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Maria Hinojosa: for putting Latino stories front and center

To mark International Women's Day, Univision honors 15 incredible Latinas who are innovating in different fields.
8 Mar 2018 – 07:47 AM EST
Maria Hinojosa Crédito: AP/Univision

María Hinojosa, one of the most influential journalists in the United States, uses humor to break the ice in interviews and speeches: "I have five characteristics with which President Trump has problems: I am a woman, I am Mexican, I am an immigrant, I am journalist ... and, since he has an obsession with this: I'm flat chested."

Her name recognition extends beyond the Hispanic world. Hinojosa has won four Emmy awards, and was twice the winner of the Robert Kennedy Journalism and the Edward R. Murrow prizes, among a dozen other awards. She has appeared on CNN, PBS, CBS and has directed the show Latino USA at NPR for the last 25 years, which she now produces at the Harlem-based company she founded in 2010: Futuro Media Group.

She also leads "Humanizing America" and the podcast "In the thick" with Julio Ricardo Varela, and is the creator of the series "America by the Numbers" on PBS, in which she reveals the human face of demographic changes in the country.

Hinojosa says she does not like the word "minority" and argues strongly against the term "illegal" to refer to undocumented immigrants living in the United States. "Illegal is not a noun. No human being is illegal," she explained in a television interview that went viral on social media.

As a child she says she felt that she, her customs and people like her were not reflected in the media. Later, as a journalist who was often the only Latina woman in an American newsroom, she always had a clear objective: "Make the invisible visible."

Emma Gonzalez
For calling B.S. on the NRA
Marlen Esparza
For revolutionizing women's boxing
Germaine Franco
For bringing Mexican music to the big screen
Rita Moreno
For redefining what it means to be 86
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
For bringing marginalized farmworker's voices into the #MeToo conversation
Diana Trujillo
For getting us closer to Mars
Princess Nokia
For infusing rap with punk rock, feminism and 'Afrolatinidad'
Candi CdeBaca
For fighting gentrification in a changing Denver
Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski
For breaking barriers in the exploration of space and time
Cristina Martínez
For daring to talk about undocumented restaurant workers
Geisha Williams
For leading California into a green energy future
Elizabeth Guzman
For taking her immigrant story to the Virginia legislature
Reyna Montoya
For encouraging undocumented youth to dream and heal
Maria Hinojosa
For putting Latino stories front and center
Gabby Rivera
For being the first queer Latina to write for Marvel Comics

Coordination: Jessica Weiss, Olivia Liendo and Allie Jaynes.

Illustrations: Grace Berríos and Jackie Albano.

Web design and development: Juan Jesús Gómez.

Editorial: Nathalie Alvaray, Tamoa Calzadilla, Juliana Jiménez, Douglas Gómez and Rogerio Manzano.

Photo Editing: David Maris.

This story was produced in collaboration with Univision Contigo, Univision's social responsibility team.

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