As your social media feed has been filled with posts about Indigenous Peoples' Day and ways to support and uplift Indigenous art, history, culture and business, you've seen the call to make sure that support goes further than just October 12th (the revised Columbus Day holiday).
Small actions taken every single day to support BIPOC businesses and communities is what we strive for at BIPOC Support Foundation, especially during the days that aren't attributed as holidays or aren't garnering national attention.
As National Latinx Heritage Month comes to a close tomorrow (Sept 15th - Oct 15th), we want to share five ways to continue to support the growing number of Latinx creatives and business owners around the country, and to do so all year long.
What many don't know, is that Latinx entrepreneurs are one of the fastest growing segments of small business in every state and market sector in America. They contribute over two trillion dollars annually to our nation’s economy. During COVID 19, Latinx business owners were disproportionately left out of the economic stimulus effort, and have been struggling to keep their heads above water, despite the critical role their businesses play in communities across our country. There has never been a more important time to recognize their contributions, uplift their work, and support their success.
Here are six ways to support the Latinx-owned companies after Latinx Heritage Month ends:
1. Learn the difference between Hispanic and Latinx:
The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" are often used synonymously in the U.S., with the term "Latinx" used as a gender-neutral alternative. The significance of these terms is not with semantics, but about making a genuine effort to understand who you are speaking to and what the difference is. Intention is important.
The short version of how they differ, is that Latino is a term that is telling you about geography. While Hispanic, is a term that is telling you about language.
“Hispanic” focuses on Spanish-speaking origin. This means Spain is included, but Brazil is not because Brazilians speak Portuguese. “Latino” refers to people of Latin American origin. This includes Brazil and excludes Spain.
In short, Hispanic is based on whether you or your family speak the language of Spanish whereas Latino is focusing more on geographic location, that being Latin America.
Finally, “Latinx” is a newer term that is inclusive of gender-expansive and gender non-conforming individuals. Additionally, “Latinx” challenges the binary nature of the Spanish-language term Latino(a). The powerful “X” has opened the door to a variety of identities, and it is also used to highlight the broad indigenous heritage of many groups.
2. Add one of these books by Latinx authors that might just change your life
There's a colorful and magical literary world to explore through the lens of Latinx authors. Whether you’re looking to lose yourself in a story or find yourself in a book, we have the perfect list for you!
"The Distance Between Us," by Reyna Grande
3. Start listening to a new Latinx podcast on your daily commute
Whether your'e looking for day to day stories or to dive deeper into Latin art, history, and culture, we picked twenty favorites that you won't want to miss!
PBS has shown a deep commitment to Latinx stories over the years, which has resulted in some incredible world-class documentaries. Along with that, Netflix and Amazon Prime have a substantial collection of content created by and starring Latinx artists!
From teen moms struggling with tough decisions, to undocumented college students hoping for a brighter future, and families torn apart by deportation, these broadcasts get to the heart of Latinx struggles, hopes, and achievements. Choose from any of the lists above that highlight Latinx stories and talent!
When it comes to supporting Latinx businesses, there are many options and like we said at the beginning, it is only growing. If you have a favorite you can think of, reach out to us here. Keep in mind that many businesses have limited hours, and products, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
For small independent Latinx brands, here are some of our favorite:
If money is tight, show your support by following on social media or leaving a review! Every bit counts.
6. Sign a petition to protect Latinx immigrants and DREAMers
From the Jolt action website: "There are over 108,000 DACA recipients in Texas that still need protection. Texas is home to the second-largest population of DACA recipients in the United States. They are our family, friends, and neighbors. Many are currently essential workers, and some are risking their lives to protect Americans from COVID-19.
Nearly one in three Texans are either immigrants or children of immigrants, and our diversity represents the future not only of our state but of the country.
Together, we are stronger than the Trump administration's racist attempts to strike fear into immigrant communities.
Sign this petition to tell Congress we need a permanent solution to fix our nation's broken immigration system. Our leaders must find the courage to pass legislation that creates a citizenship pathway for all undocumented immigrants. Additionally, they must take a stand against the racist recently announced ICE policy that would force F-1 and M-1 visa students to leave the country — or bar them from returning to the U.S. — if their fall schedule includes only online classes. We refuse to stand by while the Trump administration continues his campaign of fear against immigrant communities."