Category Archives: Latinas

Latina Leaders: On a mission to increase Hispanic presence in our national parks

NBC Latino

Midy Aponte has one mission – ensuring that Latinos are an integral part of America’s national parks and historic sites. She was appointed as the Founding Executive Director of the American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation in the Fall of 2011.

Established by former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, the mission of the American Latino Heritage Fund is to assist the National Park Service, and communities across the country, to ensure that our national parks and historic sites preserve, reflect and engage the diverse stories and communities of American Latinos throughout American History and for future generations.

For the past two years, Aponte has been spearheading the Fund’s strategic direction and overseen management of programs and development to establish the Fund’s national presence.

Speaking about Salazar, Aponte says, “He saw an opportunity to make a change that is going to have a lasting legacy, not only for him…

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Explaining health care law to mixed-status families, young people

NBC Latino

In Kern County, California, the Community Health Initiative aims to educate Latinos on the new health care exchanges by partnering with various family resource centers where community members are already seeking help. The organization trains Certified Enrollment Counselors to help families through the application process by explaining their options and gathering required documentation. They also hope to address any confusion regarding the new law and prepare for any possible scams.

“There are always people who seek to take advantage of our community. It’s definitely something that we intend to tackle,” says Edgar Aguilar, program manager. He stresses that those seeking to enroll should know that they should never be charged any fee for assistance and that enrollment counselors are not allowed to ask for any financial information, such as credit card numbers or bank numbers,

Aguilar says that another challenge is educating mixed-status families. “A big fear is something called…

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Senate confirms first openly gay Latina judge to federal court

NBC Latino

The U.S. Senate confirmed on Thursday the first ever openly gay Latina to the federal judiciary.

Nitza Quiñones Alejandro was nominated by President Obama to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Senate confirmed her nomination by voice vote.

This is not the first time the Latina judge has broken barriers. She was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas when she was appointed in 1991. She was previously a lawyer in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and an attorney adviser for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Human Rights Campaign spokesman Paul Guequierre commended the Senate for confirming Quiñones Alejandro.

“We are very pleased to see yet another highly qualified, openly-LGBT nominee appointed to the bench. These sorts of appointments should be based on merit which in this situation is the case,” Guequierre says.

Senators Pat Toomey…

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Cafecito: Michelle Rodriguez on “Fast & Furious 6” and remaining fearless

NBC Latino

On this episode of Cafecito, we are joined by Fast & Furious 6 star Michelle Rodriguez . The proud puertorriqueña-dominicana actress joined us at the Hearst Tower as Cosmopolitan for Latinas honored her as the Fun Fearless Latina of the Year.  Michelle discusses her humble beginnings, her fight training for the character “Letty” and why she believes it’s time for women to thrive in media. Be sure to watch for the conclusion of our interview with Michelle as she discusses her dating life, upcoming films and advice for young women.

Credits:

Feliciano Garcia – Producer/Host

Mike Tomczyk – Editor/Camera

Kevin Fusco – Editor/Camera

Steven Diaz – Camera

Elia Sliba – Camera

Javier Garcia – Asst. Editor

Beats by Z Muzik for Humbled Soul Productions

Special Thanks to Peddy – Yuval Pery  and  Dennis Degan

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When I hear Lations say they’re Republican

Fuck you Hollywood

The media is always trying to bank on whatever fills their pockets with money. Back in “the good old days” people of color were not allowed in the media. Latinos had to change their names and appearance to more “standard” and “appealing” looks like Rita Hayworth. Let’s not forget about Blackface. Today, not much has changed. If a person of color is portrayed on TV we can only fill certain roles. Unless, we are racially ambiguous like Jessica Alba, or look primarily, well how can I say this, WHITE, like Sara Paxton. And even then we don’t get leading lady roles. Not much has changed since the days of Blackface.

Why don’t I want to be a Hollywood actress or TV star?

1. Do I want to play a “chola”?

Why can’t I play the voice of my generation? Oh wait that’s already been taken.

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That’s right, Hollywood thinks the audience understands me better as this

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2. I definitely don’t want to play the single working class mother/ a corrupt man’s baby momma.

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Why can’t I just be a fun loving baby momma?

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3. Do I want to play a sexy single mom who’s married to a much older white man?

4. No. I don’t want to be a maid!

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Why can’t I play a woman president?
Shit! I’ll even take the vice presidency.

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Oh yes I forgot, I’m a few shades too dark.

5. I don’t want to be the aggressive woman

Why can’t I be a scared bystander?

6. I don’t want to be an extremely sexual character.

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I’d rather do this

7. I don’t want to have to fake an accent.

8. Do I want to play an illegal alien?

9. I don’t want to be the white hero’s aggressor.

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All I have to say is:

Right?

10. Do I want to play a drug trafficker or his wife?

11. “Latin Lover”?

12. Why the fuck do I have to be the villain?

I want to play the  funny person who everyone adores

But I guess I’m not an adoring white man.

13. No. I don’t want to play an ex prison inmate, or a prison inmate at that!

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Fuck that! I won’t!

14. No. I don’t want to be a sexy dancer.

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Why can’t I be the heroine?

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I hope that every person reading this is like:

This post was inspired by a quote from one of my favorite comedians Margaret Cho.
” I love me some period films! And I know that I will never be in them. I will never be in any of these movies, unless I am laying down on my side smoking some opium. And I get offered movie roles all the time, but I say, “No! No! I don’t want to play a manicurist. I don’t want to play a really pissed-off liquor store owner. I don’t want to go nowhere with a chicken under my arm. I don’t want to play an exceptionally good student, I do not want to get off a tour bus and take numerous photographs, I do not ever want to utter the phrase, ‘Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond’! I don’t want to write down all my memoirs about being a geisha!”

You’re the best!

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Latinas: It’s time to give ourselves some credit!

Latinas are making things happen.  Despite strong traditional gender norms and expectations Latinas are putting themselves and the Latino community on the map.  Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that by 2020 the rate of Latinas in the workforce will increase to 56.1 %.  Economic empowerment is necessary in order for women to lead independent lives.  Latinas are outnumbering Latino males in higher education. With our growing participation in higher education and in the labor force we can expect to see higher incomes and greater participation in professional fields by Latinas. We still have to work hard to overcome systemic racism, poverty, and cultural gender expectations, but the fact that we are willing to fight against these social barriers without compromising our cultural heritage and individuality is praise worthy. We are gaining momentum and from now on there is no stopping it. On March 8, 2013 the organization Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) unveiled The Economic Status of Latinas Report. Not only does this report give information about Latinas in the U.S., it also highlights positive findings about Latina women, putting special focus on Latinas in California. The findings of this report and other studies on the Latina population show the progress that we are making in our lives and communities. Today, we can proudly proclaim to be an unquestionable force in America.

Latina numbers are growing in higher education

Although the numbers of Latinas in public schools do not translate into the same number of Latinas who enter four year universities, there are now more Latinas enrolling in college than before. This is a step forward.  Many would like to argue that our culture has a large impact on the lack of enrollment in institutes of higher education, but the fact is that our socioeconomic status and school systems play a greater role. The fact that we are attending four year universities more than before is indicative of the progressive changes we are willing make for ourselves, our communities and the country.  Pursuing higher education is only a positive gain for us and our community. With growing numbers of Latino males and females pursuing higher education we are creating a positive trend in our communities which can positively influence and inform future generations of Latinos who previously did not have access to a support system or mentors to help them navigate through the college and financial aid application process. 

What we have to address: Many young Latinos attend public schools where test scores are more important than preparing students to attend college.  Latinas who are the most affected by the recession are ones with low education.  Our school system is failing us. There is no reason why public schools should prepare some students better than others for college.  As citizens of the U.S. we should be afforded quality public education and be prepared for high income earning careers. 

Latinas play an important role in the economic sector

Latinas are entrepreneurs and our businesses have a great success rate.  Before the current recession Latina owned businesses in California generated $13 billion in sales and employed over 700,000 workers.  By 2020 our increasing numbers in the workforce combined with our growing numbers in higher education should positively impact the economic sector of the U.S. 

What we have to address: the fact that Latina women especially in California earn 42 cents for every dollar earned by a white male.  If we work as much as another person and if we meet the demands of our contracts then there should be no reason why we are earning 42 cents to another person’s dollar. We must demand equal pay for equal work and endorse elected officials who support such measures. 

Latinas are part of the changing demographic of the U.S political sector

In the history of the United States the last election saw a larger amount of women elected to government positions.  Latinas were no exception. Our numbers as elected officials are growing.  According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), 5,850 Latinos currently serve as elected officials in the U.S. in all levels of government. 9 Latinos serve in state wide offices, including the Office of the Governor.  Let’s not forget that a proud Latina, Sonia Sotomayor, serves as a Supreme Court Justice.

Let’s give ourselves some credit because,

“[i]n 1996, Latino elected officials served in 34 states; by 2010, that number had
increased to 43. Between 1996 and 2010, the number of Latina elected officials
grew faster than the number of male Latino officials the number of Latinas
increased by 105%, compared to 37% for male Latinos.  As a result, the Latina
share of all Latino elected officials grew from 24% in 1996 to 32% in 2010” (NALEO).

Also, our numbers as voters matter. Total numbers of Latino voters have been increasing.  The fact is that most of the Latino population is not of voting age yet, it is up to our generation to influence our younger generations to be active in the political arena.  If the last presidential election demonstrated anything, it is that we are an electoral power. There is no reason to stop now. 

What we need to address:  The numbers are still not representative of our population. Our community needs more political involvement. Our voices do matter. It’s time we begin to represent ourselves politically and our population numbers should reflect our representation in government. Let’s get involved in taking office either locally, nationally or internationally. Let’s vote! More importantly, let’s motivate and educate younger Latino/a generations about the importance of civic participation.

Let’s be the generation that leads the Latino community to reach its full potential.  Latinas are an emerging powerhouse. Our multicultural perspectives can enlighten U.S. policies both domestically and internationally.  Let’s change the negative perceptions that for so long have been used as a scapegoat for politicians who are not worried about investing in our communities.  Let’s strive for fair representation in our government and equal opportunities both in the economic and in the educational sector.  Let’s stop giving fuel to racist and prejudiced allegations against our Hispanic culture and get involved. The numbers don’t lie. Latinas are making a name for themselves. We are not the kind of women who wait for things to change; we are taking charge of our lives and making this happen, not only for ourselves and our communities, but for our country as well. We are no longer sitting on the side lines. We  are the movers and shakers of this generation and for many to come. Let’s give credit where credit is due.  

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Mami real talk: Financial literacy for Latinas is a must

NBC Latino

As a child, I don’t remember having a conversation with either of my parents about finances.  The handful of lessons came from watching my parents.  I was seven when they bought our first home for $80,000.  It was a very modest two-bedroom on a small acreage.  I know my father wanted something he could pay off in a few years.  He wasn’t a fan of owing money for a long period of time.  I also remember him putting a huge down payment on a Custom Craft van for our annual road trips and paying it off quickly.  I got the message loud and clear; mortgages are not good.  I don’t know if his motivations were financial independence or lack of trust in any institution that had his money.  A very poignant message was conveyed one year before Christmas when my mother used the one family credit card to fill the…

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[VIDEO] HBO Latino’s “Habla Women” captures the real stories of Latinas

NBC Latino

If you ever craved an intimate conversation with Olympic boxer Marlen Esparza, to find out what she had to sacrifice to achieve her dream, or understand what it was like to be 100 percent open about your sexuality and hear the details from former porn star Vanessa del Rio, HBO Latino’s “Habla Women,” will give you that up-close experience.

Sixteen faces of exceptional everyday Latinas and two Latinos are featured telling some of their most personal stories in this 58-minute documentary, which will air on April 18, including some well-known faces: Food Network chef Daisy Martinez, comedian Rosemery Almonte, and poet and activist Caridad de la Luz “La Bruja.”

“This is something we couldn’t do without Latinas,” says the director of the award-winning 10-year-old HBO Latino “Habla” series, Alberto Ferreras. “Being a guy, I was amazed at how moved I was…We really wanted to give women the…

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