Achievements, Culture and History – National Hispanic Heritage Month

From the very beginning, my life has been a blend of cultures, raised on a geographic location along the international border, a blend of the United States and Mexico (Imperial Valley, CA). Immediately embraced by a blend of both American and Hispanic cultures, I was lucky to experience childhood in a city filled with multiracial representation, from Africans and Europeans to East and South Asians and Native Americans.

With the beauty of blending, though, comes imposter syndrome. My parents come from a very diverse background (Mexican/Native American/French). Descended from a long line of U.S citizens, I felt no relation to my culture in Mexico or France, which made me feel like my internal identity conflicted with what others may perceive me to be. Growing up in predominantly Latinx towns in Southern California, I was one of the few Mexican-Americans there who did not have family members living in another country or parents whose first language was Spanish. The discomfort of not feeling “Mexican” enough has brought with it lifelong insecurities in my life, education and career.

Jisel WilsonI know my “whiteness” brings me so many benefits and opportunities, which can lead me to over-compensate: — convincing myself that I can/know how to complete projects, going above and beyond and telling myself that I know what I’m doing. In striving to be the best candidate possible, I never lacked the confidence to succeed, such as teaching myself how to use specific marketing software; but my feelings of inadequacy still linger. While multiracial cultures share some things in common with one another, it is difficult to be categorized. My experiences and attitudes differ significantly depending on my race and how the world sees me, pressuring me to choose one side of my identity over the other. Still, I realize I don’t need to choose between one or the other. My background holds a certain beauty and richness, allowing me to connect with people of vastly different backgrounds.    

It helps to see people of the same background in the spaces I enter. My employers have been very diverse, including Instant Teams, which has made me feel less underrepresented and gave me the confidence to pursue more opportunities. It is important for businesses to promote inclusiveness and diversity, foster an open-minded, global company culture holding space, and increase the visibility, representation, and relevancy of Hispanic/Latinx communication in the workforce.  Throughout history, Latin Americans have achieved milestones that have shaped the modern world. Celebrating and publicizing these accomplishments help normalize Latin excellence.

Take advantage of this time set aside to learn something new about the many flavors of Hispanic and Latinx Heritage. I am Latina. I am also Native American and French. I am a product of Latinx mixed ancestry, and I am proud! How does your race and or ethnicity shape your life? Your perspective? Is there an experience that stands out?