Rebecca Aguilar, creating a Wise Latina Sisterhood

Today, Latinas meet and connect every day on a popular Facebook group called Wise Latinas Linked (WLL).  It was a group I started in 2009 because I know Latinas have a powerful voice and vote, and we needed a place to speak up about issues, concerns and even to pat each other on the back.

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#WLLProfiles will be our way to let you know about amazing Wise Latinas around the country. We may not be famous or powerful like JLO or Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but we are leaders and innovators in our own way.

Today, WLL has more than 9,000 members, and there is another branch of the group on LinkedIn too. We talk about the latest trends to the latest in politics and along the way share hobbies, travel experiences and family traditions. We are Latinas of all backgrounds and ages.

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United, we can move mountains and make a difference. Today not only does Wise Latinas Linked have members all over the country, Canada, Mexico, but also abroad in Europe, Asia, South, and Central America.

I’ll always be proud to be a Wise Latina and glad to bring together Latinas to help us get ahead in this word.

-Rebecca Aguilar, Founder of Wise Latinas Linked

First Latina wins prestigious STEM competition and gets NASA’s attention

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Screenshot: Youtube

Ana Humphrey’s discovery has NASA interested and has won her one of the most prestigious STEM competitions in the country. The 18-year-old is the first Latina to win the Regeneron Science Talent Search in twenty years. She beat 1800 competitors and took home a $250,000 prize.

The Virginia teen invented a model to find planets outside our solar system that may have been missed by NASA. She started her project two years ago and also contacted another Latina, Elisa Quintana a NASA physicist for help. 

Ana told the  Society of Science, “I looked for these planets where we already found a few, and I wanted to see whether it was possible to fit new ones among the ones we knew about without changing the orbits of the planets. I found 500 locations where we can do this, which means we might be missing some planets.”

Ana, who is Cuban-American has another goal and that is to get more girls interested in STEM. She told NowThis,  “Hopefully I will be able to provide another example for girls out there who maybe don’t see themselves going into science.”

 

Sources:

NowThis

Society of Science: Meet Ana Humphrey

Women’s History Month: Dr. Gertrude Elion, Nobel Prize winner in Medicine

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March is Women’s History Month. Today we’re profiling Dr. Gertrude Elion. She was born January 23, 1918 and died February 21, 1999. She was an American biochemist and pharmacologist.  In the beginning of her career, she got turned down for jobs because she was a woman. One male biochemist realized she was smart and gave her job.

Dr. Elion won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988. She also invented various drug treatments for leukemia, gout, malaria, viral herpes and the prevention of kidney transplant rejection. Dr. Elion is well known contribution was the first antiretroviral drug to treat AIDS, aziothymidine, known as AZT.

Here are parts of her biography from Nobleprize.org:

I was a child with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and remember enjoying all of my courses almost equally. When it came time at the end of my high school career to choose a major in which to specialize I was in a quandary. One of the deciding factors may have been that my grandfather, whom I loved dearly, died of cancer when I was 15. I was highly motivated to do something that might eventually lead to a cure for this terrible disease. When I entered Hunter College in 1933, I decided to major in science and, in particular, chemistry.

Over the years, my work became both my vocation and avocation. Since I enjoyed it so much, I never felt a great need to go outside for relaxation. Nevertheless, I became an avid photographer and traveler

In my professional career I was promoted frequently, and in 1967 I was appointed Head of the Department of Experimental Therapy, a position which I held until I retired in 1983. This department was sometimes termed by some of my colleagues a “mini-institute” since it contained sections of chemistry, enzymology, pharmacology, immunology and virology, as well as a tissue culture laboratory. This made it possible to coordinate our work and cooperate in a manner that was extremely useful for development of new drugs.

 

Hispanic Heritage Month: Honoring Latino History of Rhode Island

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Screenshot: Latino History of RI

This Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) we are highlighting great work being done across the U.S. that is by Hispanics and/or focuses on Hispanics. Today we want to shine a light on the Latino History of RI.  The website profiles Latinos in New England and their contributions.

Within the website you’ll find Nuestra Historias: The Blog of the Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island.  It is the brainchild of Marta V. Martínez, an independent oral historian. They are interviews with many of the Latinos who have built a life in Rhode Island.

The project was started in 1991 when Martinez met and recorded the life of Josefina Rosario who was the co-owner of Fefás Market. Rosario and her husband operated the first bodega in Rhode Island. She became known as “Doña Fefa”, the mother of the community.

Martinez would go on to record the audio history of many Latino pioneers: factory workers, community leaders, activists, artists, politicians educators and social service workers. She focused her work Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians and Guatemalans who reside in Rhode Island.

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Screenshot: Nuestras Historias 

In 2016, a Latino Fotohistorias History Markers was set up in Providence, RI. It was the first to recognize the contributions of Latinos to the state’s history, near where Dona Fefa’s market once stood.

Congrats to Marta V/ Martínez for getting the Latinos stories out to the public and showing that many Latino men and women are making a difference.

SOURCES

Providence Journal, Tribute to R.I. woman who sponsored Dominicans kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 2016

Nuestra Historias: The blog of the Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island

 

Latinas get creative with Feliz Navidad trees this holiday season

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We like to have fun at Wise Latinas Linked. One thing we noticed is how Latinas put new and fun twists in their Christmas tree decorations this year.

Some women concentrated on a Latino theme and others pulled in a little bit of this and that to make their Feliz Navidad tree stand out.

Laura Sanchez Kinkade of Fort Worth, Texas decorated her tree with all types of ornaments: piñatas, Frida, skulls, sombreros, and more.

Here’s Laura’s post on Facebook:

…here are pictures of my Feliz Navidad tree. I started buying ornaments at after-Christmas sales last year and found a few at a time between World Market, Target, Michaels, Earth Bones, and other stores throughout the year. My niece brought me the garland, sombreros, and jarritos from Guadalajara. Next time she comes I’ll have her bring me baleros, trompos, and maracas. I think their bright colors would be a good addition. By next year, I should have enough to make it the full size, main tree. I still want to add some serape fabric bows but it makes me smile every time I walk into the house.

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Christmas tree by Laura Sanchez Kinkade

Nora Dominguez of Bakersfield, California put her love of the Latino culture into her tree. A big sombrero, guitars, and a Mexican blanket make this tree give you a warm and cozy feeling.  Nora celebrated on Facebook when she got her tree completely decorated.

Cultural tree done! On to the traditional tree.

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Christmas tree by Nora Dominguez

Veronica Bravo of Dallas, Texas recycled and counted on garage sales, clearance sales and a little do-it-yourself to get the job done.

Veronica told us on Facebook how she put her beautiful tree together:

I’m very thrifty, so I incorporated last year’s New Years party hats, white wooden beads I found in a garage sale, ribbon from last year’s hobby lobby clearance sale, old ornaments, and last but not least, hand made bows made out of fabric that I found buried in my downstairs closet after trying to hide my daughter’s Christmas presents.

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Christmas tree by Veronica Bravo

Thank you Veronica, Nora and Laura for inspiring to be creative and unique.
Happy Holidays!

Latina beauty pageant contestant is fighting her stage three colon cancer with a “positive attitude”

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Screenshot: Inside Edition

The next time you are feeling life is unfair think of Andrea Andrade. The California woman has stage three colon cancer. Doctors have told her she has between six months and two years to live.

Andrade told Inside Edition  she was not going to let her cancer diagnosis keep her away from the Miss California USA beauty pageant. The 27-year-old went to represent Fresno County and it was her dream come true.

Andrade did not take home the crown, but as she told her Facebook friends she was “OK” with the outcome. She now has a mission to make people aware of their bodies and the food they eat.

As a busy television station account executive she lived on fast food and now believes her bad diet may have a connection to her colon cancer.

Us Mexicans love to eat. We all know that…it’s not good for our bodies. My doctor told me I am not allowed to eat carnitas. That’s probably one of the most dangerous things I can do to my body.

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The chemotherapy is already making a change in Andrade’s body. She says her hair is falling out, and the skin on her hands and feet have turned very dark.

It not only is killing me on the inside, but it is also killing me on the outside.

Andrade says eating healthy, being positive and having faith cures a lot of things. For now she will continue her chemotherapy and working with organizations to make more people aware of the food they eat and the connection to colon cancer.

THE STATISTICS ON COLON CANCER

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance says colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States.

The American Cancer Society estimates that this year 95,520 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer, 39,910 will be diagnosed with rectal cancer, and 50,260 will die from this disease.

Spec Formliners to pay $105,000 to settle EEOC pay lawsuit where female sales rep was making less than male

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The EEOC says Spec Formliner was paying a female sales representatives less than a male doing the same job. The company also required the female sales rep to sell more to earn the same commission as her male co-worker.

The company in Santa Ana, California manufactures urethane, semi-elastomeric, and plastic form liners to use in concrete forming systems.

The EEOC lawsuit against the company has been settled. Spec Formliners will have to pay $105,000 to the former employee the federal agency represented.

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Spec Formliners also agreed to hire equal employment consultants who will help the company create, review and revise its policies, and practices to ensure they are following EEOC federal rules.

The EEOC will also be monitoring Spec Formliners’s progress.

Rosa Viramontes, director of EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office says “The changes that will be implemented as part of this settlement will ensure that female sales representatives will receive fair compensation for sales equal to those of their male counterparts. This not only benefits female employees, but also the company as a whole.”

CONTACT EEOC IF YOU ARE NOT BEING PAID THE SAME AS A MAN

This EEOC case proves that companies cannot get away with paying a woman less than a man for doing the same job. Contact your local EEOC office if you feel that you are not getting your fair share.

Very detailed documentation is a good start.

How to file a charge with EEOC. Visit this page>>Filing a Charge

Sources: 
EEOC- Settlement

 

 

Texas girl celebrates her quinceañera with Whataburger

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Screenshot: Twitter

Evelyn Lopez Terrazas looked beautiful at her quinceañera on Saturday. But what got everyone’s attention  was the photo of her chowing down on her favorite Whataburger.

Once her photos were posted on Twitter they went viral.

Her friends are calling her the “Whataburger Model.”

The Natalia, Texas, teenager’s coming-of-age party is definitely something to remember.

Here’s hoping Whataburger puts Evelyn in its commercials and gives her free burgers for at least a year.

 

November 2, Latina Equal Pay Day: We deserve it, join the Twitter storm

 

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We are getting the message out and flooding social media with the conversation about the importance of Latina Equal Pay day.

November 2, 2017 is Latina Equal Pay Day.

We are still fighting for our equal pay, the same money white males make today.

Fact: Latinas make 54 cents to one dollar a white male takes home.

How can we have a save for a home, a car or our retirement if we keep getting shorted when it comes to our income.

GET THE WORD OUT VIA TWITTER 

On November 2, join the Twitter storm at 2pm ET. Let us tell the world why we need equal pay as Latinas. Here are some tweets you can use. Copy and paste :

  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    #Latinas make 54 cents to every $1 that a white male earns in the U.S. – U.S. Census Bureau
  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    Eliminating the wage gap would provide much-needed income to #Latinas whose wages support their households.
  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    40% of #Latina mothers bring in 40% or more of the families income. Family relies on that money.
  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    Nearly 3 million family households in the U.S. are headed by #Latinas -U.S. Census Bureau

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  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    Median wage for #Latinas in U.S. are $31,109 a year.
    White males median wage $57,204 – U.S. Census Bureau
  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    It means a #Latina working full-time can have 3 more years of child care.
  • Why #LatinaEqualPay matters
    Latinas working full-time can have 3 more yrs of tuition & fees for 4 year public university – U.S. Dept of Ed
  • #LatinaEqualPay means a #Latina working full-time can have 193 more weeks of food for her family – U.S. Dept. of Labor Statistics
  • #LatinaEqualPay means a #Latina who works full-time can have more than 17 additional months of mortgage & utility payments -U.S. Census
  • #LatinaEqualPay means a Latina working full-time can have 27 more months of rent – U.S. Census Bureau
  • #Latinas and their families cannot afford discrimination and lower wages #LatinaEqualPay
  • Nearly two-thirds of voters support the Paycheck Fairness Act. #LatinaEqualPay
  • 20 states with large numbers of Latinas, pay them from 43-63 cents for every dollar paid to white male – U.S Census #LatinaEqualPay now!
  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    38% of all Latina-headed family households live below the poverty level – U.S. Census Bureau
  • Why we need #LatinaEqualPay
    More than 1.1 million Latina-headed family households live in poverty in U.S. – U.S. Census Bureau

 

Women of Color stand up and be heard

 

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A big thank you to @ReignofApril who started the Twitter conversation #WOCAffirmation on Friday.

She empowered us. As Women of Color (WOC) we have the power to create change.

Here are a few pieces of advice that we believe will inspire you to stand your ground, speak up, fight for your fair share, and push back when you must.

  1. Find your voice. Use it.
  2. Don’t let fear make you a prisoner. Dig deep and find that courage. You have it.
  3. Push forward when someone tries to push you back.
  4. WOC should stand up for each other. When one is targeted at work, don’t run and hide. Defend your sister. Remember you could be next.
  5. Open doors for other women of color. Don’t be the one who is guarding “her turf.”
  6. Speak up when women of color are not invited to the conversation. This is the only way we break up the “white boy’s club.”
  7. Mentor another woman of color. We need to raise each other up.
  8. When someone is putting down a WOC who is not present, be the one to silence the hater.
  9. Reach out to a WOC who may need a word of encouragement, pat on the back or the simple words “it will be OK.”
  10. Be a friend 24/7.

Together we can lead a movement and make sure we are treated as equals.

 

Rebecca Aguilar is an award-winning  journalist and the founder of Wise Latinas Linked, a Latina networking group of 9,000 Latinas on Facebook and LinkedIn.