Strong Latinas

In honor of #InternationalWomensDay this Friday, March 8th, we wanted to take a moment to look at some strong Latinas that inspire us to continue our work every day.

  • Ellen Ochoa – STEM

    • First Hispanic woman in the world to go into space in 1993 aboard the Discovery shuttle; she was conducting important research into the Earth’s ozone layer
    • Ochoa has gone on three space flights, logging a total of 1,000 hours in space
    • In 2013, Ochoa became the first Hispanic director––and second female director––of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
  • Dolores Huerta – Social Justice

    • In 1965, Huerta created the United Farm Workers, an organization that worked tirelessly to improve the working conditions of farm workers
    • Huerta was instrumental in bringing about legislation that protects some of the most vulnerable people in our society by leading boycotts, picketing, protesting and lobbying
  • Selena Quintanilla – Singer

    • Brought Mexican Tejano music to the masses. She’s one of the most influential Latin artists of all time
      • winning a Grammy award in 1993 and a gold record in 1994 with Amor Prohibido
    • One of the few Latin pop stars who crossed over into the mainstream
  • Sylvia Rivera – LGBTQ+

    • Mixed race Venezuelan-Puerto Rican trans woman, was a pioneering LGBT activist who fought tirelessly for trans rights
    • Often credited as the person to “put the “t” in LGBT activism”.
    • With Marsha P. Johnson, Rivera created the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) organization, which provided a home for trans people living on the streets in 1970s New York
    • A tireless advocate for LGBT people, ethnic minorities, and the homeless
    • Sylvia’s Place (NYC) and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project were both named in her honor and still work for the safety and rights of the LGBTQ+ community to this day
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – Politics

    • The first Latina:
      • To serve in the Florida house
      • In the Florida senate
      • To serve in the US House of Representatives
      • And the first Cuban-American in Congress
    • The first woman to ever be chair of a regular standing committee of the House
  • Maria Elena Salinas – Journalist/News

    • More than 30 years on our screens, Salinas is the longest running female network anchor on U.S. television
    • First Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy
    • Used her platform to cover issues that affect Latinos today, including the plight of unaccompanied immigrant children
    • An active philanthropist, working to increase voter registration in the Latino community and helping Latino youth into journalism
  • Sonia Sotomayor – Supreme Court

    • Graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, went on to Yale Law School
    • U.S. District Court Judge and then a Supreme Court Justice
    • During her time as a Supreme Court Justice, Sotomayor has worked tirelessly to be a voice for women and ethnic minorities in criminal justice reform
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Politics

    • Youngest U.S. Representative at 29 years old
    • Passionate about:
      • Environment
      • Tax policy
      • Immigration
      • Healthcare
      • LGBTQ+ issues


These amazing women have contributed to all areas of our community and world and make us proud to be Latinas! We know there are many more strong Latinas and women out there so let us know who inspires you and help make our list longer!

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