Image: Hacienda Aurora by Francisco Oller, collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce on Google Arts & Culture
My family is of Salvadoran and Mexican descent — with the Indigenous, Afro-Latino and European roots that come with that lineage. One thing that they ingrained in me all my life was the importance of our culture and values. As I got older, these lessons helped me as I came into my truth, including when I came out as queer. I can’t disentangle all these parts of my identity — nor would I want to — and I’ve been lucky enough to have a supportive queer Latinx community around me along the way.
Everyone should have access to these supportive spaces, where they can see themselves and find a sense of self-acceptance and belonging. That’s why Google’s continued commitment to creating these spaces for diverse communities matters so much. I’m glad to see my team at Google.org supporting the culture, history and diversity of Latinos across the U.S., and using our platforms to make sure people can get connected to more resources. Here are a few ways we’re doing so this Hispanic Heritage Month.
Strengthening Latino LGBTQ+ and Indigeneous communities
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to shine a light on our cultural contributions and histories, but it’s also a time to reflect on the challenges we still face. For some within our community, intersecting marginalized identities mean that they are disproportionately affected by discrimination and barriers compared to the broader community as a whole. For Indigenous communities, that can mean the erasure of first languages, lack of access to healthcare or inequities in education. For LGBTQ+ people it can result in lower levels of business support and discrimination for queer business owners.
Google.org is proud to support organizations that are tackling these issues head on. We’re providing a total of $500,000 in Google.org grants to three organizations who are focused on intersectionality in the Latino community:
- Comunidades Indígenas en Liderazgo (CIELO), an Indigenous woman-led organization that works with Indigenous-migrant communities in Los Angeles, CA
- Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO), an Indigenous-led organization supporting the Indigenous immigrant communities from Mexico in California’s Central Valley and Central Coast for almost 30 years
- Hispanic Federation, specifically their Latinx LGBTQ+ Nonprofit Initiative, which aims to build capacity in Latino-led and Latino-serving LGBTQ+ organizations
Continuing our support for Latino culture and cultural institutions
Inclusive spaces can be virtual, too, like the Latino Cultures in the U.S. project on Google Arts & Culture, which we first launched in 2017. The project has grown every year since, and now features more than 60 institutions and over 150 stories. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we added the largest online collection of Puerto Rican arts, with over 900 artworks digitized in high-resolution, thanks to a partnership with Lin-Manuel and Luis Miranda. And to further celebrate Latino culture in the U.S., Google.org has made a $1 million grant to the National Museum of the American Latino, a new museum joining the Smithsonian Institution network in Washington D.C. Latino communities are an integral part of America, and this museum will showcase our contributions for generations to come.
Using our platform to connect Latinos to critical resources
Over the past year, Google.org has also supported a number of Hispanic and Latino nonprofits with more than $500,000 in donated Google Search advertising — helping them reach a broader audience and share vital resources. This includes:
- UnidosUS, the largest Latino advocacy organization in the U.S., which has used Search Ads to amplify culturally-relevant COVID-19 information since the start of the pandemic
- Hispanic Access Foundation, which is using donated advertising to recruit young leaders of color for internship opportunities with organizations like the U.S. National Park Service
When we support those in the margins, we elevate our entire society. I’m proud of the work Google is doing to support Hispanic and Latino communities, especially for those at the intersections. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month to all of the people who make our communities vibrant and beautiful simply by existing.