Katie Castro

Membership Services Director at the Builders' Association

Where were you born and raised?
Born in Kansas City, MO and raised in Kansas City, KS.

What is your family heritage?
Hispanic/Latina heritage.

What is your occupation?
I am the Membership Services Director at the Builders' Association.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Hispanic/Latinx community?
I have been a mentor for 3 years to a young Latina and offer support when I can to others. I strive to make an impact while bringing people with me, and being a connector it's a win for our community. I continue to support and work with organizations that create access and opportunities for others. I join committees and serve as a board of director as well as volunteer with my 4 sons at local nonprofit organizations and provide monetary donations.

How do you connect with your Hispanic/Latinx culture?
Hispanic traditions that I grew up with I have made it a point to pass that on to my 4 sons in hopes of them carrying those same traditions to their family. Along with celebrating holidays that are not celebrated in the US. And ongoing education of our Hispanic Culture, such as the importance of making the effort to spend time with family, the elders especially it's part of our culture that most outsiders don't understand and take for granted.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is of making tamales the week before Christmas at my grandma's house with my aunts, uncle, and cousins. We would start early in the morning and end late in the afternoon but it was worth it, learning from the elders and growing a closer bond with my cousins while laughing and smiling, it's those moments I look back at cherish the most. It's a tradition we grew up doing and now the smell of tamales takes me back to that memory.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
It's a special and meaningful time to be grateful for who I am, my family and reflect on who I became because of my close knit family, our community, our culture and the traditions. It's a time to celebrate our Hispanic culture and ancestors who fought for who we are and the opportunities we have today, I use this opportunity to share the beauty of our culture and connect others with our heritage to uplift our community.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the Hispanic/Latinx community?
For me, an important issue that I continue to hear about in the Hispanic community is the lack of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive opportunities. Wanting to be invited in the room/a seat at the table but not because of the color of your skin but because of what you offer personally and/or professionally and once you are in the room and seated at the table are you being heard? Do you have the confidence to not only have a voice that is being heard but will it be taken seriously? Is it a safe and welcoming environment?

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