Más Allá del Diamante is a content series designed to spotlight and embrace the people, programs, culture and stories that champion Copa de la Diversión’s community impact and further advance Minor League Baseball’s continuous efforts to diversify the game and business of baseball.
To close out the Hispanic Heritage Month campaign #ForTheLoveOfBéisbol, we are highlighting the Hispanic Star -- a platform for Hispanics as employees, consumers and community to showcase their incredible contributions to the country -- as shared by Claudia Romo Edelman, founder of We Are All Human and The Hispanic Star.
Can you explain for our fans, what is Hispanic Star?
Considering that Hispanics are 100 percent Hispanic and 100 percent American, the Hispanic Star is a platform for Hispanics as employees, consumers, and community to unify the community and showcase our incredible contributions to the country. As a symbol, the Hispanic Star is a combination between the star, a well-known American symbol, and the eñe, a common accentuation in Spanish and Portuguese.
Additionally, when COVID-19 hit, the Hispanic Star jumped to action as it quickly became clear that the virus disproportionately affected Hispanics at both the health and economic levels. This unification platform evolved into more than a symbol, but also a support system to communicate, organize and mobilize our leadership and to incentivize individuals and corporations to donate, volunteer or share information to benefit Hispanics affected by the pandemic. At the community level, we organized Hispanic Star Hubs to support each other, taking action where their community needs it most.
How did the organization start?
The Hispanic Star came to life last year after I was on the jury at the Cannes International Festival for Creativity for the Sustainable Development Goals Lion Awards. I noticed that within the hundreds of submissions, there were almost none that were specific to the advancement and support of the Hispanic community. So immediately after the festival, we began working with WPP’s Grey/Wing on the symbol. As with every big social movement throughout history, the depth of the platform began with a group of people who believe in the same dream. We started with a group of 10 that then became 50, and now is more than 100 leaders who advise and ideate around the evolution of the Hispanic Star. We aligned 100 Hispanic organizations and leaders to become the Hispanic Star Alliance. We went to the United Nations in December 2019 to quietly unveil our plans. Then, we began inviting a small group of companies, media and allies to join forces and back this effort. Companies started joining … Procter and Gamble, IBM, Beam Suntory, Bristol Meyers Squibb, SAP, NRG, YUM! Brands, U.S. Bank, LinkedIn, Buzzfeed … and Minor League Baseball! We continue to work with these companies and our partners to evolve the Hispanic Star and to grow the platform and impact of the initiative.
What is your goal with Hispanic Star?
Our goal with the Hispanic Star is for it to become a symbol of empowerment and pride for the Hispanic community. We hope that when Hispanics see this symbol, they feel proud of their Latinidad. We want Hispanics to look in the mirror and see themselves as what they are, stars. We want to positively change the perception of the Hispanic community, both internally and externally. We hope allies, whether companies or individuals, can use this symbol to showcase their support of the Hispanic community -- like the rainbow does for the LGBTQ+ community.
Our goal is also for this symbol and platform to bring together a unified Hispanic community, celebrating the beautiful diversity of the backgrounds that constitute this community, but also highlighting how the community can come together to advance Hispanics overall. We don’t win until we all win. #TogetherWeShine.
How can we help support Hispanic Star?
You can support the Hispanic Star by joining the effort. Sign up to be an ambassador. Use the iconography, available for all -- use it in the windows, talking points, T-shirts -- just like the sustainable development goals (SDGs) or the rainbow during Pride Month. Put it on jerseys, helmets, programs, posters and more! We want to see the Hispanic Star everywhere and to be proud, loud and unified, allowing Latinos and allies to express their support for our community.
The Hispanic Star is also a great way for companies to showcase your employees as Hispanic Stars and your company as a Hispanic-friendly organization. Yes, a Hispanic Star company that celebrates its Hispanic Star employees, where allies are aware and active supporters of diversity and inclusion. Be an ally, mentor a Hispanic individual, lend a hand, encourage your Hispanic employees to shine and shine a light.
Engage at the community level through the Hispanic Star Hubs. Be part of a group of people from different industries and sectors that care for each other and want to create intentional networks of support. If there is no Hispanic Star Hub in your city, create one! You need to help to make your city Hispanic-friendly to attract Latino talent!
Can you tell me about the hubs and how our fans can help?
Hispanic Star Hubs were created originally when COVID-19 hit and we realized the disproportion impact it was having on minorities, including the Hispanic community. They were created to mobilize our network and ensure support reached the entire community, countrywide. We started with five hubs and it has grown to almost 25 hubs around the country, activated volunteers, organizations and companies to act in supporting the community at the local level. This year, we have already distributed more than 1.2 million essential products, supporting 200,000-plus families.
Fans can help by getting involved with their local hub. If you have time, volunteer with the hub during activations. Work with your companies or organizations to have them involved at the company-level, donating products for distribution, funding for activation support or more volunteers through employee programs. There are countless ways to be involved!
What is your favorite part about this project?
My favorite part is witnessing the community coming together and seeing the confidence build. #TogetherWeShine is the tagline for this initiative, and it has been incredibly uplifting to see the community unite under this platform to support one another during this difficult year, but also to shine a light on the incredible contributions that our community has, is and will continue making to advance this country. The Hispanic Star is a joint effort of 100-plus Hispanic leaders and organizations, 5,000-plus ambassadors, and champion companies. This growing network is an inspiring example of an uplifting effort for a community. We are seeing the community shine in supporting one another, and we are seeing the community shine in the spotlight of the realization that they are Hispanic Stars.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned throughout this process?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that we cannot win this alone. Everyone truly has a role to play in advancing the community, as it impacts all sectors, industries, income levels, genders, races and beyond. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the work that we are doing and forget to take a step back and see how it fits into the larger picture or areas where our work can be maximized through partnership. This process has only confirmed this for me in clearly seeing the pivotal roles of each stakeholder in making a long-term, lasting impact for our community.
Do you have any message for our Hispanic, Latino/a and Latinx fans in Minor League Baseball?
Allow yourself to shine. Talk to your peers. Tell them about who we are as a community, our values and our way to being. See yourself as a star. Look in the mirror — you’re strong and powerful. Believe it. The more we know about our power and begin feeling empowered, the easier it will be to elevate the playing field for our community. Look at your industry and see that you fit at the top. Aim high and stand up. Take someone with you. Once you make it to a place, open the door so that someone else can come in. There is not only one seat at the table, because there is no table, just a country full of opportunities for all of us to shine.
America is made of stars, Hispanics are one of them. Together we shine.
Chanel Zapata is a Specialist, Marketing Strategy & Research with Minor League Baseball.