Cornell Alumni Peter Romero speaks at the New York State Latino Leadership Summit on Saturday. Photo: Luis Verdi/The Cornell Daily Sun
Latino Summit Empowers Aspiring Leaders
The third annual New York State Latino Leadership Summit featured prominent alumni, lectures from executives and workshops meant to give attendees tools to overcome obstacles they face as Latino students at Cornell University
Keynote speaker Cristina Bañuelos, a Cornell alumna and research training award fellow at the National Institute of Health, explained how she felt when she arrived in Cornell from a small town in Texas. She said she overcame the self-destructive feeling by continuing to work hard and finding a strong support system among her peers.
Cid Wilson, president and CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, told students that they should be “agents of change” and always give back to the community.
“If you are the only Latino in the room, you have an obligation to speak up,” Wilson said.
During the Summit there was also a workshop on gender discrimination in the workplace and how “positive discrimination” may help. For example, when a woman in a leadership position hires another well-qualified woman to help her get ahead in her career — is not discrimination, but a necessary action resulting from the lack of women in leadership positions.
“Due to the lack of equality in the workplace, women should be encouraged to speak so that there can be better dialogue,” said Juliette Ramirez Corazon, advising dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Theresa Flores ’93, public affairs manager at Mary Kay, explained how she attended a political rally at 14 and served as a congressional aide at 16 in Washington, D.C.. She said the freedoms and rights of Latino people are being threatened across the country.
“Don’t take your freedom for granted — it’s being threatened today — right now,” she said. “States are trying and they are succeeding at making it harder for you to vote. … Don’t squander that right.”
The summit is meant to help everyone be inspired, be motivated, and be aware of how to maximize any event or project that they have in mind for their communities.