COVID-19 Highlights the Need for Increased Supplier Diversity
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A video conference with a diverse group of co-workers

By Elizabeth Vasquez

As global citizens prepare to fight against the current COVID-19 pandemic, I have been inspired by the individual stories of the women-owned businesses in the WEConnect International community and the resilience of my team and our supporters around the world.

As the CEO of a global nonprofit, I’m used to spending my life in airports and airplanes flying to meetings, speaking at conferences and meeting with our member buyers and the women business owners who supply a wide assortment of goods and services. But my intense travel schedule has ground to a halt as meetings have been canceled or postponed.

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to be at our WEConnect International South Africa Conference, Scaling Up in 2020 for Sustainable Growth, in Johannesburg. I met several exceptional women business owners and large buyers committed to inclusion.

Many are stepping up to help us all face the coronavirus challenge, like Refilwe Sebothoma, whose company, PBM Group, is supplying face masks. Belukazi Nkala, who owns Khanyile Solutions, is providing protective uniforms. And Judy Sunasky’s company, Blendwell Chemicals, is producing hand sanitizer.

In Singapore, Rithika Gupta is also increasing hand sanitizer production at her company, FP Aromatics, as is Sarah Sayed’s company, BX Merchandise, in the UK. WEConnect International educates and certifies women’s business enterprises based in over 45 countries, and women business owners such as these have registered with us in over 120 countries.

There are approximately 224 million women entrepreneurs worldwide who participate in the ownership of nearly 35 percent of firms in the formal economy. As traditional value chains shift, these business owners can step in to meet buyer demand.

Here in Washington, D.C., the WEConnect International Team has decided to hold our annual Gala and Symposium virtually. This is not a cancellation or a postponement but rather an opportunity for champions of diversity to leverage technology in support of inclusive global growth.

We are committed to creating opportunity in the face of adversity and have engaged our award winners, member buyers, women-owned businesses and strategic partners to join us for our first-ever 24-hour Cyber Gala culminating with the announcement of our Top 10 Global Champions.

Governments are taking the pandemic seriously and are working hard to protect their citizens through social distancing, while meeting the needs of those who fall sick. In addition to the human suffering, the virus has hurt domestic and international business. As a result, governments and business are working together to diversify supply chains to help mitigate future shocks to local and global economies.

 

An Online Store is Using Latino Humor — and Gaining Fans
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Latina and Latino wearing shirt with Sugar Skulls

By Cynthia Silva for NBC News

An online shop is standing out for its use of funny and unconventional phrases that resonate with many Latinos, and it’s gaining a fan base on social media.

“We try to touch on things that are funny and sincere. I think that resonates with people,” says House of Chingasos founder Carlos Ugalde.

The House of Chingasos focuses on tailoring their designs to reflect the joys of being Latino — with sayings from sweet childhood rhymes to sarcastic takes on how Latinos are seen.

(Image Credit – NBC News)

“We try to touch on things that are funny and sincere. I think that resonates with people — they go, ‘Oh my gosh, I remember chingasos!’” Carlos Ugalde, 49, told NBC News. Chingasos is slang for a beating or going to blows with someone, although it can mean a harsher curse word to some.

One T-shirt reads “Cafecito Y Chisme” (coffee and gossip), while a woman’s T-shirt reads “Tamale Squad,” with “La jefa” (female boss) underneath. A man’s T-shirt reads “Menudo wrecking machine,” a reference to a popular dish made with tripe.

Another item refers to “colita de rana,” which literally means frog’s tail but is really known as part of a Spanish-language nursery rhyme to console children after they’ve been hurt or when they’re sick. “Sana, sana, colita de rana (Heal, heal, little frog’s tail …),” the rhyme starts.

“It pulls on the heartstrings and people connect with that,” Ugalde said about some of his phrases. Another T-shirt makes a political point — reading “I only look illegal,” with the phrase #Deportracism underneath the stark phrase.

The Las Vegas-based store has nearly 117,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, where they often share memes that Latinos can relate to. The actor Mario Lopez and Oscar De La Hoya, the former professional boxer, have become fans of the store’s shirts.

Tread the original article at NBC News.

 

A Guide To Rebuilding Your Small Business For Latino Entrepreneurs
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Latina business woman professional in a suit standing looking confident with arms crossed

by CNBC

The Covid-19 crisis has hit Latino small businesses particularly hard, including not being able to access PPP funding at a similar rate to other business owners. And many individual proprietors or small, family-owned businesses may feel the impact of Covid more directly, as the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Latino community.

If you’re a Latino entrepreneur or small business owner, know that you’re not alone, and that there are tools, funding, and mentorship available to help you succeed through this crisis. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some essential tools that can help Latino small business owners rebuild and thrive.

Social media & digital tools

Using social media to your maximum advantage is a cost-effective way to market your business, strengthen customer relationships, and sell through new channels. Social media is an indispensable tool to help level the playing field and grow your business during good and challenging times.

Business accelerators

Start-up accelerators can help early-stage entrepreneurs find training, mentorship, resources, and potential funding for their new ventures. Some are focused exclusively on Latino-owned start-ups, and can be found in metro areas throughout the United States.

Networking & business support groups

The Latino small business community enjoys support at the local and national level from a variety of organizations that help Hispanic business owners find the resources they need to succeed.

A good starting point: Most major cities have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that can help you access local support, and some heavily Latino-populated cities, such as Miami, have many other networking groups.

Read the full article at CNBC.

Tips for Leading a Strong and Diverse Team During a Pandemic
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Diverse group of professionals, wearing masks,

By Mariano Garcia,
Civil Trial Attorney, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a healthcare and economic crisis across the country and around the globe. It has also posed some difficult questions for businesses and their workers, like law firms and their attorneys and staff.

There has been a wide range of issues stemming from the pandemic. As an employer with offices throughout Florida, we also have first-hand experience with some of the complications caused by the economic downturn. At the same time, we also understand how important it is to maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace. This is an essential part of our identity as a law firm, which we believe helps us better serve the people and businesses we represent.

Businesses, including law firms, must understand that employment-related and other decisions made now in response to the pandemic can have a long-term impact. They should be mindful of how those moves can affect their ability to recruit and retain a diverse and capable workforce.

Below are some essential tips for weathering COVID-19 without jeopardizing your team.

Keep Diversity in Mind When Considering Cutbacks.

Mariano Garcia
Mariano Garcia

The crisis has unfortunately forced some employers to trim their payrolls by cutting the headcount. Still, it is vital to retain a diverse and inclusive workforce during the pandemic and to be able to retain talent when economic conditions improve.

Company leaders can prioritize diversity by keeping it at top-of-mind when deciding whom to lay off and whom to keep on the job. They should ensure that such decisions are based on objective criteria rather than subjective factors that may make diverse employees more susceptible to the termination.

Leaders can also combat potential biases by being mindful of assignment creation, especially as many employees continue to work from home. Providing your diverse workforce with opportunities to work on important projects or tasks can go a long way in helping all to build confidence and experience on the job.

Understand That Everyone Has Different Personal Obligations

The pandemic, school closures, and the shift to telework can be incredibly stressful for working parents and people who are caring for the elderly or other family members.

It is crucial to acknowledge that everyone has different cultural and personal obligations, and it is especially important to show a commitment to working with employees during this time of anxiety and uncertainty. Allowing for flexible time off during the week and alternative scheduling arrangements can play a huge role in easing the burden for many employees.

Supplement In-Person Networking with Resources for Remote Profile Building

Although social distancing means many people are staying home, it does not mean that all career-building and networking opportunities need to be put on pause.

Law firms and other businesses should already be thinking about helping people bolster their online networking efforts. Tutorials on leveraging Linkedin, getting involved in webinars and other events, and participating in professional organizations can ultimately lead to maintaining and/or expanding contacts.

Internal marketing departments can play a crucial role in this training and development. It is also important to implement standards for tracking these efforts to ensure that they pay off in the long run.

Following the above tips can help all business leaders maintain a strong and diverse team of employees.

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA is a Florida-based personal injury law firm that has represented thousands of clients with car accident, medical malpractice, brain injury and numerous other injury claims.

In Minority Communities, Doctors Are Changing Minds About Vaccination
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two black women waiting in line outside buiding waiting for vaccination

Many Black and Hispanic Americans mistrust government officials, and instead have turned to physicians they have long known.

Like many Black and rural Americans, Denese Rankin, a 55-year-old retired bookkeeper and receptionist in Castleberry, Ala., did not want the Covid-19 vaccine.

Ms. Rankin worried about side effects — she had seen stories on social media about people developing Bell’s palsy, for example, after they were vaccinated. She thought the vaccines had come about too quickly to be safe. And she worried that the vaccinations might turn out to be  (Image Credit – The New York Times)                                      another example in the government’s long history of medical experimentation on Black people.

Then, one recent weekend, her niece, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University in Atlanta, came to town. Dr. Zanthia Wiley said one of her goals in making the trip was to talk to friends and family back home in Alabama, letting them hear the truth about the vaccines from someone they knew, someone who is Black.

Across the country, Black and Hispanic physicians like Dr. Wiley are reaching out to Americans in minority communities who are suspicious of Covid-19 vaccines and often mistrustful of the officials they see on television telling them to get vaccinated. Many are dismissive of public service announcements, the doctors say, and of the federal government.

Continue to the original article at The New York Times. 

Hispanic and Latino health and the Affordable Care Act
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The ACA has narrowed racial gaps in access to health care, but Latinos are still nearly three times more likely to be uninsured.

As a little girl, I would accompany my immigrant mother to her numerous doctor’s appointments; I didn’t know it, but at the time, she was fighting a brain tumor. By the tender age of 7, I had translated most medical terminology from English to Spanish; see, my mother did not speak any English and when she went to the doctor’s office, I was her tiny translator, not that I knew much, but I tried my best.

By the time I was 13, I understood what was happening to my mother and knew how to discuss her symptoms with all her physicians, including neurologists and radiologists. I had my mom buy me a Spanish-to-English medical dictionary and became well-versed in the processes that happen at every one of my mother’s appointments: blood pressure check, weight check, neurological tests. When I moved out of my parent’s home at the age of 24, she stopped going to her doctor’s appointments regularly and chose which doctors she “felt” like going to at the time. I have heard all of the excuses in the book: “I don’t know if they will have an interpreter,” “I feel fine, why do I need to go?” and the most recent one, “I don’t have the money to go to the doctor.”

Read the full article at Benefits Pro.

With few Black and Hispanic executives, Lyft and Uber face long road to hailing a racially diverse workforce
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Young Hispanic Businesswoman sitting in a office chairin Office

Ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber face a long road in creating more racial equity at the top of their organizations, a new USA TODAY analysis shows.

A snapshot of leadership at both companies illustrates their ongoing struggle to boost the number of African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, who are sharply underrepresented in nearly every part of the technology industry except in administrative roles.

Lyft has made progress in bringing aboard Black executives, surpassing rival Uber and its Big Tech counterparts, according to 2018 figures, the most recent government data available.

Six out of 49, or 12%, of senior leaders at the company – individuals within two reporting levels of the CEO – are Black, compared with 3% of senior leadership at Facebook, 3.4% at Google and 2.4% at Uber.

Why Many Latinos Are Wary Of Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine
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NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to Dr. Eva Galvez about the issue of vaccination hesitancy among the Latino community she serves in Oregon. Polling shows Latinos are less likely to trust a vaccine.

New data from the CDC this month continues to show the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on certain communities. Those numbers show that Latinos are being hospitalized at almost four times the rate of whites. Polling has also shown that Latinos are less likely to trust a vaccine.

 (Photo Credit – BBC News)

So why is that? I spoke with Dr. Eva Galvez. She’s a family physician at Virginia Memorial Health Center in Hillsboro, Ore. Most of her patients are first and second-generation Latinos.

EVA GALVEZ: There continues to be just a lack of accurate information available to the community about the vaccine. So in other words, information that we are reading in different media platforms is often not in a language or at a literacy level that my patients can understand. So definitely this leads to many questions and also leads to much misinformation. What often happens is when people don’t have access to accurate information, they rely on other platforms, word of mouth, social media, and those are often not accurate. And we have seen anti-immigrant rhetoric. We’ve seen anti-immigrant policies. And there’s just mistrust, I think, of the federal government. And so when you have what they perceive as a federal government trying to bring a vaccine to the community, naturally there is some mistrust, and there is fear.

MARTIN: Do you see that fear and distrust across the board, or is it more acute among undocumented immigrants?

GALVEZ: We have a lot of mixed-status families, so even families who maybe have the documents to be in this country, they’re worried about grandma or aunt or uncle or Mom and Dad who don’t have documents. So, really, this fear is being seen whether or not people have legal status.

MARTIN: Is there a particular anecdote you can share, a conversation you’ve had with someone who was honest about those fears or concerns?

GALVEZ: Yeah, absolutely. It was a family who came in to get care for their children. And so the visit really was not a visit for Mom and Dad. But Mom asked me if the vaccine was safe, and she had heard some information on a social media platform that the vaccine had long-term side effects and that the vaccine was actually risky. And then she asked me, how can you ensure that this vaccine is safe? And then what I told her was that we had done very many studies, and it had gone through a rigorous process and that, based on my reading, that it was safe. And what I conveyed to her was that all vaccines have side effects, but that the risks of the side effects generally are less than the benefits of getting the vaccine. And that was how we ended up leaving the conversation. So she didn’t tell me that she was going to get the vaccine, but she certainly seemed open to the vaccine. And so it’s really fighting two battles here. One is trying to convince people that the vaccine is safe and that it is important, but at the same time is also trying to rectify all of those messages that they have been getting from other sources. So these conversations really do take time.

Continue to the full article at NPR.

Putting the AISES Family into a Family Practice Career
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AISES Family

By Don Motanic

It takes a special village to raise a Native doctor, and in the case of Kelsey Motanic, Umatilla, and Coeur d’Alene, the village includes the AISES family.

As her father, I can take credit for starting her AISES family connection. I’ve been a member since 1981 and served on the Board of Directors (1999–2002), the Winds of Change Editorial Advisory Council (2001), the Local Planning Committees for several National Conferences (1988, 1993, 2000, and 2009), and the AISES Finance Committee (2000–2020). I also was an exhibitor at the National Conference Career Fair for more than three decades (1986–2019). My wife, and Kelsey’s mother, Mary Beth, a registered nurse, has also been a part of the AISES family volunteering at National Conferences. During the 1980s, most exhibitors were engineering companies, and health care students used to stop by my forestry exhibit to thank me for being about the environment. Happily, these days all exhibitors, including the engineering companies, have an environmental and sustainability focus.

Kelsey first encountered the AISES family when she was a 12-year-old doing her homework in a room at the BPA Building in Portland during a 2000 National Conference planning meeting. At the 2009 National Conference, she heard Dr. Bret Benally Thompson talk about his experience as a medical student and doctor, which helped inspire her to apply to and complete medical school at the University of New Mexico. During that conference, she also sat next to John Herrington, and they compared their GRE and MCAT preparation exams toward the Ph.D. and MD they would achieve, respectively. Kelsey also received her Sequoyah medal at that 2009 conference. I worked with Shirley Jaramillo on National Conferences at that time, and Shirley would become an extended family member for Kelsey in Albuquerque while she completed her four years of medical school.

The importance of our AISES family circle was underscored this spring when Kelsey finished her three-year medical residency with the Seattle Indian Health Board at Swedish Medical Center. During her last three years, she reconnected with a mentor, Polly Olsen, Yakama, who had helped Kelsey apply to medical school programs in 2009. Kelsey found out that Polly’s family picked huckleberries in the same fields as my family. This AISES family reconnection is also multi-generational because Polly’s uncle was the late Richard “Dick” French, an Ely S. Parker Award recipient and the person who inspired me to become involved with the AISES family in 1981.

Kelsey spent the last challenging months of her residency working the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle at the hospitals while also living next to Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (a focus of international news during the George Floyd protests). She found out that I had also lived in that same Capitol Hill area while I attended the University of Washington during the time of the Fort Lawton Native Occupation and the 1975 George Jackson Brigade attack on the Seattle watershed. I was then a firefighter for the City of Seattle and on the watch for any Brigade attack. 

Kelsey and I were both first responders living and working in the same location during historic Seattle events, but nearly 45 years apart, and we’ve both lived to share our stories. Kelsey will continue putting “family” into family practice because she will start her own practice near family as a physician with the Puyallup Tribe. 

For the past 25 years, Don Motanic, Umatilla and Coeur d’ Alene, has been a technical specialist for the Intertribal Timber Council. Motanic spent most of his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, starting in 1978 after receiving his forest engineering degree at the University of Washington. He was a forest engineer at Yakama and a forest manager with his Umatilla Tribe as well as with the Spokane Tribe, where his mother grew up. He’s been president and vice president of the Lower Columbia/Willamette River AISES Professional Chapter (1995–2020) and lives in Brush Prairie, Wash.

Reprinted by permission from Winds of Change © 2020 by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

A Look into Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses – Fresh statistics you should know
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Latina businesswoman looking up from her desk filled with paperwork smiling

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released new estimates showing 1.1 million employer firms were owned by women and 1.0 million by minorities. According to the 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS), covering year 2017, 5.6 percent (322,076) of all U.S. businesses were Hispanic-owned and 6.1 percent (351,237) were owned by veterans.

Additional statistics released include:
In 2017, the sector with the most women-owned businesses 16.9 percent (192,159) were in the healthcare and social assistance industry, followed by professional, scientific and technical services 16.4 percent (185,649), and 11.7 percent (132,894) in the retail trade industry.

The top sectors for Hispanic-owned firms were construction with 15.6 percent (50,187) of all firms, followed by accommodation and food services 13.0 percent (41,817), and professional, scientific and technical services 10.6 percent (34,292). Hispanic firms in these top three industries employed approximately 1.2 million workers, had receipts totaling approximately $130.9 billion and an annual payroll of approximately $35.8 billion.

There were 555,638 Asian-owned businesses, with 23.9 percent (132,698) in the accommodation and food services sector. Asian-owned firms had the largest receipts ($814.8 billion) among minority groups.

Black or African Americans owned 124,004 firms in 2017 with 32.0 percent (39,714) of these firms in the healthcare and social services industry.

The ABS, sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), and conducted jointly with the Census Bureau combined the Survey of Business Owners, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, the Business R&D and Innovation for Microbusinesses Survey, and the innovation section of the Business R&D and Innovation Survey. The ABS measures research and development for microbusinesses, innovation and technology, and provides annual data on select economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by sex, ethnicity, race and veterans status. Additional data on research and development and innovation will be released by NCSES in the coming months.

Source: census.gov

10 Essential Sites for Hispanic Business Owners
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young Hispanic businessperson scrolling through phone and smiling

By Maria Valdez Haubrich

Hispanic small business owners are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US.

The number of Hispanic business owners grew 34% over the past 10 years as compared to 1% for all U.S. business owners, according to a recent study from Stanford University.

The following are 10 resources that advance, promote, support, and help Hispanic businesses to grow and thrive.

 

  1. United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC)

The mission of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is “To foster Hispanic economic development and to create sustainable prosperity for the benefit of American society.” The USHCC promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of Hispanic-owned businesses. It also advocates on behalf of 260 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 250 local chambers and business associations nationwide. Twitter: @USHCC

  1. The Hispanic Retail Chamber of Commerce (HRCOC)

The Hispanic Retail Chamber of Commerce represents U.S. Hispanic retail businesses and their interests and priorities to the government and in the media. With Accredited Alliances in every state, the HRCOC serves members of every size and in many retail sectors, such as supermarkets and food & beverage distributors. Various membership plans are available. Twitter: @RetailChamber

  1. Hispanic Association of Small Businesses (H.A.S.B.)

The Hispanic Association of Small Business provides minority business owners, and aspiring business owners, with educational materials, business workshops, and English workshops to improve the success of the community. By advocating on behalf of individuals, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, the H.A.S.B. works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against socially disadvantaged or underprivileged small businesses. Facebook: @hasb.org

  1. Hispanic Small Business Center from Hello Alice

The Hispanic Small Business Center is a microsite of Hello Alice, a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow. Cofounded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice encompasses a community of more than 200,000 business owners in all 50 states and across the globe. The Hispanic Small Business Center partners with enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions to help grow small and medium-sized businesses. The website provides resources, how-to guides, and research. Twitter: @HelloAlice

  1. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Minority Business Development Agency promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses and helps Hispanic business owners access and connect with capital, contracts, and markets. The MBDA also advocates and promotes minority-owned business with elected officials, policymakers, and business leaders. Twitter: @USMBDA

  1. National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)

The National Minority Supplier Development Council advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members to encourage supplier diversity. You apply for NMSDC certification through one of its regional councils. The organization connects more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to a network of corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services, and solutions. The NMSDC corporate membership includes many public and privately-owned companies, as well as healthcare companies, colleges, and universities. Twitter: @NMSDCHQ

  1. Grants.gov

Grants.gov is an e-government initiative operating under the Office of Management and Budget. The system contains information on more than 1,000 federal grant programs and vets grant applications for federal agencies. By registering with the website, Hispanic and other business owners can apply for any grants available, as long as the company meets the requirements of the grant. To apply you will need a DUNS Number, which is a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Twitter: @grantsdotgov

  1. Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America at a level proportionate with Hispanic economic contributions in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance. With helpful programs, research, and virtual seminars, the HACR is committed to making a difference in the way Hispanics are treated and perceived in Corporate America. Twitter: @HACRORG

  1. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC)

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is a Congressional Member organization, governed by the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC addresses national and international issues and crafts policies that impact the Hispanic community. The Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Twitter: @HispanicCaucus

  1. League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the U.S. LULAC strives to improve the economic condition, education, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs. With more than 1,000 councils nationwide, the organization’s advisory board consists of Fortune 500 companies, which fosters stronger partnerships between corporate America and the Hispanic community. Twitter: @LULAC

Source: score.org

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