I’m so excited to announce that my passion project, my baby, LatinaMeetup is coming to major cities across the US!
The first event, held in Washington, D.C. this past February was an eye opener to say the least.
It started with me reaching out to my network of professional Latinas for a casual get-together. I was envisioning drinks or dinner for maybe 10 of us. Within a day of posting a quick note on Facebook, there were 20+ ladies who wanted to attend.
This made me think that I should create an actual event and open it up to whomever wanted to network with other Latina professionals in D.C. I was floored when we received over 100 RSVPs. I had to actually limit the number and scramble to find sponsors and a venue.
That event confirmed my hunch that there was a need for a platform where Latina professionals could support each other.
My purpose for Latina Meetup is very simple. I am a capitalist and I strongly believe that money talks. There are a lot of things that tie us together politically and socially and the best way I know to effect the kind of change you want as a group is through empowering said group to have the upper hand where wealth is concerned.
I’m talking about representation in its simplest form. When the boardrooms and the millionaires reflect the actual landscape of this country, then I believe we will be in a new era of working together and understanding.
We must have women of every culture in government, boardrooms and business. When our representatives are making decisions about things that affect all of us, then all of us should be part of the decision making.Â I can only speak to my experience as a Hispanic / Latina woman. But I believe this should be happening across all cultures and races.
I strongly believe that as a group, we should be elevating, mentoring and helping each other and not waiting for others to do it for us.
I know there are a ton of great programs out there for Hispanics in education, government and so on. But I want private industry to really do the job.
We all have the power to effect change without even asking anyone else for help.
How? When we create a network of Latina professionals who reach out to each other when we need something, we make our money work for our community. If I need an attorney, I would give business to a well qualified Latina attorney and hope that she will, in turn pay it forward and hire a Latina Chiropractor.Â That Chiropractor will reach out to a Latina dentist and that dentist will reach out to me when she needs help with her online marketing campaigns. I will outsource design and copy-writing work to my network of Latina designers.
It is up to us as Latina professionals to help increase the socioeconomic status of other Hispanics.
Granted, this doesn’t mean we hire people who are incompetent simply because they are Latinas. What I am saying is that we look in our network before reaching out elsewhere.
Now I know there are people who will disagree with this. I’m perfectly fine with that. In fact, I really don’t care.
There has always been and always will be a “good old boys'” network that does the same thing.
It’s beyond time for us to have our own Power Latinas network, and I’m fine with being the one who gets this going.
Again, I know there are other networks out there that do similar things. LatinaMeetup plans to unify all of us. However, we are not offering things like courses and career development opportunities. I will leave that to the Latina groups who are doing an excellent job of things like this.Â This is strictly for networking and paying it forward.
Here’s the plan:
Step 1: Host Latina Meetup events in major cities across the US.
We have Washington, D.C. completed and New York City is coming up July 25th. Miami is slated for October 2018.
The plans are to expand to Texas, California, Chicago and a few other places in 2019.
Step 2: Launch LatinaMeetup.com
The domain has been purchased and there will be two directories set up. One is for Latina events so that all of the wonderful Latina groups can promote their events. The other directory will be for Latina professionals to list themselves, their businesses and their services. This will enable all of us to network online as well as at the events.
Step 3: Sponsors
Like I said, money talks. I couldn’t get this done without the wonderful companies that have chosen to sponsor our events, and I want to make sure our network sees them and continues to support them as they have supported us. This means I will have all of our sponsors past and present featured on the site.
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am, especially after finalizing deals with several new sponsors this week. It all confirms that we are an important and sought after market Amigas. Let’s not forget this!
New York City Latinas, don’t forget to register for Latina Meetup NYC!
If you would like Latina Meetup to come to your home town, leave a comment and let me know!