What role do Latinas play in today’s political landscape? Join us for an engaging panel discussion with film shorts regarding the current challenges our nation is facing in maintaining basic human rights, particularly for marginalized communities and women. With the ever-changing policies on environment and healthcare, what can be done to get more people involved in dialogues surrounding issues that affect humanity? Featured speakers will be Carmen Perez and Paola Mendoza, co-chairs of the National Women’s March, joined by Jessica González-Rojas of National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. They will discuss these issues and present a few film shorts that speak to the crisis at hand. Free Admission.
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Jessica González-Rojas is the Executive Director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the only national reproductive justice organization that specifically works to advance reproductive health, rights and justice for the 28 million Latinas in the United States. She has been a leader in progressive movements for over 15 years and is a frequent contributor to El Diario/La Prensa, the Daily Beast, and Huffington Post on pressing reproductive health issues in the Latina community, as well as a regular media voice in local and national outlets such as MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry Show, MSNBC’s News Nation, National Public Radio, the Bill Moyers Show, the Boston Globe, the New York Times and Fox News Latino. Jessica sits on the Board of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, chairing the Latina Task Force and the Health Committee, and serves in an advisory role with the Anna Julia Cooper Center’s Intersectional Research Agenda, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and Emily’s List. She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the New York City Council’s Young Women’s Initiative. Jessica and NLIRH has been honored by numerous outlets and organizations, and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Latino and Latin American Studies at the City University of New York teaching courses on reproductive rights, gender, and sexuality. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a certificate from the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Paola Mendoza was a national organizer and the Artistic Director for the Women’s March on Washington. She was recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Ms. Mendoza made her narrative directorial debut with Entre nos, which had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival where it was awarded Honorable Mention and went on to win over twenty awards at film festivals around the world. Ms. Mendoza is in development for her second feature film A PASO DE MANGLES, which she will direct in Colombia. Recently she directed a short documentary series for Refinary29 about immigration, which was executive produced by America Ferrera. Other films include: BROKEN TAIL LIGHT, FREE LIKE THE BIRDS, Z FOR ZENDAYA, staring Disney superstar Zendaya Coleman and her animated series, 11 Million Stories, about a dystopian future where mass deportation is law in the US were commissioned by Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation FDW.Us. Ms. Mendoza’s feature documentaries include AUTUMN’S EYES, and WITHOUT THE KING and is a two-time nominee for the NALIP Estel Awards, given to Latino filmmakers that show extraordinary promise in the field of directing. She is a Tribeca All Access, Independent Film Week and Fast Track Alum and her novel, THE ONES WHO DON’T STAY, was published by Penguin Books in 2013.
Carmen Perez is something of a Renaissance woman in modern-day activism. She has dedicated 20 years to advocating for many of today’s important civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing. As the Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice, a nonprofit founded by legendary artist and activist Harry Belafonte, Carmen has crossed the globe promoting peace through civil and human rights, building alternatives to incarceration and violence, and providing commentary and guidance for state and federal policy creation. Carmen’s most recent work is her role as the National Co-Chair of the Women’s March on Washington, drew over 5 million people across the globe who marched in resistance of hatred and bigotry, affirming women of all identities’ rights as human beings. In 2017, Carmen was named one of Fortune’s Top 50 World Leaders and one of TIME’s most influential people.
Photo credit: The Pulp Zine