Young Latinos are ready to take charge, and I couldn't be more excited. On January 11, I had the opportunity to launch the 2012 Hispanic Voice Town Hall Tour with an event in Santa Ana, California. The young Latinos in the room were clearly ready to change the story about Hispanics in this country. They're ready to play a more prominent role in how our community influences policy makers, corporate leaders, and the rest of America. They're starting to express themselves with a new attitude and a new sense of purpose. They're excited to use the 2012 Hispanic Voice platform to showcase a new, energized Hispanic voice, a voice that hasn't yet been fully unleashed. And most importantly, they want results: Less talking, more doing!
Young Hispanics in America are eager to lead new types of conversations about their local community to build national credibility. Their socially conscious thinking and their ability to keep conversations moving across multiple channels and platforms via social media allows them to cultivate fresh perspectives and an influential voice. As one of the young Hispanics at the Town Hall told me (after the event), "I am tired of the old guard's attitude. While I respect the doors they have opened for my generation, they must let go of their anger and use that energy by sharing their wisdom to inspire and guide us. They don't understand the new generation of Latinos and the challenges that we face. Their voices bring us down." It is evident that young Latinos are ready to revitalize our (Hispanic) reputation and correct the misperceptions if only the older generations would begin to serve as mentors to enable their voices.
Clearly the generational differences in thought have frustrated younger Hispanics (the Gen Y regime) whose needs and thought-process are radically different than their parents and those who lead their local communities. As I gathered from the young Hispanics in attendance at the Town Hall, they are eager to share their points of view and re-energize the Hispanic community at-large. They want all of America to become more knowledgeable about their economic influence that includes (that is not limited to):
• How brands have heavily invested in how they market/communicate to young Hispanics
• How young Hispanics have changed the social media footprint
• How Fortune 500's require a different business model to earn and sustain the share of mind/share of wallet of young Hispanics
• How companies recruit and retain the talent of young Hispanics
• How the job market requires the intellectual capital of young Hispanics so that their employers can be more innovative and build new relationships
• How global competitiveness demands the participation and perspective of young Hispanics
• And how all of this influence of young Hispanics impacts policy making, education, business and ultimate their voice & vote
The goal of this tour is to create an agenda that can unite the Hispanic community; a community that is synonymous with innovation and economic prosperity. This can only be achieved if the younger Hispanics are leading the conversations and introducing their points of view. We want our local communities and national relevancy for this critical election season to be fueled with new ideas and fresh perspectives. We want Hispanics to think seriously about our community's ability to advance and become a more integral part of driving America's future. The 2012 Hispanic Voice initiative will focus on increasing Latino voter turnout, so we can speak with a united voice and start to work more closely with government and big business for a better America. It's a non-partisan mission to help our community take responsibility for defining our collective identity - and for making America a more prosperous place for all who live here.
Next up: Nevada. In February, the Town Hall Tour will head to Las Vegas to hear from another meeting of young Hispanic voices and add to the agenda items the powerful group in Santa Ana came up with.
You can keep up to date on the Tour at http://www.2012HispanicVoice.com. For more information on how you can host a Town Hall Tour event in your city or how you can volunteer to help, please contact us at: ideas@2012HispanicVoice.com.