Claudia Romo Edelman
We Are All Humans FB

As underrepresentation and misrepresentation are two of the most vexing problems facing Hispanics in the United States, community leaders say another situation prevents a clear perception of this group's contributions.

"This community suffers from what I call a 'reverse marketing' problem," says Claudia Romo, founder of We Are All Human, a New York-based nonprofit foundation dedicated to advancing the equity, diversity and inclusion agenda; especially to raise self-esteem and social recognition within the Hispanic community.

According to a 2023 Pew Research Center, the Census Bureau estimates that there were approximately 63.7 million Hispanics in the US in 2022. Additionally, data from the 2023 US Latino GDP Report explains that the US Latino gross domestic product is valued at $3.2 trillion and the GDP of US Latino purchasing power is measured at $3.4 trillion.

However, the representation of Latinos in the media workforce still lags. A 2021 report from the US Government Accountability Office explained that the estimated percentage of Hispanic workers ranged from 8% in the publishing sub-sector such as editors of newspapers, periodicals, books and directories.

Adding to this scourge on the identity and perception of Latinos, Romo explains that marketing for the community has been applied incorrectly.

"As a marketer, you try to highlight the best attributes of your product; In my case, poverty, AIDS, etc. Whoever does the marketing for the Hispanic community is doing the opposite, they are doing everything possible to hide the best attributes of the product. Hispanic community and present ourselves as someone we are not."

The founder of We Are All Humans knows about this Latino perception change, being a member of the community. She told The Latin Times that moving to the U.S. made her discover she herself was a Hispanic. At that moment, she began to perceive the community from a new perspective. And she realized that, in a way, being Latino or Hispanic as a 'product' was incorrectly sold.

"For the first time in my life, the 'packaging,' so to speak, was much worse than the 'product.' And the packaging is not only affecting the way Hispanics are viewed in the country, but it is also negatively impacting the confidence and growth of Hispanics themselves."

Romo knows her practice. As a marketing expert, she has worked for 25 years with top institutions and has promoted some of the most successful global campaigns of the last decade, including the launch of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the iconic Product (RED) concept, the creation of the SDG Lions, the rebranding of the UN Refugee Agency and campaigns for World Economic Forum.

Romo created We Are All Human seeking to remind everyone that "we belong to the same human family." Its purpose is to advocate for every human being to be respected and empowered by focusing on common humanity.

"Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are the foundations of progress. By creating workplaces that welcome people from all walks of life, corporations amplify the voices of the Hispanic community and contribute to a culture richer and more dynamic within their organizations," she says

In a recent essay for AdAge magazine, she explains how upon entering the advertising industry, she understood the need to take care of this task for Latinos: "When I started getting involved in this world, companies would invite me to their Hispanic Heritage Month event. Most of the time that meant they would host a half-hour of bad margaritas and consider the "Hispanic engagement" box checked. It was a nod to culture but lacked a genuine commitment to understand and invest in the community."

Romo explained that with her extensive experience in the creation and implementation of social programs in close coordination with agencies, she also created the Hispanic Star initiative, a central platform aimed at showcasing all contributions that Hispanics make to the US. A brand that also seeks to change the script of the community, as she rightly says, in their role as factivists. "Our work directly impacts the next generations who will feel proud to be Latinos."

The importance of Heritage

We Are All Humans holds several cultural events, such as the recent held together with the Art Institute of Chicago last, October 2nd, as part of the celebration of the Heritage Hispanic: "Discovering Hispanic contributions to the United States through art: Remedios Varo: science fiction."

According to a press release, the "Remedios Varo: Science Fiction" exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago offered attendees the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Hispanic art". It was an exhibition befitting its diverse audience, as the exhibition offers a gallery of texts in both Spanish and English.

"I hold great admiration for Remedios Varo's art and the profound influence she has had on American culture," Romo told The Latin Times. When I had the opportunity to witness this exhibition, it struck me as crucial to enhance its visibility within our Chicago network. This is the first time that the We Are All Human Foundation does an artistic Hispanic Heritage Month celebration and it is meant to be the first of a series of art shows, where we portray Hispanic contributions in art that shape American culture."

In addition, the foundation has planned the most important event of the year, "The We Are All Human Gala", which will take place next December 7 at Gotham Hall, New York City. It is an evening dedicated to mobilizing support for the Hispanic community and celebrating their contributions.

"We are committed to turning the general perception of Latinos from invisible to visible, from negative to positive, from takers to creators," the Mexican marketing expert said.

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