Latinas have a long history of political activism and leadership but it has not been recognized until recently. I will highlight the various roles of Latinas in mobilizing the Latino community since the second wave of the women’s movement. During this time frame, Latina activism was often overlooked or overshadowed by the more dominant actors in the Women’s movement and Chicano movement. However, Latinas increasingly served as key figures in Latino political activism. I will also discuss evidence of the growing political influence of Latinas in electoral politics, as well as the growing distinctiveness of Latina leadership.
Valerie Martinez-Ebers is a University Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science and Director of the Latino and Mexican American Studies Program at the University of North Texas. Dr. Martinez-Ebers has published widely on education policy, Latino/a politics, women in politics, and methods of survey research in outlets and is the only woman of color to have published in all the top journals of her discipline.