Arizona Latina Trailblazers

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The Raul H. Castro Institute and Latino Perspectives Magazine hold the 1st Annual Arizona Latino Trailblazers event, acknowledging Latina leaders who have made their mark in shaping Arizona history. Learn more about this project from Dr. Cecilia Rosales, CEO of Latino Perspectives Magazine.

Jose Cardenas:
Latina leaders who have made their mark in shaping Arizona history will be honored next week in an event held by the Raul H. Castro Institute and "Latino Perspective" magazine. Joining me to talk about the details is chief operating officer for "Latino Perspective" magazine, Dr. Cecilia Rosales. Welcome to "Horizonte."

Cecilia Rosales:
Thank you.

Jose Cardenas:
Tell us about the concept of trailblazers. How did that get started?

Cecilia Rosales:
Well, we wanted to work in a project with the Raul H. Castro Institute and we wanted to contribute to the state's centennial celebration. So this is how this project started. We wanted to make sure that our story was told, and we wanted to create an everlasting educational resource. So that's how it originally started. To be part of the Arizona memory project, part of the centennial celebration --

Jose Cardenas:
Centennial is three years away. How does that work into -- it's going to be part of the collection?

Cecilia Rosales:
That is correct. It is our hope we will continue adding to these stories. It's the first volume, and includes six stories of six fantastic Latina women. And we want to do this on an annual basis. The six well that we have chosen this year are we're the help of a committee and project consultant, it's very inspiring, and it's very diverse in that it includes women who have made contributions in very different aspects, public service, the arts, academic, community organizing and community advocates.

Jose Cardenas:
There are so many to choose from. How did you decide, what were the criteria for picking these six?

Cecilia Rosales:
There are many. And there's a lot of work that needs to be done. This is just the first step. Our first attempt, our first volume. And more will be coming. So that -- we need to emphasize that. But in that criteria, we wanted to make sure when we presented different geographic regions, but also that there were representatives of different areas. If I said public Service, the arts, and that was also part of the criteria, and that they made contributions that are significant to our state, but that can also serve as examples and role models for other generations.

Jose Cardenas:
They will be unveiled to the public next week?

Cecilia Rosales:
That is correct. May 20th. It's an event that's open to the public. Everyone is invited to attend at the Wells Fargo corporate center at 5:30; we will be presenting the digital stories. These are very short stories, five minutes each. And with the hopes that the resource will be used in the classroom and the educators can make room for 30 minutes of digital stories of these fantastic Arizona women.

Jose Cardenas:
Let's give our viewers a little bit of a preview. Let's talk about some of the awardees.

Cecilia Rosales:
Dr. Christine Marine A.S.U.'s archivist and what she has done is wonderful. What she's done with the Chicano research collection and the archives, making sure that people and scholars and the community at large have access to these very important documents that tell our story. We also have a Romana Costa Banuelos born in Arizona and went on to become the first Latina treasurer of the United States. She also founded the pan American national bank in California, and established Mexican food. We also have Lewisia Espinel Ronstadt, who is the aunt of -- Linda Ronstadt. In 1946 she published --

Jose Cardenas:
Her niece went on to rerecord years later.

Cecilia Rosales:
Yes. And people may be better familiar with Linda Ronstadt than Louisa, her -- she was really a music ambassador to the world. She traveled through Europe and to the United States. Francisca Montoya, regional director of the Cesar Chavez foundation has done fantastic work as a community advocate in Arizona farm labor organizers.

Jose Cardenas:
She really captured a significant element of Arizona history because the farm workers movement connection to Arizona you had Cesar Chavez was born here, and who passed away here at the end of his career.

Cecilia Rosales:
Absolutely. And the work that Francisca has done exemplifies labor of love that spans over 24 years. We also have other great women like a woman who went on to become the highest ranking Latina under the Carter administration. There was also the first woman and the first Latina to graduate from Notre Dame Law School. So their inspiring stories.

Jose Cardenas:
I want to point out we do have the phone number on the screen for people to make reservations. What about nominations for future selections?

Cecilia Rosales:
Visit our website, LatinoPM.com, send us your comments, we'll have a form shortly for people to be able to nominate specifically for this. But we're also interested in hearing from our community, and interesting people. And the stories that need to be told. Because it's part of our editorial mission, and I know that the Raul H. Castro Institute is also looking to tell the story of the Latino community and creating resources that inspire and educate.

Jose Cardenas:
We've got about 30 seconds or so left. People may be asking, what about Latinos? We've got Latinas covered. Have you done something already for Latinos?

Cecilia Rosales:
We have. We co-published a book with the Raul H. Castro Institute on the great men of post-41, American legion post-41 who helped desegregate housing in Phoenix. But our work is not done. It never is. So this is just a first step at contributing to telling our story.

Jose Cardenas:
Dr. Cecilia Rosales, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte" to tell this particular story. Good luck with the event next week.

Cecilia Rosales:
Thank you.

Dr. Cecilia Rosales:CEO, Latino Perspectives Magazine;

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