Massachusetts is home to more than 30,000 Hispanic-Latino businesses, 3,800 of which are employer firms that generate over $4.2 billion dollars in annual revenue and create more than 27,000 jobs, that’s according to Betty Francisco, co-founder of Amplify Latinx.
The state is also home to 9 percent of Hispanic-Latino eligible voters, according to the Pew Research Center.
Still, while those numbers are impressive, systemic barriers are keeping the community from realizing equitable wealth and political power. Amplify Latinx works to “significantly increase Latinx civic engagement, economic opportunity and leadership representation across sectors.
“Massachusetts is among the wealthiest states in the country, yet the Latino communities have struggled economically,” said Rosario Ubiera-Minaya, Executive Director of Amplify Latinx.
Ubiera-Minaya was this month’s guest on the Latino News Network podcast, “3 Questions With…”. “Latinos have a higher entrepreneurship, education, and labor force participation rates than in years past,” she said. “But it is still a disproportionate share (in the state).” Ubiera-Minaya referenced ¡Avancemos Ya!, an analysis by Boston Indicators, UMass, and the Latino Equity Fund that illustrates “the unique challenges facing our state’s Latino communities and concludes with a brief discussion of opportunities for greater prosperity and well-being.”
Ubiera-Minaya is originally from Quisqueya La Bella, the Dominican Republic. She shared how her cultural background and experience coming to the U.S., at one point, an undocumented immigrant, shaped the person she is and her work.
“I grew up in the North Shore, in Salem, Massachusetts. That community welcomed me. It was a low income, Afro-Latino community. Most of the residents were also undocumented,” she said. “We bonded together in empowering each other. I had an opportunity to develop my voice and my advocacy.”
‘Afro-Latinx Front & Center: Showcasing Voices from Our Black Latinx Diaspora’ is a collaborative series of vignettes, capped with panel discussions, as they explored the topic of “Blackness” in the Hispanic-Latino community. Amplify Latinx partnered with EmVision Productions, Cojuelos’ Productions, and Creative Collective LLC, along with community stakeholders on the initiative, which included panel discussions.
Do you have a suggestion for a guest to be featured on “3 Questions With…”? Send us your ideas to Info@latinonewsnetwork.com.