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Honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month With Armanino’s IDEAL Team

November 08, 2021

Our IDEAL (Inclusion of Diverse Employees and Leaders) team ensures all are welcome at Armanino by helping us understand the importance of valuing every employee’s uniqueness and experiences and recognize that our differences make us stronger. The team recently helped celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place annually between September 15 and October 15, a 31-day span containing multiple national independence days for Latin American countries.

We sat down with general counsel Sarah Harris, partner Julissa Quirk and manager Baru Sanchez to learn more about why the month is important to them, how IDEAL celebrated, how they celebrate outside of work and icons who’ve made a mark in their culture and lives.

Why is it important to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month?

We have many offices in the South and Southwest, so it’s important for our firm to reflect the communities we are in. IDEAL’s mission is to make sure everyone feels included and can bring their whole self to work. We help that cause by recognizing the different cultures that make up our diverse firm. We also find it important to recognize our Latinx coworkers and clients, giving the kudos we all need, especially when we see them in higher positions.

How did we celebrate?

We hosted another great panel discussion this year. It was special, though, because it was in collaboration with our newly formed Latinx Advancement Network (LAN). The panel featured members of the Armanino community discussing their experiences and the meaning of labels like Hispanic, Latinx, Chicano, etc.

The idea for LAN was sparked during last year’s Hispanic Heritage Month panel discussion. The committee meets once a quarter and strives to help move more Latinx staff and managers to the partner level. 

How do you and your family celebrate?

Julissa: My family is both Mexican and Ecuadorian. We take advantage of this time to educate our children on various aspects of the culture that they’re not exposed to every day. We really enjoy celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day on September 16 by eating, drinking and talking to our kids about why the holiday is important to our culture.   

Sarah: In Chicago, the streets were packed on Mexico’s Independence Day. The actual parade was cancelled due to COVID, but there was still a car parade that allowed for social distancing. Every single car was flying a Mexican flag. It was such a cool experience, and you could feel the overwhelming sense of pride in the city that day. 

Do you have any Hispanic culture icons or personal heroes you look up to?

Baru: There are people like Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta who have been crucial to the success of our culture, but my parents are true heroes and people that I attribute my success to every day. My mom worked two jobs while caring for three children, and I watched my stepdad go directly from his first job to his second job every day. They worked so hard to make a life for us and are the reason I do the same.

Julissa: I look up to every single one of the hardworking parents and immigrants who do what they can to provide a better life for their family. I’m blessed to have been born here, and it just amazes me to see how many come to this country with nothing but the goal to build a better life. I look up to my ancestors who did just that, sacrificing so much and starting a new life with nothing. 

 

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