Nike is Championing the Latino Community Through Innovation & Inclusion

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Nike’s mission statement has been clear — pushing the boundaries of performance and tech for a better tomorrow. 

During L’Attitude, a business event dedicated to connecting & empowering the Latino community, the brand’s presence was not only evident in being a partner for the event but also tangible as CEO John Donahoe, elite Nike athletes, and employees across departments and positions were in attendance and leading panels.

John Donahoe with Sol Trujillo at L’Attitude (Image via Nike)

Through the conference, the Swoosh was clear in its initiative, programs, and strategies to empower the Latino community in an effort to strengthen the next generation of sport.

“The Latino community is deeply ingrained in sneaker culture,” John Donahoe said. “They’ve been a core part of Nike from the beginning. This is a community that we have to be with 365 days a year, we have to have a 360-degree view of design, athletes, and consumers,” he added. 

Both internally and externally, the Swoosh has created programs, investing in communities, and has set a foundation for change within the industry and beyond for historically underrepresented communities to not only have a seat at the table but to lead as well. 

And for Jorge Casimiro, Vice President and Chief Public Policy & Social Impact Officer, Nike’s commitments and efforts are at the foundation of his work and purpose. 

“One of the things I gravitated towards is our mission statement. A lot of people talk about mission statements — we live it and mean it,” Casimiro said. “If I take a step back and think about my purpose, I’ve got 50 years left. Whatever change and impact I can have, I can amplify it through Nike. If I can move it one inch on my own, doing it through Nike, you’re going to go ten miles,” he said. 

Jorge Casimiro leading a breakout panel at L’Attitude (Image via Nike)

In the last few years, Nike has doubled down on its commitment to the Latino community.  

The brand has donated millions to Latino organizations, has fostered a support and networking system with its Latinos and Friends program, and has created products for the community that goes beyond the typical Hispanic Heritage Month industry standard.

“When you invest in people, that’s when you see that it’s real,” he said. “When it’s not tied to strategy, when it’s not tied to mission, I see it last a season or two years until the next person moves on to something else. Our hiring decisions, the strategies we put in there, the product —  it’s about intentionality and being super deliberate that we are embedding it in the work.”

Karol Collymore at L’Attitude (Image via Nike)

Embedding inclusion and equity across generations and communities are at the core of Nike’s vision, especially for Karol Collymore, the Senior Director of Inclusive Community, Social & Community Impact at Nike. 

“The beauty of what we get to do is think about kids through the lens of equity and inclusion with sport — it builds character, strengthens friendship, it builds community with made to play,” she said. “In 10 years I want this work to be embedded I want people to understand everything through the lens that no one’s left out. It’s together or nothing at all.” 

The spirit of community for a better tomorrow is already present with not only Nike but its partners as well. 

Sally Aguirre, the founder & face of Sally’s Shoes in Los Angeles, has built more than just a storefront for her community but a safe haven for the women (her “girls,” as she calls them) in the vicinity for 30 years. 

Sally Aguirre at L’Attitude (Image via Nike)

“I’ve seen my girls come in since they were 16, now they’re in their 40s,” she said. “We have a connection, not just Sally’s Shoes —  it’s hope. It’s encouragement. It’s acceptance. It’s familia. You feel the love.”

That familia, that love encapsulates Nike’s mission with its retail partners, especially for Tonia Jones and the NBHD department. 

Jones, the Senior Director of North America Direct NBHD/SNKRS, is dedicated to ensuring Nike’s partners are not just making an impact but making an impact in the right places.

Tonia Jones at L’Attitude (Image via Nike)

“Before we even think about the community space, we’re particularly interested and focus on black and brown communities,” she said. “I’ve made it my mission as I sit in this role to focus on that.”

For Jones, Aguirre, Collymore, Casimiro, and even Donahoe, Nike is dedicated to ensuring the Latino community is seen — beyond products and campaigns.

“One of the challenges for our community is that we can be invisible,” Casimiro said. “Anytime you can make it visible to the world, to Nike to not just our community but to other communities — is incredibly important.”

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