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Elevating Native and Indigenous voices via Cisco’s Native American Community


This weblog was written by Alice Sanchez, a CPX Software program Architect and Co-World Lead of Cisco’s Native American Community (NAN).

November is Native American Heritage Month — on this month we are able to all come collectively to have fun the tradition, traditions, historical past and honor the contributions of our nation’s first individuals. I’m impressed by my tradition, the Native/Indigenous neighborhood, and the perseverance of my household, and I’m grateful for individuals who paved the way in which for me to have the alternatives I’ve had in my profession. I’m Pomo, Hawaiian, and Choctaw, and my household and neighborhood have been impacted by systemic insurance policies meant to eradicate our very existence; that’s the actuality of my individuals.

People wearing masks while volunteering
Alice is enthusiastic about giving again to her neighborhood.

I’m an enormous advocate for my native neighborhood right here in Oakland, California.  I function a board member for the Intertribal Friendship Home, the place I spend most of my time exterior of labor volunteering, delivering meals to elders and needy households, serving meals at drum and dance, the elders luncheons, working the sales space on the Pink Market, organizing turkey donations, Christmas donations and a lot extra. To me Intertribal Friendship Home is greater than a company. It’s the coronary heart of a vibrant Tribal neighborhood. My grandmother who I used to be named after was one of many co-founders again within the 1940’s and I’m persevering with her legacy. Cisco staff can discover data on find out how to donate right here.

I’m proud to work at Cisco and to interrupt via most of the challenges that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and folks of coloration) girls face within the tech business. My journey in tech began a few years in the past as an Govt Assistant for a Fortune 500 monetary establishment. In that position, I began to help the Data Safety Workplace and discovered that I take pleasure in solution-focused work. This led me to work for a number of massive tech firms, touring to varied international locations throughout the globe.

I joined Cisco in 2018 supporting compliance certifications, and finally turned an Audit Lead for Cisco’s largest clients. Throughout this time I used to be additionally nominated for the Wonderful Efficiency Award by a Senior Director. I transitioned to Cisco Meraki to assist with standardized safety and assurance certifications. At the moment, I’m working in Buyer & Companion Expertise as a Compliance Engineering Architect. Whereas right here I used to be acknowledged by my management to take part in Administration Management for Tomorrow (MLT) Profession Development Program, an initiative that prepares extremely gifted, mid-career professionals for senior management roles.

Cisco’s Native American Community (NAN)

A woman standing next to a Neon We Are Cisco sign
Alice Sanchez, a CPX Software program Architect and Co-World Lead of Cisco’s Native American Community (NAN).

I’m very enthusiastic about co-leading the Native American Community (NAN), certainly one of Cisco’s Inclusive Communities, as we elevate Native/Indigenous voices. I rapidly discovered about Cisco’s dedication to full-spectrum variety and inclusion via worker communities that allow engagement, optimistic influence, and giving again. That is the primary firm I’ve labored for to supply such superb help and studying alternatives for workers.

NAN is a Native American inclusive neighborhood devoted to rising and empowering Native/Indigenous views at Cisco and past. We increase consciousness inside Cisco (Native and non-Native) on tribal points, social justice, occasions, and offering boards to find out about Native cultures. And we obtain this via our 5 pillars — Neighborhood, Join, Skilled Improvement, Social Justice, and Expertise Acquisition. We’re open membership and welcome all allies and supporters, Native or Non-Native, and Cisco staff are welcome to affix our community via our inner web site.

We have now hosted many occasions comparable to our dialogue on “Columbus vs Indigenous Peoples Day” and a cultural appreciation collection that highlights Indigenous cooking, beading, and language preservation. We increase consciousness of Lacking & Murdered Indigenous Girls (MMIW), and we manage a ebook membership that options Native authors. We additionally shared an insightful speak with filmmaker Willow O’Feral, documentarian Brad Heck, and artist Gregg Deal.

Listed below are some concepts on find out how to become involved throughout Native American Heritage Month (and all yr!):

  • Be taught concerning the Native tribes in your space
  • Take a look at Native American museums and cultural facilities
  • Take a deeper dive with Native American heritage websites
  • Learn books by or about Native People, Alaska Natives, or Native Hawaiians
  • Join with the land
  • Study conventional Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian music and devices
  • Pattern genuine Native American meals
  • Attend a powwow

I’m very honored to work for a corporation that fosters an surroundings the place traditionally underrepresented girls will be profitable, and I’m pleased with the dedication Cisco has made to Native/Indigenous communities, to hear, study and elevate our voices. In partnership with a few of our greatest clients, Cisco is devoted to making sure state-of-the-art broadband networks are deployed by as many acknowledged Native American Tribes as potential.

Right here, I’m inspired to be a powerful, assured, Native Girl. Thanks, Cisco!

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