Each year, the United States honors Latinx Heritage Month to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors originated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. But like the dynamic community this heritage month honors, it moved forward.
Founded in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, this event eventually evolved into Hispanic Heritage Month and then — more recently — Latinx Heritage Month. Latinx is a newer term that has gained popularity among scholars, activists, and millennials. The intent behind this movement is to create a more inclusive space for gender non-conforming individuals.
While Latinx aims to provide a space for everyone, it’s important to know that one term cannot possibly encompass all the diverse communities, nations, and identities this event recognizes. Listening is always the best way to start a brave conversation — just because someone is from a Latin country, it doesn’t necessarily mean they identify as Latino, Latina, or even Latinx.
Latinxs en Tecnología
It comes as no surprise to us that Latinx people make up the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the United States. While only 6.2% of all Americans run a business, Latinx founders accounted for 15% of American entrepreneurs in 2019. The same year, Latinx businesses in the U.S. created 3 million jobs and generated nearly $500 billion in sales for the economy.
While Latinx people continue to excel, they have so much more to offer our community:
- The Stanford Graduate School of Business reports that Latinx-owned companies tend to remain smaller than white-owned firms, with average revenues of $1.2 million per year compared to $2.3 million for non-Latinx-owned firms.
- The Kauffman Foundation found the U.S. economy would add 1 million employer businesses and nearly 9.5 million jobs if minoritized groups could start and grow their businesses at the same pace as non-minoritized groups.
- The Aspen institute estimates that improving the business and entrepreneurship system for Latinx founders could yield an additional $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy.
Our work is cut out for us. While Latinx people have made an unparalleled impact in our country’s economy and technology, there’s still room to move forward. Our job as educators is to bring these discrepancies to light so that we can foster real, measurable — and overdue — change.
But one thing is for certain: Progression never goes backward.
At General Assembly we are listening and evolving to become more inclusive of other cultures, languages, and communities.
Our team in Europe is running the first ever bootcamp cohort in Spanish. We’ve partnered with the Adecco Foundation to grant scholarships to 26 Spaniards with disabilities to help guide their careers toward technology with our Software Engineering Immersive.
Additionally, we’ve teamed up with Techqueria, the largest community of Latinx in tech, to support their Latinx Heritage Month Summit and create initiatives that build on our commitment to making GA a more inclusive place for our Latinx students.
The future of tech looks bright, mi gente. ¡Dale!
Check out our upcoming Latinx-themed events to stay engaged and learn even more:
Diversity & Inclusion in Tech | Wednesday, Sept. 23
Latinx Leaders in Tech | Friday, Sept. 25
Latinx Recruiters AMA | Wednesday, Oct. 7
Turning Failure Into Fuego | Thursday, Oct. 8
Designing With Inclusion in Mind | Thursday Oct. 8
Costa a Costa: Tijuana + San Diego + Miami | Thursday, Oct. 8
Your Right to Vote | Friday, Oct. 9
How They Got There: Latinx Leaders in Tech and Business | Wednesday, Oct. 14