Next year, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) will celebrate its 25th anniversary as an organization. HACR was founded in 1986, to hold companies accountable with regard to Hispanic inclusion as it relates to corporate social responsibility in four key areas: employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.
When looking back over the past 25 years, whether it be in business or in the global economy, there has been only one constant, and that’s change. With all this change, however, one thing has remained — the American tenacity to grow and experience and adapt to all that is thrown our way.
Today, HACR is considered to be one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the nation, representing 16 national Hispanic organizations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The 16 organizations’ leaders serve on the board of directors for the organization, providing guidance and direction on how to meet the demands of the growing communities each represents. HACR Coalition members work with more than 1,500 CBOs, 450 institutions of higher learning, and 400 publications with a combined circulation of 10 million. Collectively, they represent the voice of the approximately 50 million Hispanics that live and work in the U.S. by serving and meeting their needs through advocacy, education, capacity building, resource development, and the exertion of political influence.
HACR’s mission resonates as strongly today as it did in 1986 — “To advance the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions.” HACR’s role and responsibility in the Hispanic community continues to be the voice challenging corporate America to be transparent, ensuring mutual respect and collaboration.
HACR’s vision remains focused in the four areas of community reciprocity and inclusionary practices noted above, and it is in that light that it has seen the wisdom of companies to embrace diversity and inclusion not as obstacles to overcome or go around, but as business imperatives for success. This enlightenment helps ensure that consumers’ needs and demands are met by products that resonate and are relevant. The business acumen to understand the importance of seeking a diverse workforce-recruitment strategy also reflects the understanding of the changing demographics, which drives the need to ensure there is no disparity regarding the procurement of goods and services to help deliver the best product to the marketplace. Creating a mutually beneficial relationship through full transparency and good faith commitments is ultimately what is recognized as a socially responsible company.
HACR believes that a company’s reputation and goodwill is based on its ability to promote reciprocity. To ensure the continued support and patronage of the Hispanic community, a company should strive to employ, contract, and support as well as utilize Hispanic talent and businesses to lead its operations in roughly the same proportions that Hispanic consumers support the company. HACR has been a part of the change and continues to look for opportunities to be change agents as it relates to diversity and inclusion in corporate America.