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Latinas Who Have Made History: Celebrating Women’s Contributions Year-Round

People & Profiles

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, let’s take a moment to celebrate and honor the contributions of 10 U.S. Latinas who have made history, broken barriers, and excelled. But let’s be clear; these incredible women should be acknowledged and celebrated year-round, not just in March!

While it’s important to have a designated time to focus on the accomplishments of women and Latinas, let’s keep the celebration going all year. Let’s amplify their voices, share their stories, and continue to inspire future generations of trailblazers.

Women’s History Month isn’t just about celebrating past achievements. It’s also about looking to the future and empowering the next generation of women leaders. So let’s dance to the salsa beats of Celia Cruz, read the powerful words of Isabel Allende, and be inspired by the trailblazing accomplishments of Dolores Huerta, Sylvia Rivera, Sonia Sotomayor, Ellen Ochoa, Antonia Novello, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and so many others.

Latinas have played a particularly significant role in shaping the United States, despite facing additional barriers as women of color. Here are 10 U.S. Latinas who have made history, broken barriers, or excelled:

  • Dolores Huerta: A civil rights leader and co-founder of the United Farm Workers, Huerta was instrumental in the fight for labor rights and social justice.
  • Sylvia Rivera: A transgender rights activist and veteran of the Stonewall uprising, Rivera fought tirelessly for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly those marginalized and impoverished.
  • Sonia Sotomayor: The first Latina Supreme Court justice, Sotomayor has served as a model of excellence and achievement for women and Latinas across the United States.
  • Ellen Ochoa: A former astronaut, Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman in space and has dedicated her career to promoting S.T.E.M. education for young people.
  • Antonia Novello: The first Hispanic woman to serve as Surgeon General of the United States, Novello was a pioneer in the field of public health.
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: The first Hispanic woman elected to Congress, Ros-Lehtinen has tirelessly advocated for issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and environmental protection.
  • Celia Cruz: Known as the “Queen of Salsa,” Cruz was a legendary singer and performer who brought Latin music to a global audience.
  • Isabel Allende: A celebrated author, Allende has written numerous best-selling novels that explore themes such as feminism, immigration, and social justice.
  • Sylvia Garcia: A Houstonian who made history in 2018 when she became the first Latina to represent Texas’s 29th Congressional district in Congress. Garcia has been a champion for healthcare, education, and immigration reform and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the voices of Latinas and other marginalized communities are heard in Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Laura Murillo: As the President and C.E.O. of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Laura Murillo is a prominent leader in Houston’s business community. She has been instrumental in promoting economic development and advancing opportunities for Hispanic entrepreneurs and businesses. Her tireless work has helped to make Houston a more vibrant and inclusive city for all.

Let’s celebrate Women’s History Month with joy, enthusiasm, and a commitment to honoring the contributions of women and Latinas all year round!

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