El Elefante in the Boardroom: Growth of the Latino Community in Central Texas - My notes for #AARO35 panel.
September 21, 2015
By Juan Tornoe
Depending on migration numbers, from Zero Net Migration to maintaining the same migration numbers as the 2000-2010 decade, by 2050 Latinos will represent anywhere between 43.6% and 50.7% of the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Area. In either case Hispanics are becoming the majority of the population in our region.
Latinos are becoming a market not to be ignored by businesses and organizations if they want to remain relevant, keep their doors open and prosper in the upcoming decades.
Yet, Hispanics are still the Elephant in the Boardroom, having many categorize us under way outdated stereotypes – at best – or completely ignore our existence and/or relevance for the future of our region.
According to Martin Prosperity Institute’s 2015 Segregated City Report, Austin consistently ranks among the top 10 most economically, educationally, and occupationally segregated cities in the United States. This issues need to be addressed.
I believe today there is more than one “Austin”, and that if we want our city to truly prosper and lead during the following decades, there is a need for recognizing this reality, and having all those affected by it actively work to make it one. This is everyone’s responsibility, every single ethnic, economic, political and social group should work towards integration and collaboration with others in order to be ready to move forward into the second part of this century.
It is not only the current majority, Non-Hispanic Whites, who need to do take action, it is also the largest minority, Hispanics, who need to not only stop self-segregating from other ethnic groups, but among themselves, be it by generation, country of origin, education, or income level.
We need to get to know each other, understand other’s culture and individuality in order to break down stereotypes and create a true understanding of those communities around us. All this striving for a better society as well as a positive economic future for our region.
We need to understand that not all Latinos work blue-collar jobs, only speak Spanish, or have a Mexican heritage. We need to search for the things that make us similar, rather that the things that set us apart.