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October102022

Hispanic Heritage Month and the Value of Recognizing and Celebrating Our Many Cultures

Asker A. Saeed and Karen Bennett

10.10.22 | Operations Chat

September 15th marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, a unique date designated to celebrate and recognize our country’s rich Hispanic Heritage. The start date was chosen as a nod to various Latin American countries that celebrate their independence on or around September 15th. Originally a weeklong celebration, it was expanded to a month under the Reagan Administration.

At Berdon, we recognized and celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month through our Berdon Speaker Series. We brought in a notable speaker for a presentation and discussion — open to all Berdon employees — designed to help educate our people on various issues of importance to the community being recognized. The Speaker Series is an ongoing program that will bring speakers to the firm for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian Pacific American History Month, Pride Month, as well as Hispanic Heritage Month.

This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month Speaker event, entitled Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation, took place on October 3rd and featured Claudia Romo Edelman, a recognized speaker, media contributor, and advocate, who spoke about reinforcing the need to ensure that diverse voices and perspectives are welcomed in decision-making processes, thereby helping to build stronger communities and a stronger nation.

But why should we have months designated to recognize and celebrate some of the cultures that make up this nation? Shouldn’t we just recognize and celebrate everyone all the time? Yes, we should! But the reality is it can be really helpful for all of us to put special focus on one particular group, thereby really highlighting the wonderful and important contributions that group has made and is making toward improving our nation and the communities we live and work in.

Needless to say, the Hispanic community in America has contributed to our collective well-being and success in so many ways, including through entrepreneurship and commerce, healthcare, law enforcement, athletics, art, food and hospitality, law and justice, and even accounting! On the other hand, it is equally important to spotlight a certain community to draw attention to particular challenges that community may be facing that are either unique to that community or that affect that community differently so that we can all be reminded that when one particular group of us is challenged, we are all challenged.

The more we all learn about our fellow Americans, the better we are all equipped to create inclusive environments, a sense of belonging for everyone, and workplaces that maximize the talent and skillset around us.

Programs like Hispanic Heritage Month can go a long way in helping us all learn a little more about the Hispanic community, appreciate and celebrate their contributions to this country, and be reminded that, ultimately, we are all stronger and better when working together.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic, you can reach Asker Saeed at 860.371.5670 | asker@saeedconsulting.com or Karen Bennett at 212.331.7540 | kbennett@berdonllp.com

Asker A. Saeed serves as Berdon’s Fractional Chief Diversity Officer and is the Founder of Saeed Consulting Group — a full-service consulting firm with an emphasis on providing fractional diversity officer services, process and procedure improvement, strategic plan development, assessments, and awareness training to a variety of organizations including professional services firms.

Karen Bennett, Chief Human Resources Officer at Berdon LLP, has more than 20 years of experience in the human resources profession. Karen focuses on aligning human resources operations with key business objectives and ensuring organizational effectiveness, financial strength, and regulatory compliance, as well as overall efficiency.

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