Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wise Latina: The two words that empowered Hispanic women


Two years ago, I was watching television as several Republican U.S. Senators beat up on Judge Sonia Sotomayor. It all took place at her confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court. They were broadcast on CNN.

I sat in front of my laptop computer in the kitchen, just fuming as they criticized her for everything she had accomplished and said in her past.

Here was a woman who had been at the top of her class at Yale Law School. She also had a resume that was far better than many of those Senators; and they were trying to take her down.

What angered me the most is how they took two words "Wise Latina" that she included in a statement, and blew them out of proportion. Two words “Wise Latina” were suddenly a bad thing!

Justice Sotomayor
I'm a freelance reporter when I'm not blogging.  So I have to admit, even some members of the media (Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck) were to blame for fueling the fire by taking those two simple words out of context.

The Power of Two Words

Wise Latina! Yes, I’m saying it out loud.  Wise Latina! Wise Latina! It feels good to say it.

For many Latinas, those two words just mean that we're bright, experienced, knowledgeable, smart and courageous women. What’s wrong with that?

It doesn’t mean we’re better than others. It doesn’t mean we think “we’re all that.” It means we are proud to be smart women.

So please for those of you who have thought it was a negative term; erase what the media and politicians have embedded in your minds about the term “Wise Latina.” It’s actually something positive.

Vicki, Rebecca and Sandra
Wise Latinas Linked is born

I guess I also have to thank those Republican senators who angered me. They’re the reason I started “Wise Latinas Linked” back in August, 2009.

I knew as I was sitting there watching these guys verbally punch Judge Sotomayor; other Latinas around the country also felt those punches, also felt insulted and mad. And in many cases had experienced something similiar with white male bosses.

I also knew that my comadres (girlfriends) Sandra Gonzalez and Vicki Adame were thinking the same thing, even though they were in other parts of the country. We knew we needed to link Latinas together in the U.S. and beyond our borders.

More than 3,000 Strong

The birth of Wise Latinas Linked happened on August 6, 2009.  The same day Justice Sotomayor was confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court.  Social networks helped our group grow to more than one thousand members in one month.

Los Angeles Wise Latinas
Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter ; Wise Latinas Linked now has a combined membership of more than 3,500.

We’re a virtual group with members in almost all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay and Guatemala.

Latina Sisterhood with a Purpose

We’ve come together to help Latinas get jobs, further their education and in some cases—start all over. Many of our members are advocates and activists on issues that affect Latinas and their families.

Several members have encouraged companies to remove products and ad campaigns that have offended the Latino community. Many Wise Latinas are also using their time and efforts in supporting causes involving education, politics, health,the economy, jobs, and social media.

USA Today
The media has also noticed our group. In two years, we’ve been featured by several media outlets including USA Today, and EFE News Service.

Latinas, it's all in your hands

Congratulations to all you Latinas who continue to help make Wise Latinas Linked a success. We couldn’t be here without you.

Our hopes have been to show all Latinas that we have a voice that needs to be heard in the U.S. and around the world.

What company doesn’t understand our buying power? What politician doesn’t understand our clout as voters? As the U.S. Census has shown us—Latinos are 50 million strong.

No more sitting on the sidelines or the back of the bus. As Latinas, you have the power to be what you want to be and you have the voice to make it happen.

Remember, were not called Wise Latinas for nothing!  Happy Birthday!

Rebecca Aguilar is the founder of Wise Latinas Linked. 


  1. Happy Birthday WWL and many more. We are so proud to be part of this awesome Latina group.The power of two words resulted in a group of 3,500+ strong Wise Latinas and it's still growing. That is amazing. Congratulations Rebecca, Sandra and Vicky!!!

  2. Felicidades! I'm so proud and happy that this group if empowering not only the phrase but Latina women.

  3. that was a very inspiring read! so happy to have found ya'll!Please check out my blog for some +vibes and inspiration! tmbn estoy hosting a giveaway by our Latina sister, Leesandra Diaz from Sweet Spot Card Shop NY! besos,bendiciones y buenas vibras!


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