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Claudia Romo Edelman, mastermind behind the Hispanic Leadership Summit. Photo: Screenshot of 2022 Hispanic Leadership Summit.
Claudia Romo Edelman, mastermind behind the Hispanic Leadership Summit. Photo: Screenshot of 2022 Hispanic Leadership Summit.

Claudia Romo Edelman kicks off 5th annual Hispanic Leadership Summit, with remarks on how Latinos can progress

When Romo Edelman thinks about the progress Latinos have made since the event's inception, one word signifies how it can improve even more — unity.

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Five years ago, Claudia Romo Edelman started a new journey that became the Hispanic Leadership Summit. 

“When we came here in 2018, we came with a single question… What unites us?” said Romo Edelman to kick off the 5th annual Hispanic Leadership Summit on Dec. 7. 

Fast forward five years later, and she notes that the conversation now centers on progress — the progress made, the progress needed, and the progress desired in the face of the barriers. 

“The reality is that progress is the one thing that truly unifies all Latinos, Hispanics, Latinx… what unifies all of us here today is our desire to progress, to move forward,” added Romo Edelman. 

The progress of Hispanics is conducive to the progress of Americans overall. 

The reality is that Latinos are making great progress in the five years since this event was initially launched — especially through unity. 

“I can feel the desire to collaborate, the incredible moving to more collaborative frameworks among Latino leaders,” Romo Edelman said. 

More and more people have been sharing the data and facts relating to the positive contributions that Latinos make to our society each and every day. In addition, Latinos are increasing their representation in a number of fronts since 2018. 

The number of Latinos on corporate boards have quadrupled, there are more than double the number of Latino CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and Latinos are more represented in the U.S. Congress.

The fact of the matter is that the reality of Latinos in the U.S. has changed in recent years. 

However, while there is reason to celebrate, Romo Edelman shared that the goal is to achieve progress, “because we’re not there yet,” she said.

While there has been a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion revolution across the country, Romo Edelman notes that Latinos are often left out of the discussion. 

“Latinos are not part of the status quo. We are still outsiders for the most part,” she said.

Playing the game from the outside makes things much harder. 

However, equally alarming is that often Latinos advance one at a time, “individually, fragmented, solo.”

“We do not play as a team,” said Romo Edelman. 

As a result, the change that is often made comes “not fast enough, not coordinated enough. Invisibility and fragmentation are still our talón de Aquiles.”

How Can We Make Progress?

In order to make real progress, Romo Edelman noted that it is always important to make a plan.

She shared the four priorities of the agenda toward progress for Latinos: Education, Health, Gender Equality, and Jobs. 

Improved conditions pertaining to all four of those elements will leave to Hispanic progress, and subsequently, American progress.

However, to get there, Romo Edelman goes back to her first point — unity. 

“Unity has been the drum that we’ve been beating, and trust me, we will not stop until the job is done,” Romo Edelman shared.

However, it must be unity with a purpose. 

In this instance, the purpose is to make tangible and sustained progress based on what is already known. 

Latinos are impactful and have great influence. It has been proven over several decades, with none more glaring than the pandemic. 

With the U.S. likely to face an economic recession in the very near future, now is a critical time for large companies to see the impact Latinos can make to help weather the storm. 

“Now we have this incredible opportunity to be educated about the challenges that are coming… but also to raise our voices, stand up, step up, and make sure that companies understand that Latinos are the single most important source of secular growth,” said Romo Edelman. 

Unity and a shared agenda often lead to progress.

“This is our time, and this is the group that will make change happen… we can indeed be the last generation of Latinos that is not seen, not heard, not valued,” she added. 

“We are making progress. It is indeed happening. We are almost there… take this as a personal invitation… please, let’s all step up, stand up, and stand forward for each other, with each other because it is our time and we’re about to break through together.” 

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