Orange County Human Rights Commission Executive Director Inaudy Esposito immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was a child with her family. They came in search of the American dream and although moving to a new country was difficult for them, they remained true to their culture and heritage while embracing their new home.
“I remember my parents not wanting us to ever lose that right? Never to lose our values. They didn't want us to lose our culture, everything from the music to the food, but the things we believe, you know, traditions that we held, like celebrating Three Kings day. Those are things that my parents didn't want us to lose. So, I always remember feeling like we had a little bit of both, it was like the best of both worlds,” said Esposito.
As a proud Dominican-American, Esposito brings that strength into her work to advocate for others. Lending her voice and expertise to issues like social justice, diversity and inclusion, domestic violence, and sexual assault -- just to name a few. By sharing her story as an immigrant and a person of color, she believes she can help people understand the struggles that marginalized communities are facing.
“I am trying to plant seeds and help folks understand the struggles. I'm trying to help people understand systematic racism. I'm trying to teach, you know, the importance of inclusion. And what does that look like? There's a lot of storytelling through that, there's a lot of sharing, and not always in my part, but in my audience, you know, the incredible people that attend my my trainings, feel comfortable with saying, This is what has happened to me. And through people sharing the things that they've experienced and others, whether it's their colleagues, their friends, their community members, you know, they learn from each other,” says Esposito.
She hopes by people seeing the contributions she is making to her community and that Hispanics across the country are doing it will show them how beneficial it is to have a diverse community.
To me, it feels more important to celebrate them. More important to stand up with, you know, my brothers and sisters, and be proud with them because we've accomplished a lot and the rhetoric has been so negative about immigrants. And it's so important that, you know, we show how much we matter in our community at all levels,” says Esposito.
Esposito will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this year by continuing to expose her children to different Hispanic and Latino cultures.