Day after day, we’re seeing Latinas secure positions of power and demand their voices be heard. While it’s happening across every sector— from Hollywood to the government to social media—there is one Latina woman who sets the bar for using positions of power to dismantle and check privilege in all its forms. We sat down with the fierce and compassionate Panama-born and bred master coach herself, Lisa Fabrega, to get her perspective on how—with all the new opportunities to be heard- Latinas can use their platform to call out privilege.
Lisa posed a powerful question, asking us “what is leadership if we can’t stand up for the difficult issues—if we can’t make way for the healing?” In addition to modeling bold Latina leadership on her social pages, she shared a few unforgettable gems about how to “honor your platform” with integrity and make a difference.
Call out injustice to make real change.
While many people go into the business of coaching, or other service-based industries, with the intent to make a difference, Lisa sees an egregious disconnect between saying you want to make a difference and not calling out other people’s privilege and micro-aggressions within your industry.
“A lot of women in the coaching industry, whether white or white-passing or light skin Latina, really identify with wanting to help others and be of service to the world,” Lisa tells HipLatina. “And I literally don’t understand the disconnect between saying you want to do that and not being willing to talk about issues that impact the world negatively like racism, sexism, body shaming, etc.”
She suggests women who commit to a career in change-making call out injustices in the best way they know how—even when it’s messy. “Let’s get clear on what being a ‘light worker’ means—its not pretending everything is beautiful. It’s about sticking your hand ‘in the you know what’ and ‘clearing the shizz of humanity.’ That’s what light workers are here to do.”
Simply put, don’t hesitate to take on the full work of calling out injustices and fully committing to your role as a change maker.
It’s important to do more than just talking about the issues, according to Lisa. While she certainly calls out injustice, she also actively models what justice looks like by regularly posting content featuring images of women of different sizes, and highlighting content from underrepresented body-positive women.
“Using platforms to post alternative views is a really great way to encourage diversity,” says Lisa. “The images that we use are critical; I started waking up to the fact that whenever I was trying to find images four or five years ago, it was all white women.”
Model what it looks like to check your own privilege.
Being willing to engage in difficult conversations—if you’re a member of society who has any privilege—can be tough. Finding out that you offended someone with your own ignorance and then listening to the truth about your mistakes can be triggering. However, Lisa points out why it’s critical to allow yourself to be challenged on your own platform.
“Even if it triggers you, model that for your community so when other people are observing you they can say, ‘This person I admire is really listening and posting about the things she’s learning.”
“One of the most amazing things happened to me many years ago, when I wasn’t fully aware of my own privilege,” said Lisa. She shared that she was once called out for unknowingly disrespecting a marginalized community. Years later, she told her story to her audience and acknowledged that she had “this beautiful moment” with the woman who called her out publicly, and that “there was a lot of healing for her and for me.”
Don’t show up in places that don’t support diversity and inclusion.
Simply put, you don’t have to support people and lend your platform to those who are not advancing the cause. Lisa suggests simply saying, “I want to support you, but to participate I need to see more diversity.”
Be okay with losing something for the cause.
When you truly have skin in the game of change making, sometimes there will be moments where you have to sacrifice for the greater good-even if that means taking a risk that could cost you your platform, followers, or position of power.
“The reason you can be okay with it,” Lisa suggests, “is because you have the confidence to know that if you built your platform before, you can build it again. I don’t care, I will just go build another audience.”
“We have this scarcity belief – especially women who have built a lot – that it can all be taken away,” Lisa explains further. “No one takes it away from you unless you let them.”