What Does it Mean to be Latina?

The leaders of a Texas non-profit are finalists for a big award given out to Latinos. Texas Standard talked with “Latinitas” co-founder and COO Laura Donnelly about the group’s mission and about her own identity.

By Laura RiceMarch 19, 2015 9:25 am

The Hispanicize Positive Impact Awards are being handed out tonight in Miami. The awards recognize Latinos who work hard to make their communities better.

Laura Donnelly and Alicia Rascon founded Latinitas – which aims to empower young women across Texas.

Donnelly currently serves as the group’s COO.

On Being Treated Differently Because of Culture:

“My cousins, my peers in a lot of cases they were having to prove whether they were Latina enough, whether they were American enough.”

On Whether She Identifies as Latina:

“I’m almost all Irish. That was the dominant culture in my household. Even though there’s mixture back there, my mom was Irish so that was going to be the culture expressed. Potatoes were going to be eaten. I think it’s an age-old question that you’re asking, David, and especially right now because that culture isn’t necessarily being supported and celebrated… yet.”

On the Culture she Chooses to Express:

“I think it’s interesting for me because my Irish heritage is the most dominant and yet look what I got to create. So I think sometimes, intuitively, your identity surfaces.”

On the Goal of Latinitas:

“The mission is to empower young Latinas using media and technology. We did the magazine because we wanted to have the platform to show all those different variations, the true mosaic of Latin identity: from red hair and freckles all the way to deep brown skin. So, in the end, I don’t really have to decide what Latina identity is. It is organically presented through the girls writing, blogging, video production, they do radio, they create photography and they are developing video games.”