The multicultural fabric of our country is one that is tightly woven together by the myriad of traditions represented by Hispanic Americans. From the evolution of salsa music in New York City to displays of unbelievable valor in battles throughout American history, the impact Latinos have made is one that compels not only collective memory but well-deserved recognition.
Latinos represent almost 20% of the U.S. population, demonstrating fast-paced growth since the 1980s and positioning themselves as a true force to be reckoned with. Hispanic Heritage Month first began as a week-long celebration in 1968 alongside the civil rights movement as part of a broader recognition of minority contributions to American life. In an effort to celebrate the growing influence of Latino culture in the United States, Congressman George Edward of East Los Angeles successfully lobbied President Lyndon B. Johnson to issue a presidential proclamation recognizing the special week, which later evolved into the month-long celebration we know today.
The profound effects of Latino culture can be witnessed throughout the narrative of our nation, from the bravery exhibited by Puerto Rican Korean War veterans known as the “Borinqueneers” to the magnetic, rising stardom of pop icons like Tejano singer Selena. Storytelling is very much a part of the Hispanic American experience, granting Latino PR pros a multi-dimensional lens from which to cultivate nuanced perspectives.
The public relations sphere has benefited from the richness of Latino culture, with several Hispanic pioneers leaving an indelible mark on the industry by extending its reach both internationally and across audiences of varying backgrounds. The Latino touch, although only more recently recognized by leading voices within the PR community, is one that cannot be ignored. Below is a short list of Latino PR pioneers who have made a significant contribution to the industry by expanding its horizons and redefining American public relations:
Mike Fernandez, SVP & Chief Communications Officer at Enbridge
Julie Mendez, Associate VP at Tractenberg & Co.
Donald G. Padilla, Co-Founder of Padilla
Diana Munatones, Highest-Ranking Latina in Broadcast Management
To learn more about Latinos in PR, click here.