All In on Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating You

A lively event in Colton, California, helped kick off a month of celebrating diversity and belonging.

It’s not every day you see people dancing at a Walmart distribution center. But that’s exactly what happened on September 21 at the automated consolidation center (ACC) in Colton, California. ACC 6561 hosted the first event in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month series, and associates were moving to the music.

During Hispanic Heritage Month 2023, we’re honoring the diversity of its associates and amplifying the message, “Tú perteneces aquí” / “You belong here.” Each week from mid-September to mid-October, a different Walmart facility hosts an event that is broadcast online.

Bringing the joy

For the folks at ACC 6561, taking part in the celebration was a given! After all, they wrapped up Walmart’s Hispanic Heritage Month last year with music and dancing from their location being simulcast to the Home Office.

“We wanted to close it out with a bang, and really bring what we believe that Hispanic culture is about — the joy, the family, the colors, the food,” says Daniel Barrera, the ACC’s general manager.

Daniel has been with Walmart for seven years and helped open ACC 6561 — Walmart’s first automated consolidation center in 2019. He says the facility is in a town where about 75% of the population is Hispanic, and 20% of the ACC’s associates speak only Spanish.

“We always want to be mindful of the group and the makeup we have here so that our leadership team represents them,” he explains.

Party pros

For Hispanic Heritage Month 2023, Daniel and his assistant Doreen Alvarez decided they wanted to kick off the celebrations with an event that perfectly blended party and professional! 

Alexandra Nates, Sam’s Club director of engagement marketing and the former chair of Walmart’s LatinX associate resource group, spoke during the event.

There was also a panel discussion moderated by Greg Cathey, Walmart’s senior vice president of transformation and support, featuring Peloton’s first Spanish-language instructor on the bike and tread Camila Ramon and Latin Vida Executive Director Tammy Ramos.

Non-English-speaking associates who attended the event were offered headsets and real-time translation. “We want to make sure each year we grow, and we include everybody,” Doreen explains. “I don't want anybody to feel like they don't belong.”

The panel discussion was streamed live for Walmart viewers everywhere — about 1,000 people Zoomed in and Walmart locations offered viewing rooms. Naturally, a musical performance by the band Gabrielito y La Verdad was also included in the broadcast.

Back at the ACC, about 250 associates and guests gathered to enjoy dishes like Cuban sandwiches, enchiladas and more.

“The panel was hugely instrumental in the event we put on. The guests had great conversation around their careers, some of the barriers they had to knock down and some of the people that helped them along the way,” Daniel shares. “We also had the Walmart DJs there, who really brought the energy during our event. And then it just turned into a raw celebration once we got the band going!”

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