According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM-related jobs will grow to more than 9 million by 2022. While women and minorities have been traditionally underrepresented in this field, there is a growing sense of urgency to increase their numbers in the STEM workforce. With Latinas completing college at almost twice the rate than their male counterparts, Hispanic women are poised to tap the jobs opportunity by considering STEM-related careers in a wide variety of sectors including the automotive industry.
In an interview with three outstanding Latina engineers at General Motors who have been recognized as Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers (YHCA) by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) for their passion in engineering, corporate leadership and community involvement share their experiences and advice.
There is no doubt that Latinas have what it takes to excel in STEM careers and pursue the many opportunities corporate America has to offer. Imelda, Nydia and Diana are serving as an inspiration for young Latinas that desire to join the corporate world and build promising careers in global companies, such as General Motors. They started with a goal and determination to succeed, and are now living examples that the dream is possible. Sí se puede!
You know me as a creative through this blog. You see my perspective through my photography and words. I am eternally searching and collecting the beauty I discover around me. As readers you get a taste of my activism when I write a feminist post but what you may not know is that every single day I do something to fight oppression and inequality. It might be contributing or curating content for Latino Rebels, writing essays, shedding light on issues which need to be debated or addressed, journalistic writing, etc. This blog which brings me so much joy is what balances that work because it can be emotionally draining dealing with heavy topics for prolonged periods of time.
It is also hard because there are no safe spaces online so I’m subject to trolls and unsubstantiated criticisms. I have to find ways to deal with that. Sometimes it’s easy while some days not so much. This is why I have to be picky about what I will engage in. And on the other end of the spectrum, my blog brings me endless joy.
My blog posts are purposefully empowering in a positive way. I take my time creating and editing photographs until I am satisfied. I edit my writing style to share important information in and uplifting and positive way. I want my readers to feel inspired and empowered with information. There are also posts where I simply want to share something absolutely beautiful I’ve come across. Something so precious I have to document and share with you here. This is a safe space for all to enjoy.
I’m participating in a blogging challenge from the talented tech guru Vicky Ayala because I love everything she does and she is a fountain of tech information. I write everyday but don’t blog everyday and this challenge would certainly motivate me to do more. I say that’s a win win. Since I’m rebellious I’ve combined the first two assignments which are to come up with a descriptive acronym which was pretty easy. And second to make a confession which never is easy.
R – Rebellious
I am naturally rebellious and question everything. I find myself instinctively doing the opposite of what is required of me. This is what makes me good at journalism since I enjoy research and making sure I have accurate sources. I also enjoy debating.
E – Eternally Creative
If I go too much time without writing I start to feel bad. Sometimes it can make me physically ill. I must have a creative outlet to express my thoughts and feelings.
B – Beauty
I use Bella Vida by Letty to remind me to focus on the beauty life has to offer. It recharges me when I’m down or tired. It nourishes me and gives me fortitude to do the work that needs to be done. It is the lightning of an aha moment. This is what I wish to share with the world.
E – Extraordinary
I’m always in search of the extraordinary in the perceived ordinary by seeing things from a different point of view.
L – Letty
Each day I strive to be authentically me.
Have you ever tried with coming up with your own acronym? If you had to what would it be?
International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s. It’s a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Throughout the day there are many events going on around the world. My contribution is a roundup of inspiring quotes by Latinas.
The world is full of strong brilliant women who have had to overcome. Their stories are not found in history books. The voices which have been marginalized in mainstream media are the ones I chose to highlight in this space.
While many milestones have been achieved the reality is women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, are not present in equal numbers in business or politics. On a global level women’s education, health and violence against them is worse than that of men. This is unacceptable. Let us be inspired to continue striving for equality because we deserve it, out daughters deserve it and the whole world needs it to happen.
What are some of your favorite quotes from strong women?
Please share the quotes that inspire you because it is sure to inspire others and ignite change.
My life is truly an adventure. I never know what weird interesting things I’ll see or the cool people I’ll meet whenever I venture out of my house. This year the Hispancize Conference added an extra day dedicated to art. You know I was not going to miss out on anything art related. Especially when it took place at one of my favorite places, Wynwood. Noche de Diseño was sponsored by Sherwin Williams featuring Sonia Velasquez host of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Latin America. We were not told ahead of time which galleries we would be stopping at but I was incredibly elated to visit the Zadok Gallery where the semi retired legend, Bernice Steinbaum, serves as curator.
Bernice Steinbaum is a legend because from the beginning of her career as gallery owner in the mid 80’s she has focused on showcasing women artists as well as artists of color. If people like BS didn’t do so, these artists would have no other way of getting discovered. The night I visited the gallery she mentioned being an original Guerilla Girl who are a group of feminists banding together to fight sexism and racism in the art world.
“ Rich people have always had a lot of stuff. A few centuries ago, they ran out of room in their palaces and churches, so they started art museums. The Guerrilla Girls love museums and all the art in them, but we worry about them, too. Why do they raise hundreds of millions for new buildings, then complain that they don’t have enough money to buy art? Why do they blow a fortune on a single painting by a white male genius when they could acquire hundreds of great works by women and people of color instead? Why do museum store execs get paid more than curators? ” Guerilla Girls
The Zadok Gallery was the highlight of the evening for me. Wearing her signature Prada eyeglasses and Chinese inspired one of a kind couture dress Bernice spoke passionately about the artists, their works and why she loved them. Learning these interesting details made me enjoy the pieces even more. I was so happy and inspired I spent the next day painting and working on a mixed media piece. Below you will find a list of artists whose work was on display that particular evening.
A special message to museums and galleries wanting to tap into the growing Latin@ market. Don’t disrespect me. I don’t want museums to ‘attract’ me as a consumer. I want to be included and equally represented. I want to see my reflection everywhere I turn. Yes it’s great to have a Latino Museum and Smithsonian Latino but don’t segregate me. The United State’s Hispanic heritage is many centuries old, including colonies dating back to before the 1500’s, predating the arrival of other immigrants. We built this country, we are this country. Inclusive equal representation is how you will succeed.
And here’s what YOU can do to change the scene:
Check out some of the artists on display that night:
“On a school trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum, when I followed a sign marked WOMEN, thinking it was an exhibition on the changing roles of women in society, and actually ended up standing in the ladies’ toilets.” David Nicholls
“Philanthropists and donors traditionally haven’t been sufficiently interested in women’s rights abroad, giving money instead to higher brow causes such as the ballet or art museums. There could be a powerful international women’s rights movement if only philanthropists would donate as much to real women as to paintings and sculptures of women.” Nicholas D. Kristof
Actor and director Angelina Jolie revealed she has successfully undergone a preventative double mastectomy which she describes in uncensored detail in today’s New York Times. I commend her for having the courage to step forward publicly, especially when working in an industry which more often than not treats women as objects and measures them by their body parts.
Jolie’s mother died of cancer after battling with it for ten years at the young age of 56. Knowing her history she took the proactive step of testing for mutations of the breast cancer susceptibility gene, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, which can be inherited. In normal cells these prevent uncontrolled cell growth whereas mutation of these genes have been linked to the development of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. After testing, Jolie’s doctors concluded she had 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer. She then took the proactive measure of having a double mastectomy dropping her risk to only 5%.
Who should consider getting tested?
In a family with a history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, it may be most informative to first test a family member who has breast or ovarian cancer. If that person is found to have a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, then other family members can be tested to see if they also have the mutation. Source
In her own words:
“For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.
Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.” Angelina Jolie
This is a great opportunity to address the issue of cancer in the Latino community so let’s look at some statistics.
Cancer Statistics for Latinas
A high proportion of Hispanic women are uninsured (about 30%). Uninsured Hispanic women with breast cancer are more than twice as likely as other women to be diagnosed with breast cancer in advanced stages. The disease is more difficult to treat successfully when it is diagnosed in its advanced stages, and survival rates are lower.
Latinas also face other barriers to health care, including difficulties with language, transportation, child care, immigration status and cultural differences.
What You Can Do
As you can see some of these statistics can be turned around by being proactive. Be an advocate for your health care. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, become informed about your diagnosis, treatment, and long-term follow-up care. If you are age 40 or above, get regular mammograms and breast exams and spread the word to women you know to do the same. Getting the HPV vaccine is yet another preventative measure. Another suggestion is go with a friend or family member and get screened together. Participate in making decisions about your health.
Please feel free to share suggestions and resources in the comments.
National Alliance for Hispanic Health: http://www.hispanichealth.org/
The National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA
Susan G. Komen .org http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/GeneMutationsampGeneticTesting.html
Breast Cancer .org http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/brca
Report: Cancer Facts & Figures for Hispanics/Latinos 2009-2011 http:[email protected]/documents/document/ffhispanicslatinos20092011.pdf
|Le déjeuner sur l’herbe or The Luncheon on the Grass originally titled “Le Bain” (The Bath) is an oil on canvas painting by Édouard Manet created in 1862|
Manet has popped up twice in my life this week. When the universe speaks I will listen. The first was a very well done and quite interesting biography on French painter Edouard Manet by the BBC on Ovation TV.
Manet was considered a radical in his time for abandoning the techniques taught to him in school and inventing his own. As a result he was harshly criticized and mocked by both the general public and art critics of his time. Today Manet is considered the father of Impressionism.
Manet is amazing to me for expressing total artistic freedom. First by not conforming to the methods of his day and second the subjects he tackled. The subliminal messages in his works expose the hypocritical norms, practices and dictated norms of society forcing the viewer to question exactly why it is they’re offended.
You’ve heard the phrase and especially when it comes to art that nothing is original. It is said that Le déjeuner sur l’herbe was inspired by the Italian Renaissance painter Titian which you can see in the photo below. There is a difference between inspiration and interpretation in your own artistic style.
|Concert Champêtre (ca. 1510) by the Italian Renaissance master Titian|
My second Manet run in with Manet’s piece was coming across a photo from the 1998 ad campaign for Yves Saint Laurent shot by photographer Mario Sorrenti.
Mario Sorrenti reinterprets Manets Le déjeuner sur l’herbe by reversing the roles of the men and women as well as eliminating some elements and darkening the scene. I like that it gives us the opportunity to revisit Manet.
Does it push the boundaries like Manet did? At first glance I would say no because it’s not unusual for me to see an empowered woman in the sense she chooses how to dress, where and with whom to be. However since it is 2013 and women have yet to achieve complete equality when it comes to pay, status and position I have to say it still is controversial. Even worse women still have to fight the implementation of laws created to purposefully impede our complete freedom of self autonomy. Sadly, I do have to admit ignorant stereotypes and roles for women still exist.
What can we learn:
– Nothing is original
– Inspired works are okay when done with an artistic style.
– Women’s roles are still unequal and there is much work to do.
“Her nakedness was not absolute, for like Manet’s Olympia, behind her ear she had a poisonous flower with orange petals, and she also wore a gold bangle on her right wrist and a necklace of tiny pearls. I imagined I would never see anything more exciting for as long as I lived, and today I can confirm that I was right.” Gabriel García Márquez
“The attacks of which I have been the object have broken the spring of life in me… People don’t realize what it feels like to be constantly insulted. ” Edouard Manet
“The leader, the hero of Realism, is now Manet. His partisans are frenzied and his detractors timid. It would seem that, if one refuses to accept Manet, one must fear being taken for a philistine, a bourgeois , an idiot who cares for nothing but miniatures and painted porcelain to discover whether one has become obese or bald, incapable of understanding the audacities of youth.” Théophile Gautier, writing in Le Moniteur universel.
Yeah forget being cool, I’m still bouncing off the walls, super excited to have met one of the women I most admire. She is feminist, author and activist Gloria Steinem.
A living legend, Gloria has been fighting for equal rights for women since the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s. A few of her outstanding achievements:
• In 1971 Steinem joined other prominent feminists, such as Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan, in forming the National Women’s Political Caucus.
• In 1972 she co-founded Ms. magazine, and remained one of its editors for fifteen years.
• In 2005 Steinem worked alongside Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan to co-found the Women’s Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content.
• Her writings include the bestsellers: Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Her writing also appears in many anthologies and textbooks, and she was an editor of Houghton Mifflin’s The Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History.
I really could go on and on about all of the amazing work this woman has accomplished but I’m hoping you are curious enough to peruse and discover more.
The event I attended was an entertaining game of Loteria, the Latino version of bingo night hosted by Gloria Steinem, with a meet and greet right before. I expected the place would have a stage with rows of lined chairs set at a distance but it turned out to be the complete opposite. Pax is a bar with a fun chill out atmosphere. Upon entering to my left stood a fully stocked long glossy wooden bar. To my right, the stage with a drum kit set up and ready to go. Dark, floor to ceiling drapes covered the walls. Plush red couches flanked both sides of the stage, adding a big splash of color while small round wooden tables and chairs, like ones you would imagine at a Paris cafe, filled the remaining space. It was so relaxed and casual Gloria walked in with a small group of people right after me. (insert every adjective for wow here)
Gloria wore a smile all night, her demeanor calm and approachable sitting at a table right alongside the very people who came to see her. While mingling I met some really cool feminists and activists who told me about their work with local organizations like Mi Lola, Legal Art Miami and NOW. I was inspired by their strength and attitude, especially how they are involved with the community.
|Letty meets Gloria Steinem|
Finally the moment arrived when I got close enough to ask Gloria Steinem for a photo. She gracefully conceded as you can see from her gorgeous smile. Then there’s me with a far off look because I was so elated I felt like I was experiencing zero gravity. I’m pretty sure I will always feel this way when I think of the night I met her.
After the photo I shook her hand and introduced myself as artist, writer and social media connector. I tried to prepare with questions beforehand but hadn’t come up with anything clever. However, as I stood there the thought crossed my mind, I needed to ask for her wisdom and guidance not for me but to help empower the online community I have been connecting with for the past year which continues to grow in leaps and bounds. I needed to ask her how to turn talk into the action that will create positive change. The words floated from my mouth like butterflies on the breeze. “What is the best way to use social media to engage the online community not only to speak up but also to take action in matters directly affecting them?”
My biggest lesson of the night and there were many:
Her answer is simple, we need to use our online resources to connect locally. We need to connect with existing groups in our areas or create circles where there are none. She said it was necessary to connect face to face so we don’t feel alone, disconnected and we don’t go crazy. Then I had a sudden realization which provoked a laugh between us. I told her that’s exactly what I’ve been doing just recently and because of it, led me here on this wonderful night enabling our meeting in person.
She was teaching us by practicing her own advice. In that space, Gloria connected with each and every one of us that night creating our very own circle.
Okay, now you see why I’m still elated and will remain so.
Gloria Steinem shared lots of wisdom that night while we laughed and played Loteria. Let’s begin with the definition of feminism. Every person who believes in equal rights for everyone is a feminist. The world is connected and what happens in one place eventually causes consequences in another. Joining forces with your allies will make you stronger.
As a woman living in the year 2012 it’s hard for me to believe that my basic human rights of autonomy and self determination are in danger of being limited or completely taken away. After all this isn’t the dark ages when millions of women were murdered, accused of witchcraft when they attempted to empower themselves.
Gloria’s response to this was:
“We are receiving a front lash because there was a backlash.”
Meaning there has been some change and a few improvements have been made but we must stick together for that final push. The people in power are terrified of the change that is coming and will do anything and everything in their power to take away ours. When you fail to use your voice, your vote, you are enabling them.
Gloria Steinem also spoke to us about why she endorses President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. President Obama understands women are complete human beings and treats them as such beginning with his own family. He knows if women received equal pay there would be $200,000,000,000 more floating in the US economy. He passed the The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Also, women pay an average of 50% more in health insurance because of gender rating which is eliminated by the Affordable Healthcare Act. In addition determining when and whether or not to have children has direct consequences on a women’s health, education and longevity. The Republican party is not the party it used to be. Today it is being lead by religious extremists. For the past fifty years, women have banded together to speak the truth about inequality conceding creation of certain laws. Women will lose everything they have gained if a Republican candidate wins.
As an empowered woman I agree with her, I use my voice every day. I hope you use yours and vote because your vote really does matter.
Before parting, I took her hand and told her it was an honor to meet her. She then placed her hand on my arm pulling me close to tell me: “No, the honor is mine.”
The organizer and sponsor of this amazing event which brought Gloria Steinem is a community organization in Miami called Mi Lola. I love and support everything they stand for. Here is their mission statement: “Our mission is to increase the power of women and girls of color to be advocates for health equity and reproductive justice for themselves and their community. MI LOLA envisions a world where women and girls are respected, engaged, and fully participate in the decision and policy making that shapes and influences their lives and well-being.”
I recommend you click like on Mi Lola’s Facebook page to keep up to date on their upcoming events.
Gloria Steinem Quotes:
“The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.”
“Having someone who looks like us but thinks like them is worse than having no one at all.”
“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
“Women have two choices: Either she’s a feminist or a masochist.”
“The only free emotion is laughter.”
In 2012 women hold 90 of 535, 16% of seats in Congress; 72 of 317, 22% of statewide elective executive office positions.(Source) Women in the US have not achieved equality. Do not be fooled. You have work to do. The self entitled attitude of thinking that our mothers did enough is not only arrogant but dangerously self defeating. If you want respect, stand up and be respected. If you want rights, stand up and demand them.
To celebrate Women’s History month I would like to share a few of the intelligent women who are changing the world by being the first Latina women to occupy US government positions.
|Governor Susana Martinez|
Susana Martinez. A Republican, Martinez is the first female governor of New Mexico as well as the first female Hispanic governor in the United States.
|Justice Sonia Sotomayor|
Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor is the Court’s 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice and its third female justice to serve on the Supreme Court. .
Hilda Solis, the first Latina Secretary of Labor.
|Sisters Linda & Loretta Sanchez|
The election to Congress of Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in 2002 meant that for the first time, two sisters served together in the House. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) was first elected to the House in 1996.
Sila Calderon (Popular Democratic Party), former mayor of San Juan, became the first woman governor of Puerto Rico.
Antonia Novello. Novello is the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as Surgeon General
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is currently the most senior Republican woman in the U.S. House, and was the first Republican woman elected to the House of Representatives from Florida. She is chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, effective 2011.
|Romana Acosta Bañuelos|
Romana Acosta Bañuelos was the first Hispanic treasurer of the United States and owner of a multimillion-dollar business, Ramona’s Mexican Food Products, Inc. headquartered in Gardena, California.
Can you find the similarities between these women and yourself or someone you know? These are the faces of our community. They were elected to represent us and our needs as American citizens.
Victoria Claflin Woodhull the first woman candidate for
President of the United States in 1872
from the Equal Rights Party supporting women’s suffrage.
In honor of Women’s History month every post in March will be related to women’s issues. The photos in today’s post are of women who have run for President of the United States of America. I encourage you to read about them. They will inspire you for sure.
Have you ever thought of running for your local government? You should.
Every March in the US we celebrate Women’s History month. I feel it is very important to speak about these issues because most young women today take their opportunity to learn and work for granted during a time when we are not yet equal. You can not celebrate a victory before the battle is over. Our individual right to govern over own bodies and health is being debated by a political system run by a majority of old white males who are old fashioned and completely out of touch with women’s needs today.
Statistics to think about
According to the United States 2010 Census the number of females was 157 million while the number of males was 151.8 million.
According to the Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2010 46.2% of female citizens 18 and older reported voting in the 2010 congressional election, 45% of their male counterparts cast a ballot and 66.6% of female citizens reported being registered to vote.
The 2010 US Census also shows the median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round full time was $36,931, unchanged from 2009.
|Shirley Chisholm in1972 she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States for the Democratic party.|
Lenora Branch Fulani the first African American to achieve ballot access in all fifty states receiving more votes for President in a U.S. general election than any other woman in history.
Gender stereotypes still play a huge role in the lack of progress woman have made thus far. Both male and female voters are much more judgmental about the appearance and style of a female candidate than of a male candidate. Although all candidates are judged on these attributes to some degree, women have a more difficult challenge in convincing voters to judge them on their merits rather than on their appearance. If a woman candidate is unmarried, both male and female voters perceive her as less likely to share their own family values. This needs to change and only you can make it happen.
Resources: Here is a wonderful list of resources where you can find more information, ideas, lesson plans, etc regarding Women’s History month.
Read my post about Women’s Equality Day
Read about the National Women’s History Project 2012 honorees.
Read the Women’s History Gazette
Check out the US government Women’s History Month site
A Time Line of Women in Government
Read Women and the Economy 2010: 25 Years of Progress But Challenges Remain (August 2010 14 pages) prepared by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
Federal Laws and Regulations of Interest to Working Women
I’m honored and humbled to announce one of my abstract light graffiti photographs has been chosen to be a part of Beck’s Emerging Artist Exhibition.
My piece is hanging along with fifty local talented artists at the Wynwood Exhibition Center at Cafeina Wynwood. I’m elated to be considered and above all acknowledged as an artist.
Below is the piece hanging in the exhibition. It’s called ‘Love on the Run’. Light graffiti is made by having the camera capture light. Images are created by either moving the light source or moving the camera. In the case of this photograph it was both. There are no special effects. The image is not altered, it was purposefully captured. Light graffiti has become of my favorite ways of creating art.
|Love on the Run|
Things I learned from this amazing experience.
**Only Action Will Bring About Change**
Dreaming, thinking, wishing, writing and making plans is not enough. Only action can bring change into your life. I had to step out of my comfort zone to submit and send my artwork out into the world. I felt excited, nervous, terrified, elated, happy = alive.
**Be Your Truest Self**
An artist is only as good as they allow themselves to be.
Be the unfiltered you. Do not edit yourself to please people. You cannot please everyone all of the time. Eventually you will piss someone off.
Do not let anyone edit your message. I’m not referring to constructive criticism but the essence deep inside that defines who you are and what you stand for which is ultimately what you are saying through your work.
**Commit to Doing Your Best**
I realized the importance of creating a great work, of setting goals and standards which will enable me to grow. Once the work is out there it will speak for itself.
**What you do is Who YOU are**
There are things we do that bring us joy. There are things we cannot help but do. Embrace your talent, your skills, study, practice, do the best you can do. I think that’s the best thing we can do for humanity.
There were many interesting pieces on display including paintings, sculptures, video shorts and photography. Mine was the only representation of light graffiti. 😉
|My Business Card|