February 21, 2010

Those of you who are familiar with my rants will recall a similar post last year.  But seriously folks, something is very wrong with the white female-dominated New York-based Women in Communications (www.nywici.org).

For the second year in a row, Women in Communications has no Latina honorees in its annual Matrix Awards.  Supposedly, the Matrix Awards honor women who have achieved success in the world of communications.  I guess Women in Communications thinks wise Latinas like Telemundo's Jackie Hernandez and El Diario La Prensa's Rossana Rosado are a bunch of losers.  Or what about actress Zoe Saldana, who had a phenomenal year on the big screen?  A year after Sonia Sotomayor's historic appointment I'm starting to get the sense that Women in Communications is run by a bunch of tapadas.

This is beyond unacceptable.  There is no denying that the recognition being accorded to this year's honorees is well-deserved.  I mean, among the group are actress Tina Fey (yes, I'm a fan of hers) and the New York Times Foreign Editor Susan Chira.  But NO Latinas?!  Puh-leeze!

The Matrix Awards are scheduled for April 19 at the Waldorf in New York City.  Perhaps it's time to invite Dolores Huerta to the Waldorf on April 19 so she can lead a "teach in" next to the Matrix Awards assembly.  Or perhaps we could invite Voto Latino spokesperson and actress Rosario Dawson.

Or perhaps we should contact NBC's nightly news anchor Brian Williams (who happens to be an NBC colleague of Jackie Hernandez).  He's the Emcee for this year's Matrix Awards.  I'd love for him to get up to the podium on April 19, and ask the audience (and channeling that famous line from "Animal House"): "Where the Latinas at?"


NBC Universal is the presenting sponsor so all of you who have good contacts with them should bring this to their attention. But then again, NBC created the Conan O'Brien-Jay Leno fiasco so I guess their track record isn't so stellar.

Hi Manny, Upon reading your blog, I did 3# things: 1) Rolled my eyes, Not again! It's a tragedy, but this happens all the time. Latinos/Latinas are consistently being overlooked when it comes to honors such as the one mentioned 2) Began to follow NYWICI on twitter 3) Became a fan of NY Women in Communications on facebook. Since I do not live in NY, I can't really pariticpate in the group. However, I can certainly let them know I exist, by being part of their social networking communities. While there is no excuse for excluding Latinos from being honored, I also think we latinas/latinos need to become active members of groups such as NY Women in Communications. By being active memebers and leaders of these groups we will be able to express our opinions and clue them in on who they should be honoring. Saludos desde Los Angeles!

Thank you Manny. You're observations are always spot on. One would hope your message will make its way to the perpetrators and not just remain with the proverbial "choir." Whether it's Vanity Fair covers or award recognitions, this absence of inclusion is something that should get called out. The old boys network isn't only about the white male old guard. It's gender neutral. And it's unacceptable. It may not be easy to change but it certainly merits a "shame on you" blog annually or as often as required. Good for you. And good for us that you're willing to spell it out in black and white (and brown and any other shade that makes sense).

Manny - I join you in your 'disbelief'. Yes indeed it's fear... with a splash of denial. But we are here! We are here!

They are escared!

Manny, Perhaps they are concerned that as Latinas we are more colorful in every sense. We are wise, well-spoken, passionate, dedicated and successful in corporate America We are also very very active with civic organizations and in our communities. As a successful Latina serving on various Boards, we must continue to push for participation and involvement at every level and your Blog is a great place to continue to speak out. Thank you!

Manny, I think we need to try to meet with them and actually get a large group of NY latinas to come to thier offices, so they can SEE that we actually do EXIST...I'm happy to start calling Jackie, Rosana, Soledad, Daisy, etc...and setting up a meeting. This is truly outrageous!

After reading this post and seeing Gayle King as an honoree, I imagine that this group may feel that since there is one person of color among them, their diversity needs are met. As people of color we consistently run up against this scenario--one "ethnic" person is designated as the representative for all others. I'd love to know the makeup of this group's membership, as and the process for selecting these honorees. That alone will probably answer a lot of questions.

@Latina in LA - great action steps!

I think is very sad that Latinas are being discriminated and perceived as unsuccessful women just because of our countries of birth or origin. If we were to make a list of how many Latinas can be nominated for the Matrix Awards we would be giving them nominees for at least 20 years. Additionally to those mentioned previously, one woman that could have been an example of how wise and successful Latinas can be is Yrma Rico. Mrs. Rico is a former migrant worker that only had two things to achieve her dreams; a G.E.D and the determination to never give up for anyone or anything her cultural identity, a proud Latina. With hard work and driven by her desire to succeed she became one of the founders of Entravision, a communications company that owns 36 Univision stations, 24 Telefutura stations and 58 radio stations that reach 80% of the U.S. Hispanic community. Even though she doesn’t work in the communication industry anymore, like her, there are many Latinas that are doing amazing work too. Her book “La Vida Rica: The Latina’s Guide to Success” was a gift from a friend many years ago, I never thought that a book would help me learn so much about how to achieve my ambitions and at the same time make me appreciate and be proud of being s Latina. I really like the Wise Latinas Linked group, thanks for posting it.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I will be sharing this information with members of our networking group "Wise Latinas Linked" on Facebook and Linkedin.com. We need to write to the women who run this NY organization and find out why we are not included. Are Latinas included in the judging panel? What about the Latina members: are they voicing their concerns? I don't think they fear us, but I do believe that possibly to them we are an "after thought" or maybe "not a thought" at all. And in 2010---that is unacceptable. Keep up the good work on your part. Rebecca Aguilar Wise Latinas Linked on FB: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=127501697528&ref=ts Wise Latinas Linked on Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2181944&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

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