The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), a Chicago-based national nonprofit dedicated to the employment, development, and advancement of current and aspiring Latino/a/x/e professionals, is announcing the creation of HACE Colores: Leading with Pride, an LGBTQIA+ cohort program that helps Latino/a/x/e individuals develop strong leadership skills to use in their workplaces.
This program, which will debut in the spring of 2024 and be open to LGBTQIA + individuals, has the mission of providing a safe and motivating space for community-building. The program is designed to help participants confidently and effectively lead themselves and others. Participants will have the opportunities to expand their networks and support systems. HACE’s President and CEO, Patricia Mota, explained that the program is a virtual cohort with a 9-session or an 18-week commitment. Companies will sponsor seats and community professionals will pay to participate. The nonprofit is researching possible grant options to defray costs for those interested. According to the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, there are “2.3 million Latinx LGBT adults who live in the US” and according to Axios Latino “the percentage of Latinos who identify as LGBTQ has more than doubled in the past decade and has outpaced growth among white and Black Americans.”
“For over 40 years, HACE has helped corporate companies and community-based professionals to employ, develop and advance Latino/a/x/e professionals by offering resources to elevate their communities,” said HACE CEO Patricia Mota. “We are creating this new program because of the constructive feedback that we’ve heard from companies. Representatives expressed that they would welcome such a program and our research has found that there are no professional programs like this to specifically cater to the Latino/a/x/e LGBTQIA+ community. Additionally, we also feel that there is a need to address the intersectionality of culture, gender, and sexual identity particularly how it impacts leading others and in their professional growth.”
Mota added: “Amid all the anti-LGBTQ legislation, we want the community to know we are by their side and we see that many Latino/a/x/e individuals feel the same way as well.” According to an Axios LatinoMarch 2022 article, “62% of respondents in a Axios/Ipsos poll from March 7-18, 2022 of Latinos said they are comfortable around people who identify as LGBTQ.”
LGBTQIA + adults have experienced challenges while working at companies. The newly created Human Rights Campaign’s LGBTQ+ Americans Fight Back: A Guidebook for Actionrevealed that “over a quarter (28%) of LGBTQ+ workers, including over a third (37%) of transgender and gender non-conforming (TNGC+) workers, have left a job because their work environment was not inclusive/accepting of LGBTQ+ people. Approximately, 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ workers (8%) and TGNC+ workers specifically (12%) have been fired due to their LGBTQ+ identity, whereas a quarter (24%) of LGBTQ+ workers, and a third (32%) of TGNC+ workers, were passed over for a promotion due their identity.”
Mota said that the new LGBTQIA+ program is one example of how the nonprofit focuses on equity with the goal of “meeting our constituents where they are to help level the playing field for everyone. HACE’s theme this year—called HACE United, Accelerating Equity with Action & Accountability—is about doubling down on making an impact, and the HACE LGBTQIA+ cohort provides a safe space for training and conversation for our LGBTQIA+ Latino/a/x/e community members, more than ever before. HACE will continue to expand the legacy of building community and leadership with our cohort model leadership development programs such as Mujeres de HACE with the goal of empowering high-potential Latina professionals, and the Emerging Latino Leaders Program that transforms high-potential Latino professionals into high-performing leaders.”
For those interested in applying to HACE Colores, please visit this linkto request further information. For more about HACE, visit https://www.haceonline.org/.