We Live Here Auténtico! | Suzanne Sierra| The Consummate Connector, Storyteller, Collaborator
[WLHA 010]: We Live Here Auténtico! | Suzanne Sierra| The Consummate Connector, Storyteller, Collaborator
Today’s guest, Suzanne Sierra is the consummate connector, storyteller and collaborator. Her evolving career path and search for purpose led her to the St. Louis Mosaic Project. She is Senior Program Manager and leads key programs with major stakeholders including corporations, universities, ethnic communities and multicultural innovation initiatives. Through her work, Suzanne goes all-out to promote regional prosperity and to transform St. Louis into the fastest growing metropolitan area for immigrants by the year 2025.
Suzanne’s personal immigration story fuels her passion to create change. She is the proud daughter of immigrants from Colombia, South America, and she is bilingual. Her parents moved to the U.S. so her father could practice medicine. Her dad landed a job at a clinic in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Suzanne and her siblings were born. Soon after, they moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin, a small town on the western edge of the state bordering Minnesota.
Her story is one that reveals an identity crisis. She grew up in what she likes to call a “lily white” community where she was immediately pegged as different. Though it pains her to share today, she was embarrassed of her parents as kids would make fun of their heavy accent. There was a meanness that prompted her not to speak Spanish, ironically her first language. When traveling to Columbia each year for the holidays, she felt out of place and self-conscious about speaking Spanish. She was the “gringa” and found it difficult to find where she fit in.
Suzanne brings compassion and empathy to her work in the community because she has the lived experience of being and feeling “other”. She understands the immigrant story and brings her experiences, language and knowledge to the table.
In this episode you’ll discover:
· Why there is a need for a grassroots approach and focus on language access in our community
· How we lose people when they need services and don't know that they're available
· The necessity of access to information
· The importance of providing information to foreign born people in their native language
Connect with Suzanne Sierra
Website: Sierrapublicrelations.com a small, St. Louis-based PR Firm delivering boutique communication services, in English and Spanish.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of “We Live Here Autentico”. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering more ways to “WE” for you each week!