Creating a space for Gente in the Google Fiber family.
In late August 2019, we began having conversations about forming a Latinx-centered Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Google Fiber. The United States had just witnessed a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, aimed directly at Hispanic Americans, and many of us wanted to create a safe space for employees to come together to discuss, reflect, and offer community to one another.
Last year, Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month (September 15th -October 15th) presented an opportunity for our newly forming ERG to establish itself. We opened up a dialogue about immigration, the current state of the world, and the Latinx experience from the perspective of fellow Fiber Googlers with thoughtful programming and the occasional juntada (“get-together”).
This year, the pandemic has made our work and community both closer and more crucial. So in May 2020, we officially — and virtually — introduced Gente as the ERG for Latinx employees and allies. With COVID-19 twice as deadly for Black and Latinx people, and in the wake of violence against Black and transgender communities, we’ve centered Gente’s efforts on not only the importance of coming together as a community, but in building strong intersectional alliances, too.
The word gente means “people," and also serves as a term for the deep-rooted connection that comes with community, family and a rich cultural history. Bringing this ERG to life within Google Fiber also means a new opportunity to give Latinx employees and allies a voice in critical business conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion — a voice that is representative of the diverse workforce and customers that make up our Google Fiber family.
As a part of this year’s Latinx Heritage Month, we invited Dr. Gina Pérez, Cultural Anthropologist and Professor in the Department of Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College, to share her thoughts on the importance of this work. “To be Latinx is to be a part of a collective that has a history of resistance, resilience and a beautiful capacity to change,” she said.
Gente and Google Fiber are celebrating that collective action, not just for this month, but every day. We look forward to seeing the growth that our group will encounter this year — and to the future opportunities we will have to serve our Latinx customers in all our cities.
Posted by Gabrielle Aguilar, Sales Training Specialist (Austin, TX) and Co-chair, Gente