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Nuestra Gente: Adelante Co-Chair Daniel Cantu on Spreading Financial Literacy Awareness In the Latinx Community

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¡Adelante Nasdaq! — our employee resource group (ERG) that explores Hispanic, Latinx and indigenous cultures — is a driving force of our Hispanic heritage and Latinx efforts at Nasdaq. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting our members to better understand what being Latinx means to them and the role financial literacy plays in their community.

We spoke with Daniel Cantu, Senior Associate General Counsel and Adelante Co-Chair, who co-created the ERG to help bring market and finance knowledge to the broader Latino community.

Tell us a little bit about your background and role at Nasdaq.

I am an attorney that represents Nasdaq’s Investment Intelligence group in discussions with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and, from time to time, other governments and international organizations. I have been at Nasdaq for six years, and my primary expertise is in litigation and investigations. 

How did you find out about the Adelante? What do you hope to take away and bring to the Latinx community? 

I founded Adelante along with former colleague Anna Gonzalez. Our joint hope was to create a home for Latinos at Nasdaq and bring our hard-won knowledge about markets and finance to the Latino community at large.

What is your most memorable experience while being a member of the Adelante?  

Our last conference before Covid brought together so many Adelante members and allies from the financial community that it gave me hope that we will be able to make a difference. 

How does Adelante encourage inclusivity, and how can groups outside of the Adelante network be allies to the Latinx community?

We encourage inclusivity by standing up and being heard. Our allies can help by joining us – being mentors to our members, discussing problems in the Latino community and joining us in helping the Latino community.   

What does being Latinx mean to you?

It means family. It means making my abuelita proud. It means showing the world our wonderful history and traditions. 

What is your favorite Hispanic tradition or personal cultural experience/story you’d like to share?

I love the openness of Latino culture. A good friend of mine married a Latina from Texas; he said that he was embraced by her family as soon as they met (or at least after he complimented her abuelita’s tamales!). That has always been my experience. My family’s doors (and delicious food) are always open to friends, co-workers, acquaintances and strangers. All are welcome to share our food, music and traditions.

What is the largest challenge the Latinx community faces today, or something that you think is often overlooked for the Latinx community?

Financial know-how. Latinos create businesses at amazing rates, but they often fail to grow due to a lack of access to financing or the know-how to get access. 

How can financial literacy play a role in supporting the LatinX community? Is there a particularly positive experience you’ve had with financial literacy resources you’d like to share with others looking for support?

Financial literacy is personal to me. My mom was a wonderful baker, and the whole neighborhood loved her cakes and pies. She always wanted to open a bakery but never had the money. If I knew then what I know now, I could have helped her, but I never had the opportunity. Now I want to pay that debt forward and help others.      

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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