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It’s time to give some shine to the Latinas who are working hard for the betterment of their people and society as a whole. They refuse to be stereotyped or boxed in to what mainstream society thinks they should be. In a country that’s currently plagued by Donald Trump’s racist ideals, it’s imperative we recognize the women who are working against the status quo of white supremacy.

We see you!

1. Isa Noyola

Latina activists -- Isa Noyla.

Isa Noyola. Image from the Transgender Law Center.

Isa Noyola is a translatina immigrant activist and the director of programs at the Transgender Law Center. She is working tirelessly to unveil the inhumane conditions transgender people face when they enter immigration facilities.

“I have been a part of the trans and Latina community for many years, and I have seen the devastation immigration has had on my community and the way detention centers have traumatized my community,” she says. One of her many activism efforts has been initiating an investigation that resulted in a 70-page report outlining the physical, psychological and sexual abuse inflicted upon transgender detainees.

Related: 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Cholx Culture

Noyola finds her calling in fighting for more than just marriage rights in the LGBTQI community — she understands that when you’re a trans person of color, you face grave physical danger merely by stepping out into the street. “My activism was never tied to marriage and the idea of being normalized in that way. For our community, this violence is just the reality, and this is what happens every single day to individuals for queer and trans communities that are surviving in their communities,” she says.

2. Yvette Modestin

Latina activists -- Yvette Modestin

Yvette Modestin.

Yvette Modestin is an Afro-Latina of Panamanian descent who has devoted her life to building bridges between the Afro-Latina and African-American communities. She is a writer, poet, activist and the founder and director of Encuentro Diaspora Afro in Boston, Massachusetts, an organization that was created to address the alienation endured by women of Afro-Latina descent in many academic and public circles.

Modestin was named one of the “30 Most Influential Afro-Latinas in the World” and is known as “The Uniter” because of her passion for bringing Latin and African-American communities together.  Yvette Modestin is also one of the writers of the critically acclaimed book Women Warriors of the Afro Latino Diaspora. She is a woman of action and compassion and  continues to dedicate her life to sharing her story and building bridges by highlighting the intersectional struggle of women across the diaspora. 

3. Jancita Gonzalez

Image taken from Democracy Now

Jacinta Gonzalez (right). Photo courtesy Democracy Now

Jancita Gonzalez, field director of the organizing collective Mijente, was arrested for her efforts in shutting down a Trump rally in Arizona in March. She was one of three protesters arrested; while the other two were released, she was transferred to the immigration authorities. In a YouYube video posted by Puente Arizona, a migrant justice group in Phoenix, she said, “I know that the two colleagues I was arrested with were released. But because my last name is ‘Gonzalez,’ I was immediately questioned by ICE and placed in a detainer.”

It was later clarified that Gonzalez is, in fact, a U.S. citizen and she was released. Her organization came to her defense by outlining a plan of action of defiance against a Trump-led America, stating, “People will not sit quietly as Trump campaigns to move us back in the shadows, to the back of the bus, or back in the closet.”

Related: 9 Moments When “Selena” Proves It’s a Feminist Film — Especially for Women of Color

Gonzalez is one of the many people of Latin decent who not only have their citizenship, but their humanity questioned on a daily basis due to racial profiling. She reminds us of why we must use our voices to fight white supremacy. 

4. Gloria Lucas

Latina activists.

Gloria Lucas.

This Los Angeles native is a body-positive activist who was inspired by her struggles as a teenager with an eating disorder. She works to demystify the notion that only white women suffer from eating disorders, even leading a workshop titled, “I’m Not White But I Have an Eating Disorder.”

Lucas sheds light on the pressure white supremacist culture places on women of color. When reflecting on her teenage years she says,  “During that time, I never saw someone like myself, a brown Xicana woman, talking about having an eating disorder. The media always disseminated the same image: a white, middle-class girl with anorexia … My ancestors and I have always battled colonialism and patriarchy, and I began to wonder: What has this done to my body?”

Gloria created Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP), a body-positivity website  that focuses on eating disorder awareness along with decolonizing the body.

5. Monica Carillo

Latina activists

Monica Carillo. Photo courtesy Tumblr.

Afro-Peruvian Monica Carillo is an all-around renaissance woman. She’s a hip-hop activist, writer, poet, singer, musician, community leader, journalist, human rights advocate, feminist and educator who is using her talents to galvanize the youth in her community to fight poverty and systemic racism with her organization LUNDU Center for Afro Peruvian Studies and Advancement.

Carrillo, who goes by the name Oru, creates poetry that mixes Afro-beat, hip-hop and Afro-Peruvian music to bring attention to the ongoing effects of racism and sexism. Her music has been featured on MTV Europe and her poetry has been a subject of academic studies by universities of Italy, Chile, Argentina, Peru and the European Union. Monica is a force to be reckoned with!


Heather was born in Chicago and raised in Pasadena, California and proudly claims Oakland as her adopted home. She has a B.A. in African-American Studies from Smith College (proud Smithie), and a Masters in Education Leadership from New York University. Heather's spent the past decade working in the field of educational equity and advocacy. She currently teaches Child and Adolescent Development at San Francisco State University and manages a blog called What's Happening Black Oakland? She also contributes to Blavity, a blog for black millennials. Heather's committed to writing interesting and relevant stories that aren't being covered by the mainstream media, while straying away from the single story that is usually imposed on people of color. In her free time she enjoys traveling and going to live shows.

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