Hispanic Heritage Month – Profiles
Simoné Delerme Harris
Counsel, Gateway Health
Tell us about your heritage.
My father is Puerto Rican. My paternal grandparents moved to a very small town in central Pennsylvania in the 1950s. As you can imagine, they were the only Hispanic family in town and probably the only Hispanic family in over 50 miles. While raising nine children in central Pennsylvania, my grandparents managed to instill Puerto Rican traditions and pride which was passed to my generation.
How do you like to celebrate your Latinx heritage?
Lots of good food and music with my Abuelos (grandparents), Titis (aunts), Tios (uncles), and cousins. We always have a great time together.
What movie, TV show or book would you recommend to someone who wants to be a better ally to Hispanic people?
One Day At A Time – a comedy-drama that follows the life of newly single Army veteran mother and her Cuban-American family. This show stars legend Rita Moreno and Justina Machado. The short episodes are usually light hearted, but can sneak up on you with some emotional moments.
Gentefied – another comedy drama that follows three cousins who are chasing the American dream. This just got renewed for season two and I can’t wait to watch the next season.
Do you have any suggestions for people who would like to travel to Latin America?
Try all the food, dance, and meet new people! My favorite place to visit is Puerto Rico, but I have traveled to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Saint Martin. Puerto Rico is an island that has something for everyone: a large city with great shopping and restaurants, beautiful beaches, rainforests, relaxing countryside, and so much more. I love visiting different areas of Latin America to see the similarities and differences in each culture. They are all unique and so beautiful. I hope to get to many more in the future with Colombia at the top of my list right now.
What advice would you give to a young Hispanic lawyer just starting out in their career?
Create a community by joining a variety of groups that interest you and support you to learn and grow. I joined Hispanic and Latino organizations when I arrived in Pittsburgh and it was a great way to meet people from similar backgrounds in a new city.
What advice would you give legal employers about what they can do to make workplaces welcoming and supportive for Hispanic lawyers?
Focus on retention. Hiring is the first step, but creating a supportive workplace for Hispanic lawyers is an ongoing effort that requires the support of everyone in the organization.