173 - Maria Solis Belizaire "In Order to Create Change, We Have to Work Together for it"
Maria Solis Belizaire is a powerhouse with a vision. In her early 30s, she found the life-altering power of running and wanted to share it with other people from her community. The problem is that she couldn't find them! She knew some Latinos who run, but they definitely didn't attend races in substantial numbers. And when she talked to people in her community, she realized that there was a preconception that Latinos are fat, lazy, don't like to exercise, and were definitely not runners. The power of visibility is so important. Until you see someone who looks like you doing an activity, you may not realize that you can do it too. In 2016, she started Latinos Run (and now also Latinas Run) to bring awareness to the sport and to show Latinos that running can change their lives for the better. She's been on a mission ever since. Today we talk about: Running: how she found the sport Racial disparity in running Latinos Run & Latinas Run: the genesis of these organizations Her family: how important family is to her Racism: With a mixed race background - her dad is Belizean/Mexican and her mom is Puerto Rican - she has darker skin than her siblings and experienced racism even within her own community Her advice: how companies can show more representation and invest in more diverse communities Visibility: the power of seeing people who look like you doing activities Her magnetic appeal (especially to older white men!) Her mindset in three chapters: 14-15 years old, 30 years old, now Check out her TedX talk here!