Hi!. My name is Lisaidy and I'm a proud Latina.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic. My family and I moved to the United States three and a half years ago in the search for a better future.
It's wasn't an easy ride and it took hours and hours of motivation and confidence to keep up with the determination to learn the language and adapt to the new environment. In times like this, most of us would feel like giving up or even shattering our dreams in ways that would hurt us mentally and physically. In times like this, we deserve the opportunity to interact and familiarize ourselves with others like us. In my case, I joined a nonprofit organization that works towards empowering women of color and young Latina to succeed in the business world. This organization helped me build up my confidence and appreciate where I come from.
I' m here today to show you, especially during these times when we must come together as a community, the power and beauty of being Latina in the United States.
Collaborating and getting to know strong female role models who come from a Hispanic background made me realize that there is more to the color of our skin. It isn’t a shade or a mix of other colors or a term that can be used to represent a group of people. It’s an identity with a lot of history behind its culture and because of that, we deserve every chance to celebrate it, honor it and carry its legacy proudly without being judged by others who feel a sense of superiority.
For me, being Latina in the United States is like a gift. It means being different, in a good way. It means coming from humble beginnings and learning from a young age that nothing is given unless you work for it. It is spreading the beauty of our dances, colors, language, food, and other elements with people who never got to experience it themselves. And most importantly, it means belonging to a community. Because some of us feel sometimes as if we don’t belong, we must find and promote organizations to help us realize our worth and know that there are others like you, who would love to guide you and be there for you whenever you need it.
Finding other young women like me creates a sense of community like no other. Being Latina isn't just a word or lifestyle, it's an identity. It is who we are, it is who we belong with and it is an opportunity to network among ourselves. We are strong because we have seen the good and bad sides of life from just observing other family members.
We are curious because we aspire to be the best version of ourselves and learn from others. Some of us bilingual are motivated to practice and learn more than one language at a time. We are beauty because there are features that pass on from generations in our family that make us stand out from the crowd, whether that is our curly hair, tanned skin or curves that highlits certain parts of our bodies.
Today, I encourage you to go out there and celebrate where you come from. Commemorate your strongest achievemts and your flaws and remember to surround yourself with others like you who would like to belong to a community of strong Latina women or men.
Go out there and be you.
Never be ashamed of where you came from for that's where your character was once built and deserves to be passed on to other generations.
Remember, there is beauty in everything. There is beauty in being Latina.