A Space of Our Own

Introducing the Latinas in Journalism Mentorship Program

Too often I’ve been the only Latina in the room.

It has not been by choice. The journalism industry in the United States has failed for decades at representing communities of color in its newsrooms. Research has found people of color constitute less than 23% of all newsroom jobs and around 19% of supervisor roles. We still have no data on how many of those positions are filled by Latinas.

It comes as no surprise then that it’s been annoyingly hard to find Latina mentors in the industry. Instead, I’ve relied on other wise women of color who’ve championed me. But I’ve never stopped wanting to find them—women with careers I could emulate, who understood I switch to Spanish when frustrated, who have dealt with some of the hard shit that comes with being a Latina in predominantly-white spaces. I have not been alone in feeling this; I’ve heard it from too many of my friends in news.

Then, the reckoning around diversity and inclusion that enveloped our industry this past summer crystalized something: I’m tired of being the only one in the room. I’m tired of seeing us face innumerable barriers to accessing mentorship, to moving up in our careers, to becoming newsroom leaders. I’m tired so many people who look and speak like me have been forced out of the industry.

The boricua women in my family have never been ones to sit still. I am not one, either. With the help of 37 outstanding women, today we’re launching the Latinas in Journalism Mentorship Program. This free resource aims to connect Latinas and non-binary Latinxs working in news with kickass Latina journalists who can help them navigate their careers.

We want more Latinas to become journalists, and to remain in the industry. We want to make journalism more equitable. To achieve that, we’re starting with creating a space of our own. Juntas somos más fuertes.

Written by

Senior Staff Writer, GEN by Medium. Puertorriqueña. Previously: Refinery29, El Diario Nueva York, Diálogo, and more. Tips: andrea@medium.com

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