LíderCon 2021 - Recap

Updated: Jan 27



KEYNOTE ADDRESS FROM DOLORES HUERTA

Dolores Huerta kicked off the inaugural latinx-led conference with a beautiful keynote address. She gave us a motivating speech on being involved in the voting process. She encouraged us to call our senators and ask them to vote for issues that are important to us and to vote against issues that can hurt our community. Here are some ways you can be involved in the next elections: www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/spanish


LATINX ENTREPRENEURSHIP: AN ECONOMIC FORCE IN THE UNITED STATES

The Latinx Business & Entrepreneurship Panel followed Huerta with inspiring stories on each of their unique paths to success. Moderated by MEDA President and LatinoLEAD board member, Alfredo Martel, the conversation was animated, insightful and heartening.


HOW PROFESSIONALS ARE EFFECTIVELY NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

The third session we held on the first day was an all women's health and wellness panel organized by Children’s Minnesota. The Children’s Minnesota Panel gave us insight into how the pandemic has affected and changed hospitals. They helped us reflect on how COVID-19 has affected Latinx families and how minorities were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in many aspects of life. Now that the vaccine has been approved for kids ages 5-11, we encourage you to sign your kids up for an appointment with the Children’s Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic by following this link: www.childrensmn.org/coronavirus-covid-19/


ONE-ON-ONE WITH A-ROD

Guest speaker, Alex Rodriguez took some time to talk about his role as part owner of the Timberwolves and Lynx. He also gave us a look into his backgrounds, the obstacles he had to face and how he overcame them. A-Rod talks about his baseball career, his motivations after he left baseball, as well and what mentors meant to him throughout his career. “What people don't realize is that if you're in the room, that’s a big win,” was his message to the audience when talking about measuring success. He acknowledged that the community needs more Latinx representation in executive, chief and director positions. Mr. Rodriguez explained how he believed that the role of Latinx in his position have a duty to help open the door for other Latinx.


#WEARELATINOLEAD

To wrap up the first day of LíderCon: Nuestra Gente. Nuestro Poder., LatinoLEAD’s Associate Director, Ryan Mulso and Community Engagement Manager, Dr. Carla Manzoni hosted #WeAreLatinoLEAD. They talked about the number of programs, events and series that LatinoLEAD has held since its inception.



ONE-ON-ONE WITH OMAR JIMENEZ

Omar Jimenez, CNN National Correspondent came to share his background with us from his first day on the job at just 21 years old. Jimenez reflected on his path, including being arrested on live television during the George Floyd protests. He also shared with us some encouraging words of wisdom for those who are just now taking the leap into their new career.


THE POWER OF THE LATINX VOTE

Political strategist and Founder of Nuestro PAC, Chuck Rocha, came to talk about the power of the Latinx vote. With the recent census, Latinx communities have shown to make up almost 50% of the population of America. He reverberated the notion that funding must not only be directed towards Latinx communities, but it should also be effectively distributed so that it makes an impact on the community’s votes. In other words, money is power. Are funds being proportionally distributed to all communities? Because now we know funding makes a difference. FInally, echoing what Dolores Huerta said on the first day of the conference, Rocha reminded us that the power is in our very own hands.


LATINX REPRESENTATION IN LAW - IMPROVING THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

The Latina Legal Panel, moderated by Miguel Pozo, had an incredibly profound conversation on the legal system. The honorable Judge Carolina Lamas, a first generation Peruvian-American, gave attendees great insight into how she made it to her position and reminded us that we are all on our own timeline, to take a step back and reflect on our accomplishments whether professional or personal, and to work hard to achieve our dreams no matter what. Cuban-American lawyer, Beth A. Jenson Prouty who grew up in Minnesota and is now a Partner at Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A. The panel also included two prominent Latina lawyers who served on the George Floyd case, Zuri Balmakund Santiago and Lola Velazquez-Aguilu who shared with us what it was like and what it meant to them to help defend the high-profile case. Together they all shared their unique experiences in being a Latina in their respective careers, trying to empower change through their work, and what the community can do to help ensure sustainable change.


SECURING EXECUTIVE SPONSORSHIP & LATINX LEADERSHIP

​“Latinx communities tend to be over-mentored and under-sponsored,” that was the key takeaway from Dr. Robert Rodriguez session. He helped explain what mentors and sponsors do for you as you grow through your career. Dr. Rodriguez’s message was a beautifully synthesized message for our audience to not just look for a mentor but to also find someone who can help raise your profile in your career. That means to find someone who “talks about you.” Essentially, he encouraged us to find someone who will help elevate your career by vocalizing your value when it matters and how to secure that connection for the long-run.

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