This is an exciting time to join Latinos in Technology Innovation and Social Media (LATISM), as Executive Director. With the Hispanic population growing at explosive rates, now more than ever, it is paramount to continue to advance and improve opportunities and outcomes for women and the Latino community.
There is no question that the health of our economy and our economic prosperity depends on a highly skilled workforce that fosters technology, innovation, and competition. But, unless we transform Latino talent to the next generation of tech producers, Latinos will fall behind and will be hit the hardest.
I am honored to be part of an organization that has long championed diversity and actively collaborates with private and philanthropic partners to invest in and increase the number of women and Latino participation in high tech fields.
This year, LATISM will focus on several key priorities that will help us get closer to our overarching goal of improving opportunities and outcomes for women and the Latino community.
First, LATISM will work to address the inequities in access to rigorous education. At LATISM, we believe that all students should have access to a robust and ambitious educational experience. And STEM should be part of that experience.
However, the bleak reality is that in a world driven by science and technology pervasive educational inequalities persist mostly affecting blacks and Hispanic students in underserved communities.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s latest Civil Rights Data, 57 percent of black students, 67 percent of Latino students, and 65 percent of English learners have less access than their white peers to the kinds of rigorous math and science needed for college and many careers.
At LATISM, we are poised to bridge this divide by supporting policies and programs that expand equitable access to rigorous education, expose students to interactive real-world application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”) principles, and foster a culture of high academic expectation.
Second, LATISM seeks to promote initiatives that integrate the use of broadband technology into teaching, learning, and aim to transform Latino talent to the next generation of innovators and tech producers.
Broadband technology offers abundant opportunities for minorities looking to start new ventures–it is the platform for success. If we want to boost diversity in high tech and close the achievement gap, then our schools must have access to digital learning which requires high speed broadband.
Third, at LATISM, we aim to raise public awareness about major issues affecting the Latino community including health disparities and how technology can contribute to consumer health.
Many underserved communities are unaware of the abundant opportunities our digital ecosystem has to offer. We need to change that. Broadband is the catalyst for innovation, education, consumer health, economic growth, and job creation.
We seek to equip communities with accurate information about policies that create pathways to greater opportunities and economic mobility.
As we build on LATISM’s success and penetrate every corner of the Latino community, we will continue to be the voice of the voiceless and address disparities that continue to plague our nation.
I look forward to working on this incredible journey and invite you to join forces and build ladders of opportunity for our future leaders to flourish.