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Nuestra Gente: RJ Estrada on Translating Financial Literacy as a First-Generation Hispanic American

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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 RJ Estrada, Director of Paid Social Media, who believes the biggest challenges Latinx communities face are financial literacy, access to quality healthcare and the language barrier.

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

I work with Nasdaq-Listed clients and internal Nasdaq marketing teams to coordinate, create, execute and optimize full funnel digital marketing campaigns. We currently oversee advertising across eight different platforms.

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

I found out about Adelante when I first joined Nasdaq. A member of my team was one of the co-leads, and she told me all about the wonderful things the group stands for and works towards. Adelante serves to foster a sense of community for the diverse network of Latino employees at Nasdaq, as well as an avenue for education, bringing light to many of the challenges faced by the Latino community.

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

Adelante is an organization that celebrates the rich and diverse cultures encompassed by the vast Hispanic community, both in the U.S. and abroad. The group also serves as an educational vehicle, bringing light to everything from the customs to the cuisines of different Hispanic cultures. I only recently joined Adelante, but I look forward to attending in-person events and sponsoring career workshops with college and high-school students.

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

Adelante encourages inclusivity by bringing together a diverse mix of Latinos from different cultures and backgrounds. Groups outside of Adelante can be allies by understanding that the Latino community is far from a monolith. Over 20 Spanish speaking countries span the globe, each with their own unique histories, cultures, colloquialisms, cuisines and dialects. Therefore, while we share the same language, we are mindful of the differences between backgrounds when referring to the larger “Latino” community.

What does being Latinx mean to you?

To me, being Latino is about being part of a diverse community which spans continents, cultures, dialects and more.

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

I believe the biggest challenges are financial literacy, access to quality healthcare and the language barrier. Financial literacy and quality healthcare only become more difficult to attain for those who do not speak the language.

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

Growing up, my favorite tradition was visiting my families in their respective countries. My father is from Nicaragua and my mother is from Venezuela, both emigrating here in their early twenties. My favorite memories involve visiting my families for entire summers at a time, spending time with my cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents, eating incredible food, and visiting cultural and historical sites. As a first-generation American, these trips connected me with my culture and allowed me to understand the worlds my family came from.

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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