This post was contributed by Karyn Acevedo and Avy Kea.
Have you ever wondered why Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th? This particular date marks the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua)—with others (Mexico and Chile) to follow. This 30-day period aims to celebrate the culture, achievements, and contributions of those individuals with Hispanic and Latin roots.
In this blog post, we’re excited to hear from our Senior Email Marketing Specialist & ActivelyLatinx ERG Co-Lead and DEI Program Manager as they talk about their work to make this month special for ActiveCampaign colleagues of Latinx/Hispanic heritage.
Meet Karyn, ActivelyLatinx ERG Co-Lead
My name is Karyn Acevedo and I am the Senior Email Marketing Specialist. The best thing about what I do is getting to work collaboratively with so many different teams across the organization for all things email! Whether we’re announcing a promotion or building an automation, our team brings ideas to life.
Aside from my day-to-day role, I am also a co-lead for ActiveCampaign’s ERG ActivelyLatinx. The efforts behind this group is to build community and equity within and among our Latinx employees, create valuable programming for career growth, and give back to our community. I joined the ERG in 2019 as a member, and was later prompted to get more involved as a co-lead.
I was at a point in my career progression where it was more important to me to be a part of something bigger than my day to day. I wanted to contribute and make an impact in a space outside of my individual role. Since joining leadership, my co-lead Jay and I, made it our mission to make community the foundation of our ERG. We are continuing to create a space where our Latinx employees feel a sense of belonging, partake in open dialogue, and bring their whole selves to work.
One of our first company-wide initiatives was the recognition and celebration of Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month. We’re hosting various events surrounding what this celebration means, learning more about the Latinx perspective and how important it is to acknowledge these things in the workplace.
Employee Spotlights was my favorite initiative.. I reached out to many of the members of our ERG for an interview to get to know them more on both a professional and personal level. These interviews were published throughout the month, and every other day a Latinx employee has been highlighted to the company for our colleagues to learn more about them and how they’ve contributed to the success of ActiveCampaign. In this newer (mostly) remote workspace, it has been a way for us to learn more about the people we may not work with regularly and publicly recognize their contributions.
One of the best ways ActiveCampaign has focused on Diversity and Inclusion has been through our monthly ActivePerspectives program. This program brings on guest speakers of all different backgrounds and walks of life to share their experiences.
Our ERG has even had the privilege of partnering with the DEI team to invite Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez, author of For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts, and owner/founder of LatinaRebels as a guest speaker. The event will be focused on Prisca’s story as a first generation Latina, challenges she has faced, obstacles she has overcome, and how she’s been a voice for people of color.
Although it is important to recognize Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month in the workplace, what’s even more important is that ActiveCampaign continues to build an environment that acknowledges and celebrates all communities year round. Every member of our organization plays a role in creating this space of diversity and inclusion.
Meet Avy, DEI Program Manager
I’m Avy, and I joined ActiveCampaign four months ago as the DEI Program Manager. I was drawn to ActiveCampaign during my job search because one of the company’s core values is to cultivate inclusion and diversity. I loved hearing about the different ways ActiveCampaign instills its core values into the organization: requiring DEI training, creating spaces for open dialogue, organizing company-wide DEI events focused on celebration and intersectionality, and supporting its seven employee resource groups.
Now that I’m here, I can truly say it is both an honor and a privilege to be in a position where my job allows me to work with a DEI team that plays an active role in creating an inclusive culture.
Our DEI team aims to empower our colleagues to take initiative to be leaders in this space and practice allyship. It is also our belief that efforts to promote diversity and inclusion can be praiseworthy but not sustainable without equity. Centering equity is key to providing all employees with fair opportunities to attain their full potential.
My role as DEI Program Manager positions me to work closely with our ERGs to increase cultural awareness, support ActiveCampaign’s diversity goals, increase business impact, and enhance the sense of community among our employees. I also lead the execution of our company-wide DEI engagement (e.g. ActivePerspectives, events/programs) to promote awareness and ongoing dialogue on topics related to DEI.
Celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month is a real-life example of what cultivating inclusion and diversity looks like at ActiveCampaign. Leaders like Karyn work diligently to create moments for celebration and to recognize the contributions of our Latinx employees. Although we encourage our colleagues to explore the history behind Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month on their own, there are additional opportunities to learn about the Latinx perspectives through special programming such as members-only events, open access meetings, employee spotlights, and our upcoming ActivePerspectives event.
This month’s ActivePerspectives event is made possible because of our partnership with ActivelyLatinx. It will be focused on Prisca’s story as a first-generation Latina and the challenges she has faced—particularly with imposter syndrome. We’ve learned these experiences strongly resonate with our ActivelyLatinx members through our community dialogue sessions, and we’re excited to use this platform to not only further educate our colleagues on these topics, but to also lift diverse, Latinx perspectives through our thoughtful programming.
Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month may only be on the calendar for 30 days, but at ActiveCampaign, the celebration and acknowledgement of our colleagues of Latinx/Hispanic heritage will not stop.
Because to us, these events and activities are more than just programming and Slack posts in a channel dedicated to DEI—they are opportunities for our colleagues to learn, find community, and support one another. They are opportunities that have no expiration dates and that will continue to be the backbone of how ActiveCampaign cultivates inclusion and diversity.