10.07.2018Policy

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2018

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This month, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and the many contributions Latinos and Latinas have made and continue to make to our country. Whether you look at the economy, our armed forces, academia, or arts and culture, the Hispanic community has contributed to the richness of culture and overall success of our country. Verizon is excited to join this month’s celebrations, and we are proud of our long history of supporting the Latino community. That support has taken many forms, including partnering on impactful projects with Latino human rights and community organizations; providing pro bono legal services to organizations that assist Latino immigrants; and taking a stand on public policy issues that disporportinately impact the Latino community. 

Recently, we were pleased to work with Unidos.US, a long standing partner, to support their update of an app designed to assist new immigrants to integrate into life in this country. The app, called the “Immigo” app, connects immigrants, advocates, and caseworkers with public and private resources and legal assistance to aid them as they seek citizenship or permanent residency in the U.S. The Immigo app provides a wide range of user-friendly resources, including information on current immigration laws, important government forms and applications, and contact information for trusted pro-bono lawyers specializing in immigration law. The process of immigrating to America and integrating into American life can be difficult, but tools like the Immigo app equip organizations like Unidos.US to help make that challenging process a little easier.

We’ve also used the power of technology in other ways, including to advance the League of United Latin American Citizens’ (LULAC) mission of economic empowerment for the Latino community. We partnered with LULAC to produce its “Opportunidad” app. The app provides users with access to important civil rights information, tools for civic engagement and voter registration, as well as valuable information on economic empowerment, fraud protection, and health insurance. Over the years, we’ve helped our partners in the Latino community develop mobile-friendly websites and educated them on ways to leverage technology and social media to amplify their policy positions.

Verizon is excited to join this month’s celebrations, and we are proud of our long history of supporting the Latino community.

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While we’ve certainly enjoyed assisting our partners with their mission-focused work, we also realize it’s essential that our Nation’s public policies support the Latino community. To that end, Verizon has engaged on key policy issues that greatly impact the Latino community. In 2013, our then-CEO, Lowell McAdam, publicly called on Congressional leaders to pass comprehensive immigration reform. In both August 2017 and January 2018, Verizon called for a permanent bipartisan solution to protect Dreamers, which number roughly 700,000 individuals living in the U.S. As we said in 2017, we believe in a permanent path to citizenship for Dreamers because “diversity strengthens our companies, our organizations, our society.”

While we don’t expect any awards for this work, we are nevertheless honored when our partners recognize our efforts. Given the desperate need for pro bono legal services by so many immigrants in the Latino community, Verizon has made a broad commitment to Ayuda, a non-profit organization that provides legal services to vulnerable immigrants. Verizon lawyers have contributed countless hours of pro bono services over the years to Ayuda and have achieved many successful legal outcomes. This year, we were humbled to have Ayuda induct Verizon into its Hall of Fame for the pro-bono legal services our team has provided to immigrant families over the years. Additionally, earlier this year, we were proud to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Corporate Social Responsibility from the Mexican American Legal & Education Fund.

At Verizon, diversity and inclusion are core values. We are better because of our partnerships with many organizations in the Latino community. 

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We do this work and take these policy positions because it’s the right thing to do for our employees, our customers, and the communities we serve. At Verizon, diversity and inclusion are core values. We are better because of our partnerships with many organizations in the Latino community. Our Credo states it well: “[W]e embrace diversity and personal development not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s smart business.”

While there is a lot of work yet to do to ensure Latino communities achieve equal opportunity and social justice, it is also worth taking a moment to celebrate the depth and richness that the Latino community adds to the American experience. Doing so reminds us all of one of our nation’s longstanding pillars – e pluribus unum – out of many one. We look forward to continuing to support the Latino community with technology tools and other resources vital to fostering civic engagement and participation in our democracy.