Elevating Native and Indigenous voices by means of 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 rejoice the tradition, traditions, historical past and honor the contributions of our nation’s first folks. I’m impressed by my tradition, the Native/Indigenous neighborhood, and the perseverance of my household, and I’m grateful for many 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 folks.

People wearing masks while volunteering
Alice is keen 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 corporation. 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 donate right here.

I’m proud to work at Cisco and to interrupt by means of most of the challenges that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and folks of colour) girls face within the tech business. My journey in tech began a few years in the past as an Government Assistant for a Fortune 500 monetary establishment. In that function, I began to assist the Info Safety Workplace and realized that I take pleasure in solution-focused work. This led me to work for a number of giant tech corporations, touring to numerous international locations throughout the globe.

I joined Cisco in 2018 supporting compliance certifications, and finally grew to become an Audit Lead for Cisco’s largest clients. Throughout this time I used to be additionally nominated for the Glorious Efficiency Award by a Senior Director. I transitioned to Cisco Meraki to assist with standardized safety and assurance certifications. At present, 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 keen about co-leading the Native American Community (NAN), one in every of Cisco’s Inclusive Communities, as we elevate Native/Indigenous voices. I rapidly realized about Cisco’s dedication to full-spectrum variety and inclusion by means of worker communities that allow engagement, optimistic impression, and giving again. That is the primary firm I’ve labored for to supply such wonderful assist 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 study Native cultures. And we obtain this by means of our 5 pillars — Group, Join, Skilled Growth, 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 by means of our inner website.

Now we have hosted many occasions equivalent 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 set up a guide membership that options Native authors. We additionally shared an insightful speak with filmmaker Willow O’Feral, documentarian Brad Heck, and artist Gregg Deal.

Listed here are some concepts on become involved throughout Native American Heritage Month (and all 12 months!):

  • Study 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 an organization that fosters an surroundings the place traditionally underrepresented girls could be profitable, and I’m pleased with the dedication Cisco has made to Native/Indigenous communities, to pay attention, 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 attainable.

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



Leave a Reply