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Message from NHLI President Cristina Lopez

Cristina LopezHispanic Heritage Month: Is the glass half empty or half full?

Dear NHLI Friends:

As the United States commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month, NHLI celebrated the 21st graduation ceremony of our prestigious Executive Training Program, where 22 professional Latinas from more than a dozen states strengthened their skills through public policy, leadership, strategic management and race, class and gender issues training.

The outstanding group of leaders left the program with a renewed and stronger commitment to fortify their communities; broaden ambitions and visions for career advancement in the non-profit, public and corporate sectors and a pledge to continue to pave the way for other Latinas. 

Though NHLI celebrates the contributions of Hispanics and the progress of Latinas all year round, I couldn’t think of a better time than Hispanic Heritage Month to further recognize the dynamic fellows.

Hispanic women are playing important leadership roles in our communities and demonstrating our value in the broader society.  The 22 program graduates are a perfect example of that. For instance, take Pearl Quiñones, the first Latina to be elected president of the Sweetwater Union High School District Board of trustees in National City, California, or Irma Bantista, responsible for managing State Farm’s national Hispanic partnerships. Some of the fellows like Laura Drain are leading their own organizations, others are contemplating running for elected official positions in their communities and all of our participants embody the qualities Latinas are known for: vision, persistence, patience, integrity, courage and determination.

As we reflect on the contributions Hispanics Americans have made in the last 100 years, are making and will continue to make, let’s celebrates the many barriers Latinas have overcome to break the glass ceiling, but just as important let’s remember we (Latinas and the Hispanic community) still have a lot of work to do.

I invite you to read my most recent opinion column Hispanic Heritage Month: Is the glass half empty or half full?(http://www.progressive.org/mp/lopez091708.html)— a reminder of the value of the Hispanic community and a call to action to work relentlessly to ensure an equitable society.

—Cristina Lopez

 

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