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Celebrating our Hispanic Communities through Art and Education

Oct 21, 2022 3 min read

KLA’s commitment to inclusion for all in the workplace and our communities was in full view for employees during National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

The company’s Konexión employee resource group (ERG) put a spotlight on the diversity of the Latinx community with two thought-provoking virtual events to expand employees’ knowledge and celebrate its diverse culture and historical contributions. And, the KLA Foundation, with its priorities around education and community enrichment, strengthened its longtime partnership with the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley by making a substantial contribution to support educational initiatives for the Latino community in the South Bay area.

Employees experienced a virtual tour of artist Narsiso Martinez’s impactful paintings, sculptures, portraits and multi-figure compositions of immigrant agricultural laborers and their impact on the U.S. economy.

Narsiso draws on his own 10 years as a migrant farmworker in California and Washington. His Rethinking Essential collection at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California makes powerful statements about immigrants living and working on farms in the United States, often set against flattened produce boxes.

One exhibit is a series of prints depicting farmworkers’ faces in a ghostlike way.

“Many of us didn’t have documents, so in a sense we were here but also not really here – we were like ghosts,” he explains. “You can see the output of our work in the produce sections of grocery stores, but because many are not citizens, they lack a lot of the same things Americans have, like access to education, medical treatment and transportation.”

One sprawling mural is the motif of a U.S. dollar bill with an image of a female farmworker in the center. It depicts not only migrant laborers’ contributions to the U.S. agricultural sector, but also their working conditions, and illustrates aspirations for the future.

“I speak about these issues and our hopes through art,” Narsiso says. “The next generation of Hispanic children should get a college education, but I also hope my artwork helps them understand what our generation accomplished as immigrants.”

Employees Test their Knowledge about Latin America

On another day, employees learned about the countries that make up Latin America during a trivia challenge designed to increase employee awareness of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in North America, Central America and South America. Questions, focused on historical significance and fun facts, ranged from, “In what country was the color television invented?” to, “True or false: Mexico is the country with the second-highest number of museums after the United Kingdom.”   

The toughest question was, “Arepas is a typical food that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner in which country?” None of the dozens of employees participating in the trivia game answered correctly by choosing Venezuela. On the other hand, 85% of participants responded correctly to the question, “What is the official language of Brazil?” (It’s Portuguese.)

“There are many stories to share from technology and inventions to culture and geography. We wanted to give Latin America some exposure and help the rest of the world understand the region’s contributions, geography and history.”

Oscar Balvaneda, product engineer and Konexión member

(P.S.: The color TV was invented in Mexico, and Mexico is second after the U.K. as the country with more museums than any other.)

KLA Foundation Supports Hispanic Community Education Initiatives

The KLA Foundation has strengthened its partnership with the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley by committing $120,000 to support educational initiatives and other programs that help improve the quality of life for Bay Area Latinos. Programs supported by the partnership include:

KLA Foundation supports multiple educational initiatives, including the Latinos in Technology Scholarship Program by the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.

Latinos in Technology Scholarship Program offers financial support to third- and fourth-year Latino university students who have declared a major in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related activities; professional development for Latino scholars that includes a career academy and mentoring; and internship opportunities with the foundation’s financial supporters.

Hispanic Foundation College Success Program, which is designed to help improve high school and college graduation rates, increase student and parent knowledge about the college journey and raise the number of Latinos employed in high-tech industries.

Hispanic Charity Ball, an annual event that generates funding for the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley’s work to improve the quality of life in Hispanic communities, promotes volunteerism and celebrates philanthropic leaders.

Learn more about KLA’s inclusion and diversity initiatives, and browse the careers page for the opportunities ahead for you.

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