We entered into 2020 with high expectations and mottos like “2020 Vision.” We’re now three months away from 2021, and we’re all discovering a new “new normal” all over the world. The spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has not only stopped the global economy in its tracks but has separated loved ones through travel restrictions and area shutdowns. Money aside, this pandemic has separated people, families, loved ones, and entire communities.
Veronica Cool knows a thing or two about communities. After 20 years of working in corporate America in the financial sector, she realized the American mainstream community and Hispanics were in need of one another, yet not connecting. In 2011 Veronica launched Cool & Associates LLC, a consulting firm that develops and executes strategies for organizations striving to engage and work with Latinos. Her team assists people with gaining employment, health insurance, and job training, which increases access and equity.
During the last seven months, she and her team have worked tirelessly to improve communication and support within disadvantaged Spanish-speaking communities that experience the effects of the pandemic to their core. After assessing her recent work, she has narrowed down three ways to stay connected to our communities through help, service, and action.
1) Social Media – Using social media, specifically Facebook and Facebook Groups, has been vital during the pandemic. These platforms ensure that we stay connected and share content that matters while cutting through the noise. Right now, our Latino community, especially Spanish-dominant speakers, are uninformed and often misinformed, which leads them to become victims of scams. On behalf of our clients, we hang out in digital groups to get a pulse for what is happening and create solutions.
2) Digital influencers – Leverage and partner with trusted voices by participating in webinars, town halls, and other virtual events to stay connected and provide accurate information to the community.
3) Virtual Cafecitos – It is customary within the Hispanic and Latino culture to catch up over a cup of coffee. Even if you don’t drink coffee, the offer is accepted to connect personally. I have shifted from in-person meetings to having virtual cafecitos or get-togethers to remain connected and get some face-time with friends and partners.
One thing you can learn from Veronica is that action leads to building a stronger community. This commitment is always evident, notably when she and her team published the first of its kind: Hispanic Heritage Month: Essential Toolkit, to facilitate the acknowledgment and engagement of the Latino segment in the United States. She also founded the Facebook Groups Yo Quiero Trabajo and Emprendedores Exitosos, where she curates content, resources, and opportunities for Latino job seekers and entrepreneurs. To learn more about her work, please visit https://coolassociatesllc.com/