A Reflection of Mes de la Historia Hispana! Hispanic Heritage Month 2020!

by PagerDuty October 19, 2020 | 6 min read

How PagerDuty Celebrated and Honored Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx Culture This Year

We had the opportunity to celebrate, honor, and learn about Latinx history and culture and build community across the PagerDuty employees distributed around the world. Array (PagerDuty’s Employee Resource Group, (ERG) for Black and Latinx employees) set out to bring a variety of virtual celebrations with the theme of “Ama a Tu Vecino” (Love Your Neighbor) this year.

This was the first year where all programming was delivered virtually, so the team had to get creative and leverage their passions and interests in order to deliver an impactful experience. The goal was to engage, facilitate learning, and help foster an understanding of the diverse “array” of Latinx experiences. In a time when people are encouraged to expose themselves to stories different from their own, Array was able to connect people to key themes each week through conversations, storytelling, and movement.

Week 1: Comida

Food: The universal language/activity that brings people together. To kick off our events, Dutonians (PagerDuty employees) tuned in from their home kitchens to learn how to make tacos and margaritas with all-fresh ingredients. Attendees were also treated to a hand-made tortilla demonstration. Additionally, Chef Mel of Cozymeal answered questions and walked attendees through the steps to prepare delicious fish and cauliflower tacos with cilantro rice and mango salsa.

Week 2: Lengua

We explored some of our team’s relationships with their native tongues, the art of learning new languages, and the impact language has on experiences with their Latinx identities. Through facilitated conversation and curious questions, participants talked about the key role language plays in their Latinx identities. With an openness to share personal stories and experiences, the group discussed Spanish, English, French, Garifuna, and more, as both native and learned languages. The group also shared some positive and negative memories around their interactions with language over the years. The candid and unfiltered dialogue helped highlight how language can be both a way to connect communities and create a sense of otherness.

“If we look across Latinidad, there is no one experience or one identity or culture, there are many. Don’t think of it as a melting pot. Think of it as a “salad” with different ingredients that represents over 20+ nationalities and ethnicities and it is the Latinx person who is constructing their salad for the world to see.”

Diego Chow, Administrative Assistant, PagerDuty

Week 3: Familia

From spicy food to dancing, family traditions, and travels across states and broaders, we showcased six stories during a moderated panel discussion called “Latinx Is Not A Race.” This panel featured PagerDuty employees that represented many countries whose cultures, languages, and races contribute to Latinidad, including Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Belize, and Honduras. When listening to the ways in which panelists embrace their cultures and identities as they navigate life, they spoke about the complexity of living “in between” multiple worlds of language, culture, and expectations where others often make assumptions about who they are or who they’re supposed to be.

When speaking about their own assumptions and understandings of who they are and who they want to be, panelists shared the joys and resilience they found in making conscious efforts to show up as their authentic and sometimes unfiltered selves in order to create belonging in both new and familiar spaces. This panel of employees from across the company was a good reminder to us all that identity is complex and the importance in remaining fearless and courageous by sharing and telling our own stories.

Week 4: Salud

Array partnered with PageAble, a PagerDuty ERG for employees with different abilities and their allies, to take employees on a virtual “art walk.” Together, we explored the works of Mexican painter and muralist José Clemente Orozco. Orozco lost a hand at a young age and used inspiration from the Mexican Revolution, during his time working between the United States and Mexico, to create his art. Orozco’s intense imagery of history and colonialism affected his popularity in both the US and Mexican art scenes. Employees spent the week diving into his unbelievably prolific works of art and his impact and legacy as a Latinx artist. At the end of the week, there was a focused discussion of the artist’s work and life.

Week 5: Comunidad

To finish out the month, we ended with a celebration through movement and music by getting up from our desks, couches, and tables to dance! We partnered with Inessence Dance Co. to take employees through a live and interactive Bachata dance class.

Extending Our Social Reach

In order to provide additional support to the Latinx community and give back this month, we continued to celebrate with social impact and social media posts.

Array put on a fundraiser for The San Francisco Women’s Building in which employees donated to show their support during this time of need. For every $100 donated, The Women’s Building was able to provide four women with free critical services on issues such as domestic violence, safe housing, sexual assault, tech tutoring, free food, legal services, and several others..

Additionally, each week, different employees were featured on the PagerDuty Life Instagram page to showcase different Latinx identities and answering “What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?”

Lastly, the month could not be celebrated without a recognition of the Latinx artists and music! The Array team created an “Ama a Tu Vecino” playlist on Spotify and shared it with all PagerDuty employees to collaborate and add their preferred songs. The playlist grew throughout the month and showcased the diversity across Latin music and Latinx artists to span a number genres, from pop, to heavy metal, and everything in between. There’s something for everyone to enjoy and take part in appreciation of the many contributions Latinidad has made to all our lives.

This month was a great example of how PagerDuty is a company with a strong culture that values diversity, as well as a place where everyone is celebrated. We are proud to take the time to celebrate and shine a light on the contributions of the identities, cultures, and experiences that make up Latinx diaspora in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020.

As a company, we look forward to continuing to build inclusive environments where all are welcome in tech—whether in person or virtually—and create experiences where employees feel a sense of belonging in the spaces where they work. PagerDuty will continue to prioritize giving employees the opportunity to embrace and foster understanding for those with identities and experiences different from their own.