Punto Final! Here Today, Here Tomorrow

By Margaret Almada, former executive director for the California State Commission for the Status of Women and former administrator for the city of Tracy, California.

When I was asked to prepare an opinion letter for the inauguration of LATINA Style, I was moved by the idea that others would be reading my thoughts about Hispanic women. I was concerned that I would not be able to share in just a few words all that needs to be contributed about the importance of this new publication.

My first thoughts were of Hispanic women through history. They had little to lose and so much to gain by having faith and endurance to go forward with their efforts. My thoughts then turned to the women who have made my life meaningful – my grandmothers, my mother, my sisters, and my aunts. Each provided a bit of fabric to my existence. Then I thought about all the friends I have made in my life who have opened my eyes as to who I am and what I can become. Finally, I thought what can I contribute to make the lives of other Hispanic women more meaningful and proud?

There are thousands of young women seeking female Hispanic mentors to understand what they are experiencing, exemplify what they can accomplish, and provide a means to realize their own identity. When I was Executive Director for the California State Commission on the Status of Women, an advocate group for women’s issues such as pay equity and sex discrimination, I noticed that although Latinas have come a long way thanks to the women before us-we still have a long way to go. Part of the problem was and still is the fact that generally, we don’t pat ourselves on the back or toot our own horns when we achieve. Part of the reason is that there has not been a vehicle to voice our victories and accomplishments. Now LATINA Style represents an opportunity for Hispanic women like myself to promote a sense of positive identity, to share our successful endeavors and our issues of concern, and communicate with each other.

We are a culture of women with strong family values, concern for our community, a desire to have our culture respected, and a need to create opportunities for success. This magazine embodies an exciting time and a way to share who we are, where we are, and where we want to proceed. There is a wealth of female Hispanic leadership from which we can create future role models, political leaders, scientists, health providers, communicators, social service leaders, and many more. There are numerous topics we need to discuss. And we need to create avenues to learn about each other. Until now there has been no national publication that we could truly call our own.

Join me in contributing toward the success of LATINA Style. We have much to share with each other, much to gain by seizing the opportunity to unite our community of Hispanic women. By appreciating the wealth of who we are, and by letting others know who we are and where we have been, we honor our mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends who have helped make us who we are, Hispanic women.

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