By: Mayra Olivas-Arreola, Development Manager
For too long, anti-Hispanic and anti-immigration extremists have promoted bigoted narratives about the Latinx immigrant community through conservative media outlets and social media platforms—to fearmonger and normalize racist characterizations of Hispanic and Latinx immigrants as outsiders, as threats. Their goal is not only to question our communities’ legitimacy—Do we really belong here?—but our very humanity. But they don’t get to decide the answer.
As younger generations of Hispanic and Latinx Americans crave and demand positive, accurate representation in the media, we are realizing that we hold more power and influence than fearmongers would have us believe. The reality is that power and influence don’t only reside with historically privileged, predominantly white, affluent communities—that Latinx and Hispanic immigrant communities’ cultural diversity and heritage are powerful and can build movements.
By working together, we can shape our communities’ identities and demonstrate how our ethnic and cultural identities can foster a sense of belonging, drive community cohesion, and lead to participation in the policy process. If we believe in the power and value of our unified voices, we can catalyze change—and leverage media to “uplift voices and stories, create awareness, and build and strengthen relationships creat[ing] a space for organizations, activists, and citizens to demand justice” (source: A Guide to Activism in the Digital Age, Maryville University).
As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s time that the media portrays and centers the diversity of Hispanic and Latinx immigrants’ experiences. That’s why Enlace amplifies programs that reflect positive Latinx representation, participates in podcasts and media programs to raise awareness, and always works to center the voices of our clients, since such exposure “…helps share lived experiences about racial violence, sexual harassment, and other forms of oppression directly from the underrepresented” (ibid). This year, we have partnered with radio programs, podcasts, and national organizations to elevate conversations about Central New Mexico’s Latinx immigrant community and to center our clients’ experiences.
Enlace envisions a Latinx immigrant community in Central New Mexico that acts as a collective force to create a community free of gender inequity, violence, and injustice—and we know we, as an organizational anchor, must lead by example. It’s time we all speak up!
To hear what we’ve been up to, visit NMCADV’s Speaking Up Podcast and tune into 106.3 La Mexicana’s morning show La Voz de Nuevo Mexico with locutora Ruby every Tuesday morning. We also invite you to follow us on social media and sign up for our blog post notifications.