I have the privilege of making photos for an amazing roster of non-profit organizations that do EVERYTHING, it seems, to make the world better and more just. I want to share one of them, Conexion, because their mentorship program has just launched its 13th year (!) with a kickoff event last week, so their fabulous work is on my mind.
Conexion’s mission is to mentor a national network of exceptional HispanicLatino leaders. (Read their complete mission here.) But they don’t work with teenagers, like a lot of mentorship programs do. Instead, they go right to the heart of Corporate America, and mentor mid-career Latinos who are at the cusp of joining the C-team. They pair those mid-career folks up with top-notch CEOs and CFOs and CIOs and all the C’s you can imagine, to assist with building up their social capital.
The founder of Conexion, Phyllis Barajas, explains social capital as a simple thing: it’s all about who you know. People in the leadership positions only hire and promote the white people who they know. But who continues to have most of the leadership positions in this country? White people. So Phyllis set out on a mission to help Latinos network, get known, get promoted, get power. She set out to educate Corporate America about why it’s unacceptable to have only white people in the board room. And she created Conexion as a platform to empower HispanicLatinos who are on their way to big success in education, business, and government.
Every year Conexion welcomes a new cohort of “mentees” who are paired with executives from a range of industries. They meet monthly and attend regular training and events. (See their Program Description here.)
It’s a fabulous organization doing amazing work to bolster the status of Latinos in the U.S. I am honored to be the photographer who documents many of their events, including an annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.