Our Event started off strong as our phenomenal Moderator Torin Martinez, Human Resources Director, Walmart Global Customer Team at P&G, kicked us off by introducing himself and our panelists. Each panelist began the session by speaking to where they were born and giving us a little more background on their heritage. With Tony being born in Puerto Rico, Matusckha in Panama, and Kerlee in Venezuela each panelist spoke about the vast variety of life experiences from their childhood that has molded them into who they are today.
As the conversation picked up, our panelists began to speak about the insight being a part of two cultures provides. Specifically speaking on empathy, they touched on how there have been times in their lives when they have felt like they were not Latino enough or not black enough to fit into either community. Later in life, this has given them the ability to stick up for and relate to those who may not fit into certain groups. In their work life, this has translated into working well with coworkers, and the ability to see beyond differences and form authentic relationships.
To round out the conversation, our panelists and moderator spoke about inclusion. Highlighting, it's time for us to step away from the need to put people in categories. Instead of labeling someone only by their race, gender, ethnicity, etc., take the time to intentionally learn about who they are. Challenge yourself to step outside of your zip code and learn something new about an individual who is not like you. Because at the end of the day, we all have more in common than we don't. We are all worried about financial stability, we all have allergies, we all have a family, and the list goes on. Implant in your mind the reality that achieving inclusion is not about changing the person next to you, it is about us ALL changing to try to understand each other for who we are.