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“Latinitas,” Empowering Young Latinas With Technology

Fortunately, not all good ideas discussed in the classroom end there. In 2002, Laura Donnelly and Alicia Rascó at the University of Austin, Texas began to develop the concept of a magazine focused on the experiences of young Latinas. After graduation, they continued building the professional links necessary to finally create what is now known as Latinitas, the sole non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to the empowerment of young Latinas aged nine to 18, through education and the use of media and technology. The video below features one of their projects.

And, of course, the magazine continues to be published in digital form under the name of the organization, with the participants themselves writing a large part of the content. Among the sections developed by the youngsters are the following:

On October 6th, Latinitas held their first conference with huge success. Hanne Vang

Latinitas hold their first Annual Conference in Austin Texas. Photo used with permission.

Latinitas hold their first Annual Conference in Austin Texas. Photo used with permission.

Hansen, the translation editor and community relations assistant—and also a Global Voices translator—commented that more than 60 girls aged nine to 15 took part in the three workshops offered in TechChica: social media/networks, blogging and podcasts, and public service announcements.

Hanne explains:

A través de estos diferentes medios las niñas crearon campañas sobre problemas sociales en su comunidad con el fin de crear cambios sociales. Entre los temas que eligieron están embarazos de adolescentes, la intimidación (bullying) y la discriminación de los discapacitados. El resultado al final fueron videos con anuncios públicos de servicio social (PSA's) que fueron exhibidos. Durante la conferencia nos dimos cuenta de la conciencia que las niñas tienen sobre cuestiones sociales.

Through the different media, the girls created campaigns focused on social problems in their community with the aim of creating social change. Among the subjects they chose were teen pregnancies, intimidation (bullying), and discrimination against the disabled. The final result were videos with public service announcements (PSAs) which were exhibited. During the conference, we discovered the degree of awareness that the girls had on social issues.

According to the reporter Juan González:

El censo proyecta que antes del 2050 una de cada tres personas que viven en Estados Unidos serán de descendientes de latinos y si esta tendencia continúa es muy posible que para fin del siglo XXI la mitad de la población del país trazará no sus orígenes a Europa sino a Latinoamérica.

The census projects that by 2050, a third of the people living in the United States will be of Latin descent. If this trend continues, it is very likely that, by the end of the 21st century, half the population of this country will trace its origins not to Europe, but to Latin America.

The fact that Latinitas is supporting the strengthening of the voices of young Latinas, who will be our future leaders, is very encouraging. This collective of brilliant and creative young people knows well that success lies in continuing to fight for your individual dreams, in spite of prejudices.

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