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“The pandemic caused much struggle for small business owners and we need to repair”, say Brooklyn2Bogota founders

Rosario B. Casas and Felipe Andrés Forero Hauzeur are the founders of Brooklyn2Bogota, a digital incubator for Hispanic business owners. Rosario is an award-winning women-in-tech advocate and serial tech entrepreneur. Felipe is an author, entrepreneur, engineer and veteran.  

The married couple founded Brooklyn2Bogota with the mission to close the digital divide post-Covid for business owners and entrepreneurs by focusing on empowerment, digital transformation, and business growth through a variety of activities and mentor lectures. 

In the fifth installment of the National Leaders for Latinx Advancement Series, Latinas in Business President and CEO, Susana G Baumann sat down with Rosario and Felipe to discuss the incubator program and how Latino businesses can grow post-pandemic. 

The pandemic push that launched their dream 

Brooklyn2Bogota leaders Rosario B. Casas and husband Felipe Andrés Forero Hauzeur. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

The husband-and-wife duo first began envisioning Brooklyn2Bogota sometime in 2015. At the time they were living in New York City and Felipe was working as a diplomat for the community. Together, they began wondering how else they could help the Hispanic community, especially immigrants. They wanted to help the community in other ways, aside from the legal work Felipe was already doing at the time. 

As an entrepreneur, Rosario began imagining ways to help Latino business owners and entrepreneurs succeed and grow their businesses and soon the seeds for Brooklyn2Bogota were planted. She quickly began reserving the name ‘Brooklyn2Bogota’ across various sites and platforms with her early vision in mind. Over time, Rosario and Felipe continued to develop this idea of an incubator program that would nurture entrepreneurs and small business owners on their journeys. 

“We had planned to launch more or less for 2022,” said Rosario. “But then the pandemic happened, the crisis happened, and we knew we had to launch early. The pilot plan was launching the first cohort. Today we are in the third cohort.” 

The pandemic caused much struggle for small business owners, especially in minority populations such as the Latino community. In the past year since Brooklyn2Bogota’s lauch, three cohorts have provided resources, assistance, and mentorships to Latino entrepreneurs and business owners. Covid-19 brought many things into focus, such as the impact of technology in our lives and the importance of community and working together. 

“When you speak of unity, you have to understand the numbers and the power that we have,” said Felipe, speaking about the vast and growing Latino population in the US. “Hispanics are now almost 25 percent of the population of the United States.” 

As such a large population, the Hispanic community has the potential to impact the economy and the country’s businesses. However, for too long, minority communities have struggled to gain the resources and knowledge necessary for success and growth. This is where Rosario and Felipe stepped up to help through Brooklyn2Bogota’s programs. 

Closing the digital divide for Latino businesses post-Covid 

Brooklyn2Bogota’s program is based on three fundamental pillars: Leadership, Product and Growth. As a tech entrepreneur, Rosario understands the importance of technology when it comes to running a business. Since the pandemic, the digital divide has become more obvious. Many business owners struggled to shift online during the pandemic and their businesses suffered. Rosario and Felipe want to close that divide so that every entrepreneur may succeed. 

The incubator program focuses on helping non-tech entrepreneurs and business owners who are unfamiliar with the world of tech. They offer information, resources, and mentorship to accelerate and promote digital learning. 

Many past videos of lectures and mentor sessions available online for free and the information is delivered in Spanish. This was important to Rosario and Felipe, since language barrier is often a barrier for knowledge. There is a plethora of resources in English but not as much in Spanish for Latino business owners and entrepreneurs, the couple explained. Many Latinos also prefer to learn in their native language, especially when the concepts are new or complicated. 

women-in-tech

Rosario at TEDxTalk. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

In the 10-week cohort entrepreneurs receive theoretical sessions and panels of specialized topics, dictated by carefully selected mentors. Focusing on the three pillars: Leadership, Product and Growth participants work to accelerate their growth in digital world post-COVID. The thematic mentoring sessions between members and participants provides them expert knowledge and guidance as they move through the program. 

You might be interested: Rosario B. Casas shares how the pandemic has accelerated technology and tech trends to keep an eye on

Finally, the program provides participants with a private network that brings together the mentors and participants who complete the program. This network allows for further connection, collaboration, and exchange of ideas in the future and continued growth for entrepreneurs and business owners. 

The fourth cohort is tentatively set to begin in April 2022. For more information and to apply, visit Brooklyn2Bogota.com

Marcela Berland, a pioneer in working from home, combines work and maternity

Marcela Berland is the President and CEO of Latin Insights, a strategic communications firm  that focuses on the Latino market and Latin America. LI bases their strategies on research and digital and AI tools and develops digital and marketing strategies to help clients achieve their goals. LI’s clients include political candidates and heads of state, corporations and nonprofit organizations. 

Building a successful consulting firm from the ground up

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Marcela Berland eventually came to the U.S. on a Fulbright scholarship and began working in New York in strategic communications and polling. At the time she did not expect to launch her own consulting firm and embark on her own entrepreneurial journey. However, life circumstances would soon steer her onto this path.

It was 1996, after the birth of her daughter, Isabella. Marcela asked her then-boss for five extra months of maternity leave so she could work from home taking care of her newborn. She had done the same before when her son was born so Marcela did not expect to be told “No.” After her 3 months of maternity leave, Marcela announced her resignation. 

Marcela Berland, Frank Gomez, Latin Insights

Marcela Berland and Frank Gomez. (Photo by Max Canovas)

“They realized then that they needed me. Many of my clients wanted to work with me so, they agreed to let me work primarily from home.  Now, too little too late, I positioned myself as an external consultant and negotiated a higher salary for fewer working hours. They agreed to all my terms.  However, I was very disappointed at the whole situation and had already made plans to consult for other clients,” said Marcela. 

After three more months, Marcela left for good, showing them that it was possible to work remotely from home and be effective– even in the late 90s! 

In 2000, Marcela decided it was time to launch her own firm. As a Latina, she had a unique perspective to bring to her company, understand the multicultural market in a deeper way, and she was already committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in addition to women’s issues. 

The brand new entrepreneur began to plan and gather as much information as possible. She was nervous to set out on her own, fearing failure, but determined to try. Soon, she reached out to someone she admired to help her build her business: communications, media, and political expert, Frank Gómez.  

“At the time, Frank was working at a corporation but thinking about retiring. He not only gave me great advice, but he ended up leaving his job and joined me as a partner. I was thrilled. And that’s how Latin Insights started, just the two of us at first,” said Marcela. 

Conquering the fear of failure and following your dreams 

After over 20 years, Marcela’s venture has become a success. She now serves a variety of clients that include political candidates and heads of state, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. As a successful Latina, she is also often the only woman in the room when working with Presidents and political candidates in Latin America. 

And she has proved that working remotely from home and being successful is possible. This was especially evident this past year during the pandemic when Marcela and her team worked remotely on a presidential race, developing a successful and highly effective strategy that ended with their candidate winning a very tough election. 

Despite her successes now, the early days of her entrepreneurial venture were full of doubts and fear of failure—a common fear for many new entrepreneurs. 

“The first obstacle I faced was overcoming my fear of failing. I was doing very well just consulting on my own, but starting a new company, becoming an entrepreneur had a completely different meaning. What if I didn’t make it? How could I sustain a business? Take care of all the financial and administrative needs associated with it?” Marcela shared. 

Like all newcomers, she soon learned the antidote to this fear was knowledge. Now, whenever she feels doubts, she takes this as an opportunity to learn and come back stronger. 

Latin Insights Founder and CEO, Marcela Berland. (Photo courtesy Marcela Berland)

“During my career as an entrepreneur, I learned that you need to reinvent yourself, adapt to the ever-changing times and take risks. It is the only way to grow. Learn from your mistakes. You need to be open and humble enough to admit that you made a mistake and change direction. Also, become associated with people who share the same values and mindset. I was very fortunate to find Frank early on. We sometimes disagree, but in more than 20 years, we have never had an argument.” 

You might be interested: Rosita Hurtado shares how she transformed a childhood passion into a successful design export

With over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, Marcela has found that success is not about winning alone, it is about making a difference. Additionally, each success is made all the more enjoyable because she loves what she does and loves helping her clients. For her, the work is more than just work, it is something she is passionate about. Having that passion pushes her to “go the extra mile” because she believes in delivering the highest quality service for her clients.  

To aspiring entrepreneurs, Marcela urges that you follow your dreams and go for your passion. She shares her pillars of advice for new entrepreneurs: 

First, be well prepared. Have very clear goals of what you want to achieve and develop a product/service that distinguishes you from others. Next, find the right partners/team to support you and ask for help from the right partners/associates/mentors. Check for resources that can help you and also make sure you help others on your way to success. Don’t give up even when you fail. Network strategically. Raise capital if needed (many organizations can help you with this task).

Finally, never stop learning; make sure you learn something new every day if possible, and always honor your values, treating others with respect. 

Yvette Bodden

Become an Awakened-Woman and your Best-Self with author Yvette Bodden

Yvette Bodden is the Founder and Author of Awakened-Woman, a digital platform designed to inspire and invigorate women. She is also the author of A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self. Her writing seeks to empower and encourage women searching for personal definitions of success to build strong communities through vulnerable and powerful storytelling. 

best self, awakened woman

From Yvette Boden’s website https://awakened-woman.com/2021/07/15/a-summer-reading-list-to-inspire-self-exploration/

Since its launch, Awakened Woman has amassed tens of thousands of followers, with a plethora of articles centered around celebrity profiles, relationships, love, abuse, motherhood, and Latino culture, infused with Yvette’s signature blend of pragmatism and compassion. 

Yvette symbolizes the strength of an empowered Latina woman and her passion for empowering others is endless. As a single mother based in New York City—a metropolis she credits for her open mind—, Yvette regularly channels her own growth experiences. She has contributed to outlets like SmartCoparent and DivorceHub.com that focus on personal crises.

Yvette is also a motivational speaker, channeling her own growth experiences to empower others. In 2021, she was named one of the “Bella Bosses We Admire” by Bella Magazine. 

Healing and becoming your best self post-divorce 

A Journey to Becoming the Best Self, divorce, marriage, post-divorce, Yvette Bodden

A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self by Yvette Bodden.

Yvette made her debut as an author in 2019 with her first book, A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self, published by Black Rose Writing. The book is described as “part memoir and part prescriptive fiction,” and was inspired by Yvette’s own post-divorce path from devastation to joy and received high praise from The U.S. Review of Books. 

“This is a book not just for women faced with divorce, but for anyone searching for meaning in their lives.” –Sublime Book Review

In A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self, Yvette weaves together her own personal narrative with practical advice to show other women how it is possible to find acceptance and joy after losing a marriage. 

“The word ‘divorce’ itself has a negative connotation, and rightly so. It can be one of the most painful life-changing events in anyone’s life. An emotionally crippling event for many women, initially it was nothing less than devastating for me. However, it has been the most significant growth experience in my life,” Yvette wrote. 

A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self is the story of how a woman comes out on the other side of pain much stronger and more beautiful.

You might be interested: What you should be reading and watching this Hispanic Heritage Month 

Her desire to share her own story and experiences in both her book and online platform is to show other women that they are not alone. 

“I did not set out to be an author. The intention for writing this book and creating the AW platform has been to help women feel less alone, and hopeless while empowered to go after the life envisioned. I believe sharing our stories creates connection, helps heal and learn the lessons,” shared Yvette in an Instagram post. 

Yvette Bodden, Awakened Woman

womanawakened: #tbt #ᴛʙᴛ #giselleextravaganza 2019 Book Launch Party was incredibly special. (via Instagram) 

“Awakened-Woman.com is a community built to inspire, empower and encourage you to live your best life. Hopefully, it will plant a seed in others to find their greatness, too.” 

Yvette Bodden’s debut novel A Journey to Becoming the Best Self is available for purchase on Amazon

Latinas in Business Inc. Welcomes New Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer and Board Members

Today, Latinas in Business Inc announced the change of role of Danay Escanaverino from Board Member to Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, and the appointment of two new Board Members: Fatima Pearn and Jennifer Garcia. The new Directors will be sworn in during the October Executive Board Member meeting.

“Our Board of Directors is comprised of women who are leaders in their trade and communities. We are grateful that they have decided to join us in our mission,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc. “These new directors will add tremendous value to our organization by aiding to produce the strategic growth we need, while complementing the goals we have worked incredibly hard to accomplish.”

latinas in business, latinas in business board,

From left: Jennifer Garcia, Danay Escanaverino, Fatima Pearn

Danay Escanaverino is the CEO of LunaSol Media, a digital agency she has owned for 9 years to help brands connect with Hispanic consumers online. She is also the Founder of LatinaMeetup, a free community that celebrates, elevates and connects Latina professionals in an effort to build Latina wealth and influence. Her goal is to help Hispanic entrepreneurs expand their reach through her expertise and services and specifically expand the Hispanic market and unite and support Hispanic businesses. 

Fatima Pearn is a seasoned banking professional with more than 15 years of experience providing commercial lending, mortgages, lines of credit, leasing, business development. Her goal is to manage and develop an organization’s Business Banking team by applying her vast management and banking experience to strategically drive growth initiatives.

Jennifer Garcia is the Chief Operating Officer at Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), responsible for the successful and scalable operations of the organization. She manages national strategic partnerships, lead sponsors, and oversees program operations. She works in tandem with the CEO to set the strategic vision, innovative programs for entrepreneurial economic growth, and access to capital.

Jennifer is also the Founder of Fluential Leadership, which provides business and leadership consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses. She is passionate about developing business leaders and empowering them with the tools to scale.

Rosita Hurtado

Rosita Hurtado shares how she transformed a childhood passion into a successful design export

Rosita Hurtado is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who’s known for creating the fashion brand Rosita Hurtado and Rosita Hurtado Bridal. She is also the founder of Rosita Hurtado Menswear, Ixoye, Rosita Hurtado Shoes, and the perfume La Rose by Rosita Hurtado.

An accomplished designer with a career spanning 37 years, her work has been featured across the globe at events such as New York Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, and Los Angeles Fashion Week, and more and worn by stars such as  Eva Longoria, Lucia Mendez, Lupita Ferrer, Gloria Trevi, and Ximena Duque. 

As a Latina designer and part of Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA), Rosita’s work draws inspiration from her cultural roots and heritage, blending Latin American tradition with modern fashion. 

Rosita Hurtado

Fashion designer and entrepreneur, Rosita Hurtado. (Photo courtesy Rosita Hurtado)

From homemade fashion shows to professional runways

For as long as she can remember, Rosita has lived in the world of fashion and design. Born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, her early years were filled with fabric and sewing as she watched her seamstress aunts work at their shops. Her mother was also a natural designer, creating homemade clothes for Rosita. With these teachers in her life, Rosita grew up watching and learning the craft of sewing and design that would eventually become her life’s passion. 

“At seven years old I was making garments for my friends and putting on fashion shows on the patio at my home,” Rosita recounted. 

This passion for fashion and design that began in childhood has since taken her around the world. At the age of 18, Rosita had the opportunity to travel to Brazil where she studied design at Yocanda Atelier in Porto Alegre Brazil. Later, she continued her studies in Paris, France at the Dominique school, before moving to London, England to study industrial pattern making. Finally, Rosita completed her education at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA.

Designs by Rosita Hurtado. (Photo source: IxoyeUSA)

Following her desire to create, Rosita went on to launch various professional clothing lines. Her collections have appeared internationally alongside accomplished designers such as Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Tommy Hillfiiger, Alexandre Mac Queen. As a seasoned designer with a career spanning nearly four decades, her work as appeared at Paris Pret a porte, Fashion Week of the Americas, Texvecal in Santiago de Chile, Puerto Rico Fashion Week, Ecua moda, Los Angeles Fashion Week, Bolivia Fashion Parade, New York Fashion Week and more. 

However, like most entrepreneurs who have found success, the road was not always easy. In her long career, Rosita has faced her share of challenges and obstacles but she has always persevered with a positive attitude overcoming anything in her way. As a young designer, she went from small business owner to successfully expanding to become a top business in Bolivia. Then she moved to the USA to start anew. Starting from zero in a new country where she knew nobody was an incredible challenge but also a crucial learning experience for the entrepreneur. She put in the work, began networking and promoting herself, doing interviews, anything she could to advance her business. Rosita’s love and passion for design fueled her with the perseverance to overcome her obstacles. 

Rosita Hurtado

Rosita shares her advice on overcoming career obstacles. (Photo courtesy Rosita Hurtado)

The lesson she learned, and that she hopes others will carry with them, is this: Know that nothing in life is easy, everything comes with sacrifice, but if you have a focus and drive and put in the work, you will get through anything and accomplish your goals. 

You might be interested: Fashion Designers of Latin America Returns to New York Fashion Week LIVE Shows

Weaving stories of Latin American culture into garments 

One goal that guides Rosita’s work, is showcasing the beauty of Latin America through her garments. Rosita’s designs often blend vibrant colors and fabrics to create pieces that tell a story. Her collection, Viva México, is one example of this, blending urban casual with Latin American culture. The line was inspired by some of Mexico’s most important figures and monuments, bringing culture, history, and tradition together in stunning garments. 

“It is an urban casual collection with a cultural purpose,” said Rosita describing the collection IxoyeUSA. “Inspired by four icons of Mexican history: Frida Kahlo, Maria Felix, Cantinflas and Juan Gabriel, and also in the architecture of Mexico.” 

The collection, which includes tops, skirts, accessories, and more, was first presented during Bolivian Fashion Week in the Dominican Republic and is now available throughout various shops in Acapulco, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, as well as online through IxoyeUSA.

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Viva Mexico, Angel de la Independencia skirt. (Photo source: IxoyeUSA)

“I created the Ixoye line, a casual urban fashion with cultural purpose which is being recognized worldwide for its originality, to show the world through the clothing Latin American culture,” said Rosita on FDLA.co.

Her recent 2021 collection, featured at New York Fashion Week, is another symbolic collection. Named “Arcoíris” –Rainbow in Spanish– the collection is the perfect symbol for the year following a global pandemic. Focusing on vibrant and sparkling garments featuring the main colors of the rainbow, Rosita described the collection as representing “hope and renewal.” 


As a seasoned designer, Rosita shares her advice with other young and aspiring women looking to venture into the vibrant world of fashion or longing to start their own venture. 

The first step, she says, is knowing what you want. From a young age she knew she wanted to work with fabric and design like her aunts and mother. Find what’s calling out to you. Then, get an education in that field. Learn everything you can. Get practical hands-on experience as well. This is so important, especially in an industry such as fashion where there are so many avenues to pursue from designing to merchandising and event planning. Finally, follow your passion and love what you do. 

Gender washing: seven kinds of marketing hypocrisy about empowering women

At a time of so much focus on how women are held back and treated unfairly, corporations spend multiple millions telling us what they are doing to empower women and girls. When this makes them seem more women-friendly than they really are, it’s known as gender washing.

empowering women, women empowerment

Gender washing: seven kinds of marketing hypocrisy about empowering women (Photo by Natalie Hua on Unsplash)

Gender washing comes in different varieties, and some can be easier to spot than others. To help identify them, it can be useful to look at the decades of research on corporate greenwashing – that better known variant related to climate change.

Inspired by a 2015 paper that identified seven varieties of greenwashing, I have published a new paper that classifies seven kinds of questionable corporate claims about empowering women and girls.

1. Selective disclosure

When corporations publicise improvements in, say, female boardroom representation, or the gender pay gap, while omitting contradictory or inconvenient information, it’s known as selective disclosure.

For example, pharma group Novartis frequently features on Working Mother magazine’s annual list of the 100 best companies to work for, via an application highlighting the progress it has made in employment practices towards women. Novartis also proudly cites its support for Working Mother, per the tweet below. Yet as recently as 2010, the corporation lost the then largest gender pay, promotion and pregnancy discrimination case ever to go to trial.

2. Empty gender policies

Some companies take initiatives to raise women’s voices internally which, in reality, have little impact. For example, “women’s networks” aim to increase female employees’ confidence and help them build leadership skills through networking events and mentoring schemes. But critics argue that such networks are frequently ignored, and don’t address the underlying causes of discrimination or engage men in efforts to tackle institutional sexism.

One study from 2007 found that the members of one company’s women’s network feared it might actually damage their career prospects because at the time, it was ridiculed by male colleagues as a forum for “male-bashing” and exchanging recipes.

3. Dubious labelling

The promotional placement of the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon by brands with products containing known carcinogens or other arguably risky ingredients is an example of this third kind of gender washing. There are examples involving makeup, alcoholic drinks and even pesticides.

The pink ribbon can also gender wash the objectification of women. For example, US bar chain Hooters has built its entire brand around waitresses with voluptuous breasts and skimpy clothing. In the company logo, the two Os are replaced by the eyes of an owl, symbolising breasts to be stared at, wide-eyed. Yet, once a year for breast cancer awareness month, the eyes are replaced by pink ribbons as Hooters invites customers to “give a hoot” for breast cancer awareness. Staring is thus rebranded as caring.

4. Useful partnerships

One way in which a corporation’s image could be gender-washed is to associate with a feminist, women’s or girls’ organisation through funding or some other assistance. The corporation gets to place its logo on the organisation’s marketing materials, potentially distracting from practices elsewhere.

For example, Dove has partnered with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on a teaching resource aimed at helping girls to question dominant beauty standards that damage their self-esteem. This is despite the beauty industry – of which Dove is part – perpetuating those standards to sell products.

5. Voluntary codes

When rights abuses emerge in global supply chains – often most affecting female workers in the global south – there are often demands for tighter regulation of corporate behaviour. One way for corporations to respond and potentially deflect such demands is by creating voluntary codes of practice. Their very voluntariness is presented by corporations as evidence of a commitment to empowering workers – particularly women.

Voluntary codes rarely lead to meaningful improvements. For example, when the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed in 2013, over 1,000 garment factory workers died, some 80% of them women. In the aftermath, the voluntary Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was established and promoted by western retailers such as Walmart as improving safety and empowering female factory workers. Yet crucially, there were no legally binding commitments to prevent another disaster, and the alliance was later criticised by activists and researchers for not improving conditions quickly enough.

6. Changing the narrative

Corporations can position themselves as global leaders on issues where they have previously been found wanting. For example in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Nike was dogged by claims of child labour, sexual and physical abuse among workers at supplier factories, 90% of whom were female.

Nike’s response included establishing a division of corporate responsibility and setting up the Nike Foundation. One of the foundation’s flagship campaigns was the Girl Effect, launched in 2008 to persuade global elites to invest in girls’ education in the global south.

The campaign quickly went viral, and was soon partnering with the UK’s Department for International Development on programmes to empower girls in the global south. Nike had gone from a brand tarnished by accusations of child labour and exploitation to a trusted partner in international efforts to promote girls’ rights.

7. Reassuring branding

Chiquita Banana, the famous logo of Chiquita Brands Corporation, might give shoppers in the global north the impression of buying their bananas from a happy, Latina market woman cheerfully selling her wares.

gender washing, branding,

Photo by Rich Smith on Unsplash

Yet feminist scholars have documented the long history of Chiquita – formerly the United Fruit Company – exploiting women on banana plantations in Latin America and the Caribbean. This includes past cases of sexual harassment, discrimination, exposure to harmful chemicals, and violations of childcare and maternity rights.

Does all of this matter? If corporations want to take up the cause of gender equality, is that so bad? It is true that some women and girls do find ways within gender washing campaigns to make gains, but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

If a corporation’s employment practices, supply chains or products are harmful to women and girls, and it sells more products thanks to gender washing, then this has increased the harm done. That is why it is so important to identify and call out forms of gender washing whenever we see them.The Conversation

You might be interested: Fireside chat with Jose Forteza: Diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion in media


Rosie Walters, Lecturer in International Relations, Cardiff University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

children leaders, leadership

Teaching leadership: Helping children become leaders and develop strong communication skills

Teaching leadership skills is something every parent hopes to instill in their children. After all, helping children become leaders has many advantages. Kids that develop into leaders generally have a strong sense of self-esteem. Self-esteem provides kids with confidence and the drive to excel.

children leaders, leadership

Kids that develop into leaders generally have a strong sense of self-esteem. (Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels)

As we gear up for the back-to-school season, parents and children alike are saying goodbye to summer and preparing for the changes ahead. After over a year of virtual learning and hybrid classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have announced the return to in person learning. Returning to the in-person classroom will be a change for many, especially children who were young or new to school when the pandemic began.

However, many children are also eager to return to school. Sure, it’s bittersweet saying goodbye to summer, but being around peers again and having daily structure is something many children secretly miss, especially after such turbulent and unpredictable times. In addition to the structure and social aspects of in person learning, school also provides children with the opportunity to take on leadership roles, from leading class discussions and projects to taking on roles in extracurricular clubs and sports, these activities help strengthen and develop those crucial leadership skills. However, school is only one of the many avenues through which children can develop these skills. Perhaps more crucial, is what they are learning at home.

Nurturing and developing leadership skills at home

Many people may wonder: what makes some kids grow up to become great leaders while others grow into adulthood lacking the ability to organize a game of kickball?

Experts argue that certain children are natural born leaders. Some kids are born with an innate ability to take charge and execute on a vision they conceive in their minds. But those same experts also agree that leadership skills can be learned and need not be reserved for the lucky few born with the leadership gene. It is possible to develop leadership skills within all kids – and the earlier the lessons begin, the earlier they develop their leadership style.

teaching leadership, parenting,

You don’t have to wait for a certain age to begin teaching leadership. In fact, the earlier the lessons start, the earlier children will develop leadership skills. (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

Helping children become leaders has many advantages. Kids that develop into leaders generally have a strong sense of self-esteem. Self-esteem provides kids with confidence and the drive to excel.

Leaders also develop strong communication skills. As these young leaders accept greater and greater responsibility, they are required to interact with others. These interactions develop within them stronger-than-average communication abilities that assist them in other aspects of their lives.

teaching leadership

Children become leaders by learning from example. (Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels)

Finally, developing leaders acquire the skill of negotiation and learn how to work with others. As these emerging leaders increase their leadership activity they are placed into situations that require collaboration and compromise – skills that are greatly valued.

  1. Make Leadership Part of Your Child’s Vocabulary: “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker

If you’re going to help your child develop as a leader you need to describe what a leader is and does. The best way to do that is to make leadership a term that is used frequently to describe favorable traits. Conversations about leadership can originate when talking about the things other students did at school, the traits of characters in their favorite television shows, or the examples described in books they read or had read to them. Highlight leadership traits such as honesty, perseverance, kindness, creativity, intelligence, etc.

  1. Give Your Child Opportunities to Learn and Exercise Leadership: “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” – Albert Einstein

Leadership opportunities begin the moment at which your child begins to interact with other children. Beginning with preschool, through Boys Scouts/Girl Scouts to AYSO and Little League, and into cheerleading and science club – every day provides a venue for your child to put to use your leadership lessons. Be sure to observe as much as possible and provide feedback one-on-one. Remember to praise your child for exercising leadership.

  1. Set a Leadership Example: “Example is leadership.” – Albert Schweitzer

Leadership is best taught by example. Be sure to share your leadership experiences with your child. When possible, bring your child along to view you in action! If you volunteer at the local library, belong to the local Rotary Club or serve as an elected official, share your leadership experiences with your child to give your child something that links your conversations to the real world.

  1. Go Easy on Your Child: “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” – Soren Kierkegaard

As your child gets older, peer pressure increases. While all parents wish that children would avoid any form of peer pressure, the reality is that they live in a very difficult world. As a parent developing a leader, what is most important is to monitor your child, communicate openly and describe their actions that may be inconsistent with the acts of a leader. Refer to your conversations regarding the traits of leaders. These conversations may become more difficult as your child grows and becomes more independent. Have faith and trust that your child will respond appropriately when outside of your influence.

You might be interested: How MiLegasi’s founder deals with resilience in children during COVID-19

Latino population powerhouse: 2020 Census data reveals huge diversity growth

2020 Census data reveals that Latinos account for over half of the country’s population growth in the past decade. 

Latinos are a powerhouse population that are only growing to new heights. In both business and population, recent data shows that Latinos and Hispanics are an integral and vital force with the power to make great shifts in the U.S. economy and political landscape. 

Photo by Roberto Vivancos from Pexels

Earlier this year, the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network revealed that the number of Latino-owned businesses has grown 34% over the last 10 years compared to just 1% for all other small businesses. Were it not for the growth in the number of Latino-owned firms, the total number of small businesses in the U.S. would actually have declined between 2007 and 2012.

Now, the results of the 2020 Census data reveal similar growth among the U.S. Hispanic population. The overall U.S. population grew by 7.4% over the last decade to reach 331 million. The rate of growth was the slowest since the 1930s. However, just over half of that total growth was due to increases in the U.S. Hispanic population. 

Latinos are a powerhouse population

According to the census data, the Hispanic population reached 62.1 million, or 18.7% of the total population in 2020, compared to 16.4% in 2010 and 12.6% in 2000. In contrast, the U.S. white population alone is shrinking, while people identifying as white in combination with another race has grown by 316 percent. 

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These changes in population revealed by the 2020 Census will have a great impact on the country’s political landscape. The result of the census will be used to draw new voting districts for next year’s midterm elections. With a growing diverse population, we undoubtedly will begin to see changes in the coming elections as diverse communities will be likely to elect diverse leaders. 

In California, the Hispanic population became the largest in the state in 2020. Currently, more than 39% of Californians identify as Hispanic or Latino, compared to the state’s white population which only amounted to 35% according to the 2020 Census data. 

Census data also revealed a drop in the number of Hispanics who identify as white. In 2010, 26.7 million identified as white, while now only 12.6 million identify as such. 

2020 Census, Latino population

Percentage Distribution of the Hispanic of Latino Population: 2010 and 2020. (Graphic source)

In an article with NBC News, Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said, “Today’s data release from the 2020 Census demonstrates that the Latino community is a huge and increasing part of our nation’s future.”

These numbers will help shape the nation in the years to come. Not only will the census data help redraw voting districts, but these numbers will also be used to divide federal funding to community programs, determine divisions for city council and other boards such as school districts. 

Clarissa Martinez de Castro, vice president of UnidosUS, the country’s largest Latino advocacy group, said that the increase in diversity is the source of the nation’s strength. However, she notes that, “Despite our contributions to the country, the realities of our lives aren’t always recognized and worse, in too many cases, we are actively demonized.” 

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The new data is a reminder of the power the Latino and Hispanic population hold. As the largest growing population, Latinos can no longer be ignored. 

Fashion Designers of Latin America Returns to New York Fashion Week LIVE Shows

Fashion Designers of Latin America return to LIVE Shows at New York Fashion Week on September 2021. 

FDLA, New York Fashion Week,

Fashion Designers of Latin America return to LIVE shows in September at New York Fashion Week. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA) has announced the official schedule and participating fashion designers for the upcoming FDLA season during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) for its LIVE shows in September. The Fall schedule for SS/2022 FDLA shows will take place during NYFW at its new location, Lavan541, an iconic, exceptional and luxury event venue, located in the heart of Chelsea at 541 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001. The event is produced in adherence to New York State Health Guidelines.

FDLA honorary president, Agatha Ruiz de La Prada. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

The fashion festivities will kick off with a virtual press conference taking place on Tuesday September 7th at 6:00 pm followed by an up-close in-person showcase featuring the best of Latin-American Fashion Designers with FDLA honorary president Agatha Ruiz de La Prada and special guest Custo Barcelona

FDLA

Fashion Designers of Latin America founder, Albania Rosario. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

With current progress in the pace of vaccinations and the reopening of New York City, FDLA anticipates the week to feature a return to traditional in-person runway shows and a continuation of digital shows produced in adherence to New York State Health Guidelines. FDLA will require all participating staff, designers, models and all guests to be fully vaccinated.

“Anyone attending our shows will be asked to show proof of vaccination as we encourage and support the broader industry to follow suit and protect the wellbeing of our fashion community this season during the shows. We look forward to a strong coming back this fashion season and to celebrate the best of Latin American fashion in both physical and digital presentations,” said Albania Rosario, Founder at FDLA. 

You might be interested: Fashion shows must go on says Fashion Designers of Latin America Albania Rosario 

Dayana Leon FDLA. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)

FDLA is showcasing emergent designers Dante Luxury Footwear Mexico, Dayana Leon Venezuela Giannina Azar Dominican Republic, Glenkora Comte Ecuador, Indira & Isidro Mexico, Idol Jose Venezuela, Jose Ventura Dominican Republic, Leti Faviani Chile, Paris Rodriguez Colombia, Rosita Hurtado Bolivia, Samantha Telfair Puerto Rico, Yirko Sivirich Peru, Yas Gonzalez Cuba. Visit FDLA Designers to learn more.

New York Fashion Week, Fashion Designers of Latin America

FDLA New York Fashion Week agenda. (Photo courtesy of FDLA)