Latin and Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Latin and Hispanic people in the U.S. As Delta remains committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in the broadest sense, it’s important to use this month as an opportunity to celebrate, appreciate and create understanding by learning about each other’s cultures. It is equally important to continue these efforts beyond just this month.
“We must each individually take responsibility to become better educated and take intentional steps toward others and away from biases,” said Keyra Lynn Johnson, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. “While Latin and Hispanic Heritage month is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and learn more about Latin and Hispanic cultures, it is important to adopt a mindset of continuous learning to break down cultural barriers so that we can create a world that embraces our differences and appreciates them 365 days a year.”
Check out the ways Delta celebrated Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month and how the airline continues to include this community in its ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts:
Amplifying Employee Voices
Since 2003, Delta’s Latin and Hispanic Business Resource Group, ADELANTE, has served as a strategic resource by engaging the airline’s Latin American and Hispanic employees to build awareness and provide networking and professional growth opportunities.
The employees within this group also serve as consultants to the airline by promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, providing cultural insights, identifying growth opportunities and serving the communities where we live and work.
Throughout the past month, ADELANTE has hosted engaging activities for employees from a cooking class featuring signature Latin cuisine to fireside chats to give employees the opportunity to explore culture, get educated and connect with members of the Delta family who call Latin and Hispanic culture their own.
To wrap up the month, ADELANTE hosted a Town Hall and Q&A on Monday with Michelle Horn, S.V.P and Chief Strategy Officer; Bill Carroll, S.V.P. – Controller; and Norma Dean, Director - Specialty Sales, to discuss how employees of different backgrounds can thrive under the challenge of languages or accents, leverage their background and be ready for the opportunities to come as we navigate through the pandemic.
Throughout the month, Delta has also honored our most valuable asset – our people – through "Amplifying Our Voices", an Instagram series where Delta people share content about the specific moments that have influenced their travels, careers, and life experiences.
This employee storytelling showcase featured the stories of Delta people who are members of Latin and Hispanic communities. Be sure to check out these stories to become better educated and take intentional steps toward others and away from biases.
Throughout September, in honor of Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month, Delta Studios spotlighted a collection of movies curated by Delta’s ADELANTE Business Resource Group that celebrate the achievements of prominent Hispanic people and dive into the Latin American film industry. All movies within the collection are still available for viewing on Delta Studios.
- Asu Mare
- Cidade de Deus (City of God)
- La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)
- Sin Nombre
- Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother)
- A New Dawn
- Los Espookys
Manny Soto, Producer and Director of "A New Dawn," is proudly one of Delta’s own! His documentary, now available on Delta flights, depicts the lives of Cubans arriving to the U.S. as they escaped from Fidel Castro's regime in the '60s and '70s. It was recently recognized at the Miami Film Festival with the Documentary Feature Film Audience Award, an award determined by audience's rating.
“Showcasing diverse backgrounds and cultures on board Delta flights is our way of celebrating our differences and breaking down stereotypes that can be limiting to society. This month is about creating awareness and learning about different cultures and meeting our customers where they are is a great way to bring them along with us in this effort,” said Celina Blanco Boscán, ADELANTE President.
A Growing Population
The Latin and Hispanic community is a significant part of the Delta family, including both employees and customers. In the 2020 census, the Latin and Hispanic population increased by 23% since the 2010 census.
Delta continues to take measurable steps to become an inclusive workforce that reflects the world that we serve and connect. Based on the data collected in Delta’s Close the Gap report, the Latin and Hispanic community will remain an area of focus as we strive to close the gap between the diversity reflected in our frontline talent and the diversity of their leaders.
At this time last year, Delta reported that its Latin and Hispanic employees represented 10% of domestic employees and 8% of domestic leaders at Delta. We have continued to hold ourselves accountable to create measurable progress and drive these numbers upward. Now, Delta’s Latin and Hispanic employees represent 11% of domestic employees and 8% of domestic leaders.
Delta’s Latin and Hispanic community includes two inspirational employees: Juanita Velez, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager – In-Flight Services, and Julio Rivera, Account Manager – Sales. Both were recently named one of the 50 Most Influential Latinos of Georgia by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which carefully analyzed the character, impact and connectivity of these self-motivated leaders provide in their communities before they were nominated.“It’s humbling to look back at my family’s immigrant journey and take an award like this home. I’m grateful to have the support of so many that helped guide me through the moments I felt lost in a country that wasn’t my own,” said Juanita. “I do not take this honor lightly and look forward to being an influence in the younger generation.”