September 3, 2020
National Latinx Heritage Month (LHM) kicks off in the United States on September 15 – October 15, but at Gap Inc., our Equality & Belonging group HOLA (Honoring Our Latinx Ancestry) dedicates the entire month of September to celebrating the history and culture of our Latinx employees!
This year, to highlight the importance of fostering a culture of belonging, we are using the term Latinx, instead of Hispanic or Latino. So, what exactly does that mean? Latinx is a gender-neutral or nonbinary alternative, and it also welcomes indigenous, Brazilian and other non-Spanish speaking people into the celebration!
The theme of LHM this year is “Let’s Get Loud – a time for Latinxs to unite, celebrate our history and tell our own stories.” This is especially poignant as we enter an historic election season that several political commentators have predicted the Latinx community would play a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of. Sharing the perspectives around the importance of voting as a member of the Latinx community will be a critical focus of our #GapIncVotes campaign throughout LHM and we're hopeful that their voice, cultural pride and intersectional identities will mobilize Latinx communities to show up at the polls this fall.
To kick off LHM and as part of Gap Inc.’s commitment to achieving diverse representation in our pipeline programs through internships, HOLA partnered with Gap Inc.’s University Recruiting team to host Café Con Leche, a panel discussion with the leaders of HOLA and students hoping to learn more about a career in corporate retail. Panelists shared HOLA’s mission to empower our Latinx communities to drive business and make a positive impact, and to be fully engaged allies for other Gap Inc. employee groups such as AANG (African American Networking Group).
In addition to sharing an overview of internship opportunities with the students, the panelists shared the impact of having HOLA as a resource to forge connections – both to their colleagues and their culture – and grow their careers at Gap Inc.
In addition to celebrating our Latinx heritage with our external community, HOLA has also organized a lineup of educational and inspirational virtual events for employees to celebrate the history and culture of Latinx communities around the world! Events include a cooking class with AANG, a book reading with famous Latinx author, Patty Rodriguez, as part of Janie & Jack’s GoodBooks series, a GapHouseSession with children’s bilingual singer-songwriter, Juan Sanchez, and a conversation with inclusion consultant and strategist, Amber Cabral, on the nuanced identity of the Latinx community.