigration Law!” We’re already up to 294 LIKEs and y’know we like the LIKEs now!

Muchisimas gracias to Bobby Garza and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez for taking the lead on this effort. They are a prime example of city officials listening and working for the people! You can read the full press release below.

Adelante!

Mando

For Immediate Release

April 29, 2010

Contact: Bobby Garza, Office of Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez

(512) 974-2264

Austin Council Members To Propose Arizona Boycott

Austin, Texas – Austin Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, City Council Member Bill Spelman and Mayor Lee Leffingwell announced today that they will introduce a resolution at the May 13th City Council meeting directing the City Manager to limit employee travel to Arizona and to present a plan to the Council for terminating business and investment relationships with the State of Arizona.

“The reasons for introducing this measure are two-fold,” said Mayor Pro Tem Martinez.  “First and foremost, we want to ensure that we are not exposing city employees to risk by sending them into an uncertain and potentially hostile environment in Arizona .  Second, we want to send a loud and clear message to the State of Arizona that our community stands in vehement opposition to racial discrimination in any form.”

“This resolution has precedent in past Council actions,” added Martinez .  “For example, we’ve previously passed policies prohibiting the city from doing business with manufacturers who utilize sweatshop labor.  It is squarely within the Council’s purview to determine with whom the city should or should not do business based on their practices.”

The resolution comes on the heels of passage of SB 1070 in Arizona that effectively mandates racial profiling throughout the state.  Other cities across the country, including Los Angeles and Washington D.C. , are contemplating similar legislation.  San Francisco has recently passed a resolution that will terminate all contracts with Arizona-based companies and end city business with the state.

“ Arizona ’s new immigration law puts anyone traveling to the state in jeopardy of being detained, based on a law enforcement officer’s ‘reasonable suspicion’ that that person might be an undocumented immigrant,” said Council Member Bill Spelman.  “That’s wrong, and I can’t responsibly allow our city employees to be placed at such a risk.”

“While I’m normally reluctant to support the Council formally weighing in on issues outside of our jurisdiction, Arizona ’s legislation potentially has a direct impact on our employees, and is generally so offensive that I believe it demands our attention,” said Mayor Leffingwell.   “I’m supporting this resolution because I believe that we have a responsibility not only to protect our own employees, but also to speak out loudly against racial discrimination wherever it exists.”

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National Museum of the American Latino, Texas Public Forum – Sat. May 1st

28 04 2010

Latinos – Stand up! We have an opportunity to showcase 500 years of Latino contributions with the creation of the National Museum of the American Latino. And there’s a chance that it might live in Austin, TX! This Saturday, May 1 at 10am, the National Museum of the American Latino Commission will be hosting the only forum in Texas to get feedback from Tejanos, Americanos, Latinos and the like. So Saturday morning, make your pan dulce and breakfast taco to go and particpate in the forum!

Adelante!

Mando





In honor of Cesar Chavez Day: I believe in Si Se Puede!

31 03 2010

I believe in Si Se Puede!

I believe in Si Se Puede – Yes We Can. We all know the rallying cry; it’s part of our history, our culture – it’s what gives us the ganas to fight for our rights, opportunities and our freedoms. It’s as old as Latin American revolutions to the huelgas of the 60s and the campaigns of today.

Si Se Puede – it’s more than just a mantra – it’s an attitude – a call to action; a way to realize our dreams – it’s the ganas to fight for what we believe in – a constant reminder that we can and shall overcome. Si Se Puede is reaching out to people and getting connected, it’s helping people that need help & being helped when we need it, it’s undoing the wrong and making it right, and it’s standing up for what you believe in and standing up for others.

I believe in Si Se Puede because as a community organizer, I see it, breathe it and live it everyday. It embodies my outlook on life, it affects my everyday work and I’ve seen how inspirational it can be. I’ve seen the hope it brings to peoples’ lives; the idea that people can overcome any obstacle, no matter how difficult the situations may be, is life-changing.

And we need it, not only Latinos but all people. We have families living in poverty, managing two or more jobs and trying to put food on the table; our workers are earning non-livable wages; our kids aren’t prepared for school and dropping out; and too many people do not have access to healthcare. Yes, these are daunting problems but with our Si Se Puede attitudes, ganas y el pueblo unido, we can do it!

Si Se Puede means we can make things better for our families, neighbors and generations to come. We can reach out to our neighbors & stay connected, we can volunteer and give back, not because it’s a nice thing to do but a necessity to solving our community’s critical issues and, we can inspire others to make change.

Cesar Chavez, a migrant farm worker and community activist once said “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

I believe in Si Se Puede

Mando Rayo





2010 RISE Hispanic Entrepreneurs Series

1 03 2010

It’s back and this time, bigger y con mas ganas! Last year, we developed the first Hispanic Entrepreneurs Series and of course this year, along with the Multicultural Sessions, we have a strong series full of successful and innovative Latinos! Interested in developing effective marketing strategies? We got it. What about the changing face of philanthropy? Got that too. How about reaching the economic driving force of the fastest growing population in the U.S. – Latinas? Without a question! You better sign up fast. We have over 25 sessions to choose from, just in the Hispanic Series! Don’t get stuck on Latino time because RISE is only this week, March 1-5! Andale!

RISE 2010 Hispanic Entrepreneurs Series

Intimate. Relevant. Inclusive.

www.riseaustin.org

Can Political Engagement Help Your Business Succeed?

Ann del Llano, Southern Shift

Think Like a Banker

Piensa Como un Banquero

Anna Sanchez and Luisa Gavino Martinez, Wells Fargo

Best Bet: Why You Should Go All-In With Content Marketing

Ben Van Horn, Talk Back Media

Create and Hustle: How to make it as a grass roots promoter

Brandon Badillo, Bembe Entertainment

YouFM: Podcasting your Business and Yourself

Social Media en Español: cual es el punto?

Carlos Borberg, Pyrat Republik

Blogging For Cash And Prizes: How I left corporate America and got to work in my pajamas.

Cindy Casares, Guanabee Media

Las 5 Lecciones de como atacar el mercado hispano (Para organizaciones y empresas)

Elias Hermida, 1800Hispano

From Strangers to Community

How and Why be a Certified Woman Minority Owned Business (WMBE) and DBE

Elizabeth Quintanilla, EQ Consulting

How to launch a trans-national services business using social media and bi-lingual skills

Cómo lanzar un negocio trans-nacional usando los medios sociales y tus habilidades bilingues

Fernando Labastida, Latin IT Marketing

The Marketing Investment

La Inversión en Mercadotecnia

Frank Garza, Vamos Marketing

Como Iniciar Su Propia Empresa

Helena Escalante, All Things Mexico

People Over Process: An Approach to Small Business Hiring and Partnerships

Jason Villarreal, Villa Consulting Group

Stay lean, stay multifaceted, stay in business – An introduction to a freelancing, self employed and entrepreneurial mentality

Jay B Sauceda, Photographer

Social Media Jam: A Hands-On Experience

Jennifer Navarette, Social Media Consultant

Building a Solid Foundation – Liability Issues Facing All Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

Jerry Rios, Law Office of Jerry Rios, P.C.

Entrepreneurship for Baby Boomers

Juan Carlos Mercado, 360 Solutions

Social meets Media: How today’s collaborative technologies are shaping the future of media.

Juan Garcia, New Media Producer, The University of Texas

The Changing Face of Philanthropy

Leo Ramirez, MiniDonations

Building A Visible and Profitable Brand Online

Luis Sandoval Jr., Brand Evangelist/Speaker/Media

Essential tools to start a social enterprise. (a practical workshop)

Martin Montero, SOLVE L3C

Twitter? Who has time for Twitter?

Maura Thomas, Regain Your Time

Passion Test for Entrepreneurs

Why Vanilla is the best thing in the World

Monica Peraza, MexNet Alliance

Latinas Want More: How to Market to this Growing Segment & Why It Matters!

Rebecca Trevino, Dell

Stwittergy

Ricardo Guerrero, Stwittergy

How to promote your company through PR

Roberto Hernandez, LatinWorks

Design Your Value Proposition to Separate Yourself from Competitors

Roy Nieto, SureScore, Educational Consulting

Social Media Marketing Lessons Learned from Politics

Shaine Mata, Shaine Mata & Associates

Subliminal Branding: Make It Work for You. 7 Tips to Branding Success

Tina Balderrama Kubicek, B.S., M.Ed., Ph.D., Author, Speaker, Consultant








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