Being a feminist and a woman of color can come with its own set of obstacles.
That’s why many Latinas have made it a point to discuss these challenges and personal experiences through individual blogs. In their own words, these bloggers have described what it’s like to be a feminist within a culture that can be extremely male-centric, sometimes misconstrues feminism and seemingly remains steadfast in keeping traditional gender roles in place. But Latinas also face more universal challenges, which align with what many women around the world fighting for gender equality also experience.
Keeping in mind that it can be enlightening to read the specific and not-so-specific struggles many women of color face, here are nine powerful blogs written by Latinas that seek to empower women everywhere.
Read the 9 blogs at HuffPost Latino Voices.
To start off our show about abuelos (grandparents), we talked to Puerto Rican actress Ivonne Coll. She’s played the Latina grandma on three successful television shows, Fox’s Glee, ABC Family’s Switched At Birth, and currently on the CW’s Jane The Virgin. The abuelas she plays are very different from each other. But the surprising thing is that Coll is not a grandmother herself. So how does she go about portraying a Latina grandma?
People’s Choice Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Ivonne Coll is a theater, television, and film actress from Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Her film debut as “Redheaded Yolanda” in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather II helped her discover her passion for acting, becoming one of the first Latina actresses to cross over and work consistently in Hollywood. Coll is currently starring as a series regular on Jane The Virgin on the CW.
Featured image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images
When Elaine Rivera succumbed to cirrhosis, her friends were shocked. Her story proves that alcoholism can hide in plain sight. Journalist Rose Arce dug into the circumstances surrounding her friend’s death, learning about the high rates of alcoholism among Latinos and trying to understand how Elaine became a victim of a trend she had railed against.
If you need help with alcohol addiction, you can visit the following websites:
Photo by Josef Pinlac
Rose Arce is a Pulitzer and Emmy award winning journalist who has devoted much of her career to advocating on behalf of diversity in the media. She has worked at Newsday, the NY Daily News, CBS News and CNN. She is currently Executive Producer of Starfish Media Group, an independent media production company founded by Soledad O’Brien.
What happens if you don’t hold a Latina back? If she never hears “You can’t do that!” You might get someone like Michelle Gomez.
She’s a skip tracer – she finds people and things who have “skipped” town. Gomez uses public records, online databases, and some old-fashion sleuthing down. And she only takes cases others have been unable to crack. “I’ve always been intrigued by putting things together without instruction, I’ve always put things together easily,” says Gomez, “and I guess I’m special, God gave me a gift.”
Photo courtesy of Flickr user cantroot
Michelle Gomez is a professional Skip tracer is the owner of Unlimited Recoveries. Gomez specializes in “hard-to-locate” aka cold cases – she prefers cases others can’t solve. Similar to a motherboard when it goes dead, she has to figure out out what needs to be repaired or soldered to fix it. Gomez, states, “cold cases are the same; patience, strategy, skills and good intuition”. She enjoys helping others when they need closure on a case that has been forgotten by others.
Worker cooperatives are sprouting up all across the country. In Brooklyn, one co-op is filling an important need: helping the almost entirely immigrant Latina members take ownership of their jobs. Bruce Wallace visited the co-op to find out how it works and how it’s changing the lives of the women who run it.
Bruce Wallace is a freelance journalist and multimedia producer with particular interest in international, human rights, religion, and arts-and-culture reporting. He has contributed to PRI’s The World, Radio Diaries, All Things Considered, Marketplace Morning Report, The New York Times Magazine, Al Jazeera America, and The Washington Post, among others.
Out of all the Fortune 1000 companies in the country, only 46 have CEOs who are women. Not one is Latina. Of course, Latinas face a lot of the same barriers in the corporate world that all women do. But there may be aspects of Latino culture that make it even harder to reach the top spot. For example – dealing with judgmental in-laws who don’t approve of women spending so much time out of the home, or internalizing the subtle codes of machismo that make it difficult for some Latina women to voice their opinions to male colleagues.
To help address these cultural issues, Josy Laza Gallagher – a Cuban-American and former Hewlett-Packard executive – got together with a few friends and started a network for Latina executives called Madrinas, Spanish for “Godmothers.” Marielle Segarra reports.
Marielle Segarra is a freelance radio reporter and an editor at CFO, a corporate finance magazine in New York. She’s also a former intern for WBUR in Boston and WRNI in Providence. She especially likes to tell stories about business, culture, public policy, and the economy. Marielle studied nonfiction writing at Brown and graduated in 2010. She grew up in Levittown, New York, home of Billy Joel and the suburb.
Two genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer as much as 80%. Researchers say the genes have been found in one in four Latina cancer patients under 40 years old in the U.S. Nova Safo reports on some new genetic research into breast cancer and Latinas that has links with Europe.
Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Nova Safo.
Nova Safo is a Los Angeles-based reporter who covers a wide variety of topics ranging from the Hollywood entertainment industry, to visual arts, culture, politics, policy, health, science, the future of energy, economics, and the occasional massive wildfire.
His reporting has been heard on NPR’s various newsmagazines and other public radio programs, and published online by Yahoo! News and others. He is the recipient of Hearst journalism awards for radio reporting, as well as an NLGJA/RTNDA award for excellence in online journalism.