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    8 Empowering Lessons from Orgullosa’s #LivingFabulosa Event


    Actress Diane Guerrero, center, moderates a panel of Latina trendsetters, Janet Jones, founder of Vixen Workout, Denise Soler Cox, filmmaker and founder of Project Enye, Raquel Sofía, singer and songwriter, Eliana Murillo, Head of Multicultural Marketing at Google, and Emmelie De La Cruz, personal branding expert, left to right, at at P&G’s Orgullosa #LivingFabulosa event,Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for P&G Orgullosa/AP Images)

    Latinas filled The Paley Center for Media in New York City for the annual Orgullosa #LivingFabulosa event on February 23. While attendees networked and enjoyed goodies from P&G’s beauty brands: Crest, Olay, Secret, Pantene and Venus, the red carpet was graced by celeb guests like SAG Award-winning actress Diane Guerrero and fellow Orange Is the New Black cast members Karina Ortiz, Jackie Cruz and Berto Colon; JW Cortes from Fox’s Gotham and Team U.S.A. Fencer Natalie Vie. caught up with several of the notable guests (check out the videos, here and here).  We asked Ortiz what #LivingFabulosa meant to her.

    “It means working on yourself to be a better person,” said the Dominican actress. “It means working on your dreams, on your goals [and] not settling, and passing on the message to those around you.”

    The gems were flowing throughout last Tuesday’s event. The “Motivating Through Mentors” panel, which included singer Raquel Sofia; Vixen Workout founder Janet Jones; Project Enye founder Denise Soler Cox; personal branding expert Emmelie De La Cruz; and the head of multicultural marketing for Google Eliana Murillo, highlighted the importance and need for Latina mentors. The panel was followed by confidence-boosting sessions led by the panelists: “Moves Like No Other” with Janet Jones, founder of Vixen Workout; “Dreams Are Ageless” with Denise Soler Cox, founder of Project Enye; “Embody Fearlessness” with Raquel Sofia, singer/songwriter at Sony Music; “Strengthen Your Brand” with Emmelie De La Cruz, personal branding expert; and “Healthy, Happy & Hired” with Eliana Murillo, head of multicultural marketing at Google.

    These powerful Latinas left a lasting impression. Here, we take a look at several empowering takeaways from #LivingFabulosa.


    Go for that position or opportunity and do so without apologizing. Most will get it; others won’t, but never dim your light to appease others. Be unapologetic in your journey.   2.


    Whether you have a strong connection to your roots, or discovering where you come from, there’s beauty in that.  


    Knowledge is meant to be shared. Understand your strengths and expertise, and find opportunities to pass on that knowledge. 4.


    How many times have you looked around and said, ‘why doesn’t this exist?’ You don’t have to wait for it to be created. You shoot your shot and make it happen.



    Not to sound cliché but… “great things don’t come from comfort zones.” There’s a whole new world filled with opportunities and lessons at the end of your comfort zone. Trust yourself to navigate that space.   6.

    Be bold and fight for what you want.


    This one spoke to me on a personal level. I’m a bit awkward and growing up didn’t always know where I fit in. Now, I’ve tapped into the various layers of my identity, embraced what makes me different and have used that as a platform to connect with others. My differences have led me to my passion. 8.

    Forever. Always.

    What does it mean to be #LivingFabulosa to you? Let us know in the comments section. 

    Social Media & The Afro-Latina Narrative

    EVENT: ‘Social Media and the Afro-Latina Narrative’

    Ain’t I Latina? is excited to announce our partnership with cool co-working space AlleyNYC in hosting “Social Media and the Afro-Latina Narrative.” Held on Wednesday, February, 24, at 6:30pm, the panel discussion is designed to address how social media has provided a digital space for Afro-Latinas to declare, celebrate and document our narratives. This social media engagement and activism has ignited meaningful conversations and mobilization both in-person and online, as well as national and international coverage.

    Moderated by AIL founder Janel Martinez, our dynamic panel includes:

    Amanda Alcantara (@radicallatina) – writer, multimedia journalist and activist. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of La Galería Magazine, a magazine for Dominicans in the Diaspora, and author of the blog Radical Latina.

    Jamila Aisha Brown (@MsJamilaAisha) – digital strategist, writer and social entrepreneur who specializes in domestic and international advocacy campaigns. As The Opportunity Agenda’s Digital Communications Strategist, she leads the development and implementation of all online platforms and social media outreach and engagement strategies.

    Juliana Pache (@thecityofjules) –  singer, writer and marketer. The Afro-Cuban/Dominican, from Queens, NY, founded “Pussy Power,” an intersectional feminist organization based in Philly (now dismantled). She created the #BlackLatinxHistory hashtag to highlight Afro-Latinx contributions during Black History Month.

    Raquel Reichard (@RaquelReichard) – politics & culture editor at Latina magazine and, where she covers identity, cultura and justice through a working-class Latina feminist lens. Her work has been published in the New York TimesThe Washington PostThe IndependentMic and Cosmopolitan, among other publications.

    To join the conversation, RSVP at . Also, follow the conversation via the event hashtag #AILChat.

    We hope to see you there!

    Social Media - Afro-Latina Flyer -

    Celebrity Fitness Coach Jovanka Ciares On Her Health & Wellness Journey

    (Image: Ain’t I Latina? – Jovanka Ciares)

    With the health and wellness boom the U.S. has experienced in the last decade or two, many people are searching for a diet or lifestyle change that best suits them. Ain’t I Latina? tapped health and wellness expert, entrepreneur and celebrity fitness coach on ABC’s My Diet Is Better Than Yours Jovanka Ciares to discuss her road to veganism, the benefits of a plant-based diet and how she landed on national television.

    It wouldn’t be an Ain’t I Latina? conversation if we didn’t discuss identity. We asked Ciares, who is from Puerto Rico, how she identifies.

    “Not until I came to the United States did I start to realize that there was a difference between Latinos of a different color,” says Ciares. “That’s when people probably started to notice there’s such [a] thing as Afro-Latino, or white Latinos…at the end of the day, I’ve always considered myself a Caribbean, a Latina, and a person of African descent.”

    Naturally our conversation flowed to discussing a vegan diet, and we find out that while Ciares thoroughly enjoys her vegan lifestyle, she misses chuletas. I mean, can you blame her?!

    Watch our interview with the health and wellness pro, below:

    For more, check out her website: .

    Those of you in the tri-state area, you’re in for a treat! The celebrity fitness coach will be hosting Wellness Smackdown Live on February 27 in NYC.




    Meet Juliana Pache, the Woman Behind #BlackLatinxHistory


    Juliana Pache. Founder of #BlackLatinxHistory.

    We’re less than a week into February, but there’s no shortage of hashtags sparked by Black History Month. While the annual observance is a time to celebrate and remember prominent people and events within the African Diaspora, its U.S. origins often result in observances and highlights specific to African-Americans, or Afro-Descendants currently residing in America. While there’s great importance in celebrating African-American history during this time, many such as the Afro-Latinx and Caribbean communities are encouraging others to include our stories and moments in discourse surrounding Black History Month.

    Juliana Pache, an Afro-Cuban/Dominican singer, writer and marketer, took to Twitter to share the accomplishments of prominent Afro-Latinx individuals. Hence, the #BlackLatinxHistory hashtag was born.

    (The term Latinx, pronounced La-teen-ex, is a gender-neutral term. Latinx is more inclusive of identities that don’t necessarily fit into the man-woman binary.) caught up with Pache to discuss why she started the powerful hashtag, #BlackLatinxHistory.

    What promoted you to start the #BlackLatinxHistory hashtag? 

    Every morning, when I wake up, the first thing I do (and maybe I should get in the habit of not doing this, lol) is check my social media. On the morning of February 1, I saw posts about Black History Month, and out of curiosity, I looked at the social media accounts of a few Latinx blogs and magazines, and saw that they hadn’t posted anything about Black History Month. Now, it was February 1, and it was the morning, so, granted, they may have just not posted yet. But I noticed on one of the accounts, they somehow managed to post a picture and article about a non-Latinx white woman that morning. I was low-key infuriated. Not because there was a white woman getting representation, but because we got none. What this said to me, whether unintentional or not, was that, a white face has a greater chance of being represented on the morning of February 1, than a Black one. Granted, I understand that Black History Month is something that’s traditional in the U.S., but I don’t think that’s an excuse. So many Latinx publications and media orgs come out of the U.S., and AfroLatinxs are hardly, if ever, recognized on them. We might get a nod or a mention, here and there, but at the end of the day we are not fairly represented.

    Why is it important that we celebrate Black Litinx history during Black History Month?

    I started posting facts about Black Latinx people, traditions and events, just because I wanted to see that and to share that. The Diaspora is thick and it’s spread out. I wanted to make sure our stories were being told. Originally, I was tagging #BlackHistory, but I created #BlackLatinxHistory when I realized the importance of highlighting this part of the Diaspora for the sake of representation. We’re so often left out of the conversation. Black Latinx is so rich and it’s right here in the U.S.

    How has the hashtag you created been received on social media platforms such as Twitter?

    It seems to be resonating with a lot of people. I’m really glad that people enjoy it and are adding to it. Not just Black Latinx people, but Black people with roots from across the Diaspora seem to be enjoying and discussing it.

    How does social media further the Black Latinx/Afro-Latinx narrative?

    The tool of social media itself is incredible. Being able to share our stories in a way that is easy to digest, but can inspire further investigation in depth. Black/Afro-Latinxs are sharing our stories all the time, and social media provides some access to these stories and these spaces. We can highlight our experiences and celebrate each other.




    Have you participated in the #BlackLatinxHistory hashtag? Head to Twitter to be apart of the discussion. 


    Viral Video Showcases Pride & Struggle of Afro-Peruvians


    (Image: YouTube)

    “I feel invisible when I tell people there’s racism in Peru and they don’t believe me,” says a young Afro-Peruvian woman.

    “My name is not ‘morenita,’ ‘zambita,’ or ‘morocha,” notes another Afro-Peruvian woman.

    “It’s as if being Black is bad,” says an Afro-Peruvian man from Tacna.

    A 2013 video, courtesy of The World Bank, has been circulating the web for the last several weeks. The viral video, which features very candid accounts from Afro-Peruvians, hits on the topics of invisibility, underrepresentation and discrimination of Black people in the South American country.

    The World Bank found that four out of ten Afro-Peruvians have felt insulted or prejudiced against “in the workplace, in shops, or other public places,” reports

    Despite the ill treatment, the interviews showcase a strong sense of Afro-Peruvian pride.

    WATCH the video below:

    Afro-Peruvian organizations like LUNDU are working to expand racial classifications in the 2017 National Census, including making visible “racial data on violence against women.” Peru, however, hasn’t made efforts to collect census data on its Afro-Peruvian population since 1940.

    Let us know your thoughts on the treatment of Afro-Peruvians in the comments below.




    Celia Cruz To Be Honored With Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award


    (Image: Stanford Hispanic Broadcasting)

    Thirteen years after the passing of the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz will receive a Grammy lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy. Cruz, who sang with greats like Johnny Pacheco, Sonora Matancera and Willie Colón, won three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards during her career. A powerful soloist, 23 of her albums went gold.

    The award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording, notes the Grammys official website. “Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy.” Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions, and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come.”

    The Cuban salsera not only impacted the music industry with her voice and unique sense of style, but the larger Latino community as a beaming example of pride in our African roots. (We, here at Ain’t I Latina? stan for her!)

    We may’ve lost the star in 2003, but her legacy continues to reign on.

    The 58th annual Grammys will air on February 16, 2016 on CBS.


    PopTalk Allows Users to Call and Text Mexico and Latin America for Free



    This post was sponsored by PopTalk. 

    For many Latinos, speaking with family back home is priceless. Since we’re not always able to get that face-to-face time in with loved ones, a call or text keeps us all connected.

    But what if we told you there was a groundbreaking app designed to not only connect you with your loved ones, but have advertisers foot the bill?

    Enter PopTalk.

    PopTalk, a smartphone application created to bridge the connectivity gap between Mexicans and Latinos in the U.S. and family in their respective countries, lets users rent out their smartphone lockscreens in exchange for free international calls, texts and pre-paid data. While most apps require both parties to have smartphones and mobile data to communicate, Poptalk users can call their family members who have landline phones or text loved ones who don’t have a smartphone. Hence, ensuring all Latinos can be reached.

    Created by former Google managers, UC Berkeley graduate Victor Santos and Harvard graduate Sara Choi, both tech entrepreneurs have immigrant families and wanted to ensure others like them could keep in touch with their loved ones.


    (Image: PopTalk)

    “It has been a very powerful experience being able to talk to my family freely without incurring any charges,” says Santos to “My grandmother in Brazil is not doing well, so it has been a great relief to know we can call and text her anytime, as well as pay for her cell phone bill for free, all using PopTalk.”

    PopTalk works with many of the same sponsors you come across in your Facebook news feed. Because PopTalk is accustomed to your likes, you’ll only see things that are relevant and useful to you.

    When it comes to credits, here’s how it works:

    • You can call and text anyone in the world directly within the PopTalk app.  In Latin America, only 52% of people have a cellphone, notes Choi.  With PopTalk, you can call people with landline phones and text people who have feature phones, as well.
    • You can also send your credits to recharge any prepaid phone with airtime or data. Hence, you can send credits to pay for the phone bills of your loved ones abroad, as well as top-up your own phone to give yourself free data.
    • You can earn credits by downloading apps or watching videos. (Tip: These can double the number of credits earned.)

    PopTalk is available for all Android devices.

    More on PopTalk:

    PopTalk is a free application allows Android users (iOS to follow in March) to call or SMS any phone for free by simply renting their smartphone lockscreens to sponsors, receiving credits every day by using their phones normally. Users can also use the credits to pay for their relatives’ cellphone service and data in Latin America.

    Poptalk offers the highest-quality voice service with rates that are just a fraction of calling cards (30x-100x) and local carriers (10x) so every free credit gets you an abundance of minutes and texts.  For example, the average Poptalk user can call a Mexican landline for 600 minutes every month, for free.

    To learn more about Poptalk and to download the app, please visit:

    Join the conversation at:

    20 Amazing Afro-Latina Moments in 2015

    20 Amazing Afro-Latina Moments In 2015

    Afro-Latinas made headlines in 2015. While Afro-Latinas, or Black Latinas, have been changing the game through activism, art, business and entertainment, among other spheres, for decades, there’s something about 2015 that resulted in greater visibility and awareness for our community globally. Between stereotype-smashing hashtags like #LatinasAreNot, #SomosMas and #Afrolatina, which gave many the platform to educate the masses online, and historic moments like Puerto Rican actress and singer Jeimy Osorio becoming the first Afro-Latina to cover Vanidades, a popular women’s magazine, our narratives are reaching new heights.

    With the year nearly over, it’s only right we celebrate how Afro-Latinas did it big in ’15:

    1. Poet Elizabeth Acevedo schools the world on pelo politics when her poem, “Hair,” goes viral. #pajónpower

    2. Vlogger Monica Veloz, widely known as MonicaStyleMuse, released a powerful YouTube video, “I Am Too Dark to Be Dominican.” “We need to stop thinking people look a specific way,” says Veloz in the video. “I don’t have to sit here and speak Spanish to you so you know I’m Dominican.”

    3. TV series Celia debuted on Telemundo. It’s based on the life of legendary cantante cubana Celia Cruz, la Reina de la Salsa.




    4. Jeimy Osorio, who plays the young Celia in Celia, became the first Afro-Latina cover girl for Vanidades.


    (Image: Twitter)

    5. Part Mexican, part Panamanian actress Tessa Thompson shined as actor Michael B. Jordan’s love interest, Bianca, in Creed.



    6. Graciela Dixon became the first woman of African descent to serve as Panama’s Chief Justice.



    7. Cuba holds its first natural hair competition in Havana. Hosted by performance artist Susana Delahante, the two-hour competition brought over 70 contestants in an effort to celebrate the beauty of the Afro-Cuban community.



    8. Thousands of Afro-Brazilians gather in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil for the first ever Natural Hair Empowerment March (Marcha do Empoderamento Crespo). The march was organized by Lorena Lacerda, Andrea and Naiara Souza Gouveia.The historic march took place on November 7, which is exactly 41 years after the historic first march that marked the start of the Black Power movement in Bahia in 1974.



    9. Blogger and image activist Carolina “Miss Rizos” Contreras opens first natural hair salon in the Dominican Republic.  Contreras and her salon were recently featured in the New York Times.



    10. Brown University student Jo’Nella Queen Cabrera Ellerbe and fellow students released “Eminence,” a photo project that shows Black women reclaiming their bodies.


    Jo’Nella Queen Ellerbe: “I’m the queen and no one can take that away from me.” (Image: Taylor Michael)

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    9 Latina Entrepreneurs to Support This Holiday Season (And Beyond)

    Holiday shoppers are in the thick of things. With Christmas just days away, many are still looking for the perfect item to gift their loved ones. As a team that loves to advocate and support our own, we decided to create a short list of amazing gift ideas that were created by our very own: Latinas.

    Whether you want to gift your friend with a workout she won’t forget or add a sweet treat to the menu, these Latina entrepreneurs are the brains behind great products:




    (Image: Sulma Arzu-Brown)

    Sulma Arzu-Brown

    After receiving a suggestion to relax her then 3-year-old daughter’s hair, Sulma Arzu-Brown decided to write an empowering children’s book about natural hair. Bad Hair Does Not Exist! (Pelo Malo No Existe!), a bilingual book for girls three and up, teaches children to love their natural hair, as well as promotes a second language, Spanish.

    Visit to purchase your copy, or



    Hipatia Lopez (Image: Empanada Fork)

    Hipatia Lopez

    This innovator has helped to simplify the empanada-making process. Making empanadas can be a tedious task, but Hipatia Lopez saw opportunity in it. She created Empanada Fork, a patented-kitchen utensil that helps enclose the dough when making the yummy stuffed pastry.

    You can purchase your Empanada Fork online by visiting her website,




    Chef Veronica Velez. (Image: Instagram)

    Veronica Velez

    Chef Veronica Velez’s appreciation for her Puerto Rican roots shines through her decadent dishes. The blogger, food writer and culinary master is heavily involved in the culinary scene in New York. If you follow her on social media, you know the winner of Museo Del Barrio’s Coquito Masters is serving up her special coquito recipe.

    To get your bottle, visit




    Cynthia Sepulveda-Caballero. (Image: Inner Vibrations Magazine)

    Cynthia Sepulveda-Caballero

    Wanting to keep a longstanding tradition alive, but also improve it by making it healthier, Cynthia Sepulveda-Caballero created Flaco Coquito. Flaco Coquito comes in various flavors, all of which are low in sugar and fat. There are also vegan options.

    Follow Flaco Coquito on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest.




    Isidra Sabio. (Image: Bad Hair Does Not Exist)

    Isidra Sabio

    Have you ever tried searching for a holiday card that actually looked like you, but fell far short of that vision? We can hear the resounding “yass” already. Well, Afro-Latina artist Isidra Sabio sought to change that, creating beautiful visuals in the form of greeting cards. Sabio has been designing cards since she was a child in Honduras.

    You can find her amazing designs at GreetingCardUniverse/Isidra.




    Coco and Breezy. (Image: Sidney H. Gomes // Instagram)

    Coco and Breezy

    This dynamic duo has taken the fashion eyewear game by storm with their futuristic and uber cool sunglasses (and now accessories). Corianna and Brianna Dotson, better known as Coco and Breezy, moved to New York City and started their eyewear business in 2009 at the age of 19. The Afro-Latina twins began their dream a little over five years ago and have been able to create an eyewear empire, working with brands such as Addidas, and expanding to design apparel. Serena Williams, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé, among others, have worn their designs.

    You can check out their collections at



    Sonia Guzman. (Image: LinkedIn)

    Sonia Guzman

    Sonia Guzman had a successful career working with big name companies like Conde Nast, Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting. However, after losing her sister to cancer and a life-changing car crash, Guzman wanted to pivot her career to focus on health. She launched Carson Life, a growing natural health, wellness and beauty brand that creates products with Latinos in mind.

    You can pick up a selection of products at Walgreens, Walmart and CVS in Puerto Rico, or online at




    Janet Jones. (Image: Instagram)

    Janet Jones

    Vixen Workout creator Janet Jones is literally shaking up the way women exercise. The former Miami Heat dancer birthed an hour-long high-cardio twerk out that not only gets your body right, but your mind as well. While the class includes a playlist with hits from Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few, it includes affirmative chants that will have you basking in your flyness. “Yes, I’m sexy!”

    To get your Vixen Workout experience at

    We know this is a small fraction of Latina entrepreneurs. So, fill out our form to recommend your business today. Click here! 


    5 Career Lessons from Award-Winning Journalist Soledad O’Brien


    #HerAgendaLive, December 10, 2015 (Image: Rosann Santos// @RosannSantosLHE)

    I’ve been a Soledad O’Brien stan for years!

    As a journalist, I respect the way my fellow Afro-Latina (yes, she’s a Black Latina, too!) tackles hard-hitting topics that affect the Black and Latino community in the U.S. In recent years, the award-winning journo stepped out on faith, launching Starfish Media Group, a multiplatform company dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories.

    I can imagine she felt some fear while preparing to step into a new journey, but what did it take for her to push through that? What are the keys to this power woman’s successful career?

    If you attended HerAgenda and AlleyNYC’s “Overcoming Fear, Facing Failure and Actualizing Ambition,” gems were shared by O’Brien, Director of Digital at WeWork Victoria Taylor; Meagan Hooper, founder of, and ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca. They discussed navigating their respective careers and dealing with setbacks and fear.

    Here are five career tips from the media exec that are perfect for professionals at any stage in their career.

    Develop a strategy.

    Dreams don’t come true unless you work for them. A strategy will help you map out your vision and set you on the path to achieving your goals and dreams.



    Stay cool.

    It’s absolutely natural to want to freak out, cry or wallow in fear. But how does that get you to the next stage? Have your moment, but always remember to keep cool.

    When you feel like quitting, push through. Go through today and see how you feel. You’ll most likely reflect back on how you made it through. All the motivation necessary to take on the next day.

      What happens when you realize you’re no longer being valued? ¡Hasta luego! When you’re no longer being valued, it’s time to reevaluate things. More often than not it is time to move on.

    Don’t crumble.

    Mistakes happen. Carry on!


    To see tons of other career advice and tips, click through the #HerAgendaLive hashtag.

    What career lessons have you learned in 2015? Share those with us in the comments section below.