2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty Honoree: Miguel Esteban Andrade
Miguel Esteban Andrade, Communications Specialist at Reframe, will be honored during the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event on Aug. 26.
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The third annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event serves to highlight and showcase some of the most diverse and impactful young professionals across the Philadelphia region.
At this year's event, taking place Friday, Aug. 26, Miguel Esteban Andrade will be one of the 40 honorees.
Miguel E. Andrade is a queer immigrant communications strategist based out of Philadelphia. His work has been featured in various outlets, such as Democracy Now!, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Al Punto con Jorge Ramos.
An active member of Philadelphia’s Latino-immigrant community since late 2008, Andrade has become one of Philadelphia’s leading young voices for immigrant rights. From producing and hosting news & analysis on Philly's Public Access Station to co-founding one of Philadelphia's only Latinx-immigrant youth leadership programs, and helping turn Philadelphia into a "sanctuary city" with Juntos, the backbone of his work is ensuring that the voices and stories of the Latinx community are accurately represented in mainstream media, both locally and nationally.
His passion for intersectional social justice has led him to work with GALAEI, the city’s only Queer-Latinx Social Justice Organization, first as a board member and then as Interim Executive Director.
As part of the lead-up to the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event, AL DÍA asked each of the honorees a set of identical questions and collected their responses.
Here are Miguel Esteban Andrade's responses:
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career?
It hasn’t been a walk in the park, but I would have to say that one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my professional career is dealing with impostor syndrome. We often either don’t talk about it or are just told to power through but it can be a huge hindrance sometimes, especially for people of color. I’ve seen some of the best and brightest minimize their excellence all because they feel they’re not “qualified enough.” There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being the first or only person of color in a room or industry and we need to be better as a community at talking about this, sin pelos en la lengua.
What are steps that can be taken to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in your industry? Why is it important to do so?
We need to put our money where our mouth is. As a communicator, I often hear there are not enough Latinx voices, queer voices, and immigrant voices, but it’s not because they’re not out there, we exist! There’s so much untapped excellence in our communities but we need to invest in them to be the leaders they can be. We also need to invest in people’s leadership in the long term. We can train up someone to be an amazing young leader, but if we don’t continue investing in their leadership after they turn 18, 20, or even 25, we’re doing them a disservice. As organizations, nonprofits or companies, we need to not only encourage but also help finance people in their leadership journeys.
What does being a leader mean to you?
Being a leader is about paying it forward. As cliché as it may sound, a lot of times we end up becoming the person we needed to see when we were young. As a queer Latinx and formerly undocumented immigrant, I can say that the younger version of me needed to see more people that looked like me and had the same experiences tell me that I could do it as well. We’ve all gotten to where we are because people before us fought and paved the way, it’s only fair that we do the same for the next generation of leaders.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
God willing, still here doing what I love. I’m lucky enough that I’ve been able to find a career that allows me to blend my love for communications with my passion for advocacy work. I plan to continue to fight for the rights of my community and other underrepresented people for as long as I can. I hope to expand on my training and capacity work and help train up the next generation of Latinx communicators. I also want to expand the communications work that I do and get into the “edutainment” world. It’s no secret that doing community advocacy, you deal with a lot of heavy topics that may turn off some people. My hope is that through social media and entertainment, we can expand our audience reach to people that may otherwise not have known how they can get involved in advocacy.
The 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event will take place Friday, Aug. 26 at The Vie at Cescaphe. To learn more or purchase your ticket, click here.