On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) hosts a“Latinas in Politics” forum in partnership with ENLACE New Mexico, El Centro de la Raza and Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. om the Atrium at The University of New Mexico’s Student Union Building from 6 to 8 p.m.

The forum will focus on the challenges and obstacles women of color face when running for office. The event will be part of USHLI’s new national campaign to promote civic engagement and greater participation among women as candidates leading up to the 2018 midterm and the 2020 elections.

Latinas in Politics

State Sen. Linda Lopez (NM-11); State Rep. Christine Trujillo (NM-25); New Mexico Secretary of Higher Education Barbara Damron; Bernalillo County Assessor, Tanya Giddings; and Chief of Staff to New Mexico Senate Majority Leader, Lorraine Montoya will serve as panelists during the forum. These five public servants will discuss the career paths they followed, how they created their networks to find mentors, and why attendees need to further develop their leadership skills. USHLI’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and UNM alumna Cindy Nava will moderate the panel.

The goal of USHLI’s national campaign is to inspire young professional Latinas to pursue a career in politics. Although a record-breaking number of women are running for office in 2018, only 34 out of 112 New Mexico state legislators identify as women (30 percent). According to Rutger’s Center for American Women in Politics, New Mexico ranks 15th in the nation for its proportion of women in the state legislature.

"We need more women to run for public office at all levels of government," said Juan Andrade, USHLI president. "We have found that women are excellent candidates, know the issues, have authentic people skills, and possess the practical experience needed in public service. We are grateful to our panelists and moderator for their willingness to serve.

The event will take place in the Student Union Building Atrium and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cindy Nava at cnava@ushli.org.