“We Are Changemakers”: Latina Storytellers at This Week’s #WeAllGrow Summit

Latina creators and entrepreneurs will come together from May 30 to June 1 in Long Beach, California, for the #WeAllGrow Summit: a conference to network, attend workshops, and celebrate the power of the Latina community. WordPress.com is proud to be a sponsor of the event. Here’s a peek at some of the inspiring speakers that use WordPress to tell their stories and build their personal brands.

Mariana Atencio

Mariana Atencio tells her story of becoming a journalist and national correspondent at MSNBC — how she came to the U.S. on a journalism scholarship to Columbia University, built a career in both Spanish and English language TV, and has inspired a new generation of Latina storytellers.

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela surrounded by nature and my tight-knit family. Growing up I always gelt like a citizen of the world, thanks to my dad who taught me to embrace different cultures. . . .

Landing a job during the recession . . . easier said than done! I worked for a newspaper, a public service TV station, shot my own stories and was unemployed at times. But I never stopped believing I would eventually get where I wanted to be.

“This is Who I Am”

Rosie Molinary

Author and self-esteem educator Rosie Molinary promotes her books, Beautiful You and Hijas Americanas, as well as upcoming events, her yoga series, and her blog. She speaks on topics like self-acceptance, the Latina experience, and intentional living.

Recently, I came across a note that I scrawled in response to a prompt that I gave in a writing class I thought years ago.

The prompt was simply: I am a woman/man/person who . . . and I wrote: I am a woman who is suddenly aware that I can control my destiny by creating the day that I most wish to have.

What I know now is that the day that I most wish to have is far less about the specific things I am doing and more about how I am energetically able to be over the span of hours I have available to me. I want my heart to show up in all that I am doing. For you. For me. For my values and beliefs and the possibilities before me and the most profound way that I can do that is by choosing the behaviors that allow be to be present over and over again.

“Preparing for Presence”

Cristina Escobar Andrade

Essayist, speaker, and Mujeres Problemáticas co-founder Cristina Escobar Andrade focuses on social justice and women’s issues, from domestic violence to women’s representation in the media. Her multi-panel front page presents a wide range of her writing and projects.

I am fair skinned.

Fair skinned enough that I get mistaken for white more often than not.

Fair skinned enough that no one follows me around at stores to make sure I’m not shoplifting. . . .

Which is all to say, I’m fair skinned enough that I’ve seen women who look like me in media my entire life.

And so when I started watching Jane the Virgin, I didn’t think there was a hole to fill. I thought I’d been represented. . . .

And yet.

On Jane the Virgin, there was my extended family. I saw my tios, my abuelita. There was a family with a complicated relationship to Catholicism, no one all saint, slut, or sinner. There was a family that was brown but not gang members. Who spoke Spanish and English. A family whose matriarchal line was complicated, sympathetic, and human. There was a family with ego invested in cooking (yes the Villanueva’s are more arepas while the Escobars are more tamales, but the principle is the same). There was a family of immigrants and their descendants still grappling with what all that means. There was a family that I had never seen before on TV but see everyday in real life.

And it felt like breathing out. Like relaxing a muscle you didn’t know you kept flexed.

“What Jane the Virgin Means to Me”

Inspired and want more?

The Latina women behind the WordPress websites below are among this year’s #WeAllGrow Storytellers. These selected finalists will share their stories on stage.

Hustle for the Cause

A social impact firm owned by LGBTQ women of color, Hustle for the Cause creates cultural events and experiences that empower underserved communities. Co-founders Denise Hernandez and Krista Cottingim are dedicated to social change — and “hustle for the cause.”

Chase Your Fears

The marketing and business strategy team at Chase Your Fears, led by Dayhanna Acosta, teaches socially conscious entrepreneurs how to sell their products and services with confidence and courage.

Style the Scene

“When the invitations come, the first thought that comes to mind is ‘What am I going to wear?'” Sherly Tavarez launched her beauty and travel blog Style The Scene to create a space for style inspiration for specific occasions.

RAWW Network

Real Authentic Women Wellness (RAWW) focuses on the comprehensive well-being of women: mental, physical, sexual, and spiritual health. Through events, the nonprofit creates a supportive space for women to talk about issues that aren’t as openly discussed, like anxiety, sex, and weight.

Mama Latina Tips

Bilingual mom blogger Silvia Martinez founded Mama Latina Tips in 2009. Her site not only focuses on food and recipes, but beauty, health, and family.

Learn more about the #WeAllGrow Storytellers in our Instagram Stories.