United Way of Greater Rochester is hosting an eight-part virtual Leadership Lecture Series through November. United Way of Greater Rochester is hosting an eight-part virtual Leadership Lecture Series through November. (Screengrab via uwrochester.org)

Virtual lectures replace United Way programs for Latino leaders

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, United Way of Greater Rochester will host a virtual Leadership Lecture Series this year, in lieu of its traditional Latino Leadership Development Program and Círculo Latino Leadership series.

Out of a concern for safety, United Way made the decision to cancel all in-person events, including the leadership programs, through the rest of 2020, said Paula Aguiler, senior relationship manager and emerging leaders development coordinator.

According to Aguiler, the eight-part series will incorporate topics for both personal and professional development as well as community engagement. The series, which began in August, runs through November and features two sessions each month. Session topics will include community change, effective communication and best leadership practices.

The Virtual Leadership Lecture Series will be made available to all leadership program alumni as well as the 2020 LLDP applicants, she added.

“This is an opportunity for applicants to join the series and get a glimpse of what we offer within the leadership development programs, while giving our leadership development program alumni and leadership donors an opportunity for continued learning,” said Aguiler.

The Latino Leadership Development Program is a 48-hour training program offered by United Way to help Latinos develop effective leadership skills to apply to their professional or volunteer pursuits. Participants learn about such effective communication strategies as decision-making and conflict resolution. The program consists of six classroom sessions and a mandatory follow-up session.

Recent graduates include Jacob Santos, marketing and events coordinator for Ibero-American Action League, who completed the program in 2019.

“LLDP provides an enormous resource for anyone, since the program focuses on developing your own character and being able to gain professional connections with leaders in the community,” said Santos.

Requirements for LLDP candidates consist of an application, resume and interview in order to be considered, in addition to a program participation fee. Applications are accepted in the spring, with graduation held in the fall; however, the program has been postponed until 2021.

In addition to the LLDP, the Círculo Latino Leadership series was developed by Untied Way to give graduates of the program an opportunity to engage in numerous workshops, book discussions and networking opportunities. Workshop topics are chosen based on alumni interest and professional needs and include such themes as artificial intelligence, emotional intelligence, strategic planning and self-awareness.

The first session, Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on your Workplace, took place Feb. 25 at the American Red Cross in Rochester. In attendance were members from such community organizations as Ibero, Latinas Unidas and Rochester Works, as well as the Rochester City School District and RG&E.

“It was eye opening. I had not thought about artificial intelligence in that way before,” said Ivette Torres, lead public affairs analyst for RG&E.

She added that she chooses to embrace the learning opportunity the workshops provide because it is important to continue to learn, especially when it can be helpful in the future. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the second session of the series, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, was hosted via Zoom May 27 prior to the remainder of the series being cancelled.

Following consultation with the leadership development program steering committees, the collective decision was made to host a Virtual Leadership Lecture Series for both groups, Aguiler said.

Leadership Lecture sessions are scheduled for the following dates in September and October:

• Thursday, Sept. 17 — Community Change Part 2: Lead From Where You Are with speakers Lomax Campbell, Danette Campbell-Bell and Henry Padron; 2 to 3 p.m.

• Thursday, Sept. 24— Effective Communication with speaker Julio Saenz; 2 to 3 p.m.

• Thursday, Oct. 8 — United Way & Community Impact; 2 to 3 p.m.

• Thursday, Oct. 22 — Structural Racism Part 1: RMAPI Guiding Principals with speakers Aqua Porter and Loriane Ngarambe; 2 to 3 p.m.

To register, visit uwrochester.org/events. For questions, contact Paula Aguiler at paula.aguilera@uwrochester.org.

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