This was an inspiring look into the talents of two Latina authors who sharee their personal stories and the stories behind their books.
Thank you to all the family and friends who showed up to support the authors.
Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson's College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.
Puerto Rico, an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.
Elena: resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.
Maria: passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love.
Josephina: optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.
Isabella: clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.
Like the land, these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation, like the land, is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?
Sylvia Mendoza is an award-winning author and journalist who writes inspirational stories about strong visionary women who change the world—and are powerful examples of living with passion and purpose.
Sylvia’s classic collection of mini-biographies THE BOOK OF LATINA WOMEN: 150 Vidas of Passion, Strength and Success, was selected for the California Collection for High Schools by the California Readers Association and won 1st place in the International Latino Book Awards “Best Women’s Issues” category. Her SONIA SOTOMAYOR: A BIOGRAPHY launched Zest Books’ middle school “Living History” series to inspire young readers with the true story of the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. Her novel, SERENADE, won the prestigious Latino Literary Award for Best Romance. Sylvia has written more than 500 articles for dozens of publications, earning awards for “Excellence in Journalism.”
Teaching Journalism and Creative Writing at UC San Diego Extension brings her love of the written word full circle as she hears the voices of the next generation of writers.
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Recognized as an expert in her blended fields of journalism, women’s issues and Latina voices, Sylvia has been featured by the National Women’s History Project on C-Span Book-TV, as a thought leader and one of “50 Voices of the Future in Journalism” at UC San Diego Extension, and as “1 of 25 Influential Latina Leaders” invited to a private forum with Ms. Mazal Renford, Israeli delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
From fiery superstars like singing sensation Selena, who blazed new trails in pop culture, to little-known heroes like the Mirabal Sisters, who died for their country and whose brave actions changed history, The Book of Latina Women: 150 Vidas of Passion, Strength and Success, spotlights 150 amazing and influential Latinas.
These fabulous women come from all periods in history and all walks of life. They've impacted the world with their contributions and accomplishments in history, science, politics, education, the arts, activism, sports, news, and entertainment—past and present...
• Eva Peron ruled Argentina with flamboyance and an iron fist.
• France Anne Cordova was the youngest person to ever hold the Chief Scientist position at NASA
• Luisa Moreno organized civil rights groups to fight deplorable and unfair working conditions in sweatshops, factories, and agricultural fields in the 1930s.
• Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was the first feminist intellectual of the New World.
• Rosemary "Rosie” Casals lobbied for equal rights for women on the tennis courts as a seven-time Wimbledon Women’s Champion.
• Botanist Ynez Mexia’s first expedition was at the age of 57—in the 1950s.
Throughout history, Latinas have broken down barriers and stereotypes, blazing their own trails to make a difference. They have followed their passions, expressed creativity, developed cures, stirred up controversy, stood up against the majority, fought for the underdog, and even died for their beliefs. These Latinas are catalysts of profound change.
Arguably one of the most prominent US Supreme Court Justices at the moment, Sonia Sotomayor has paved her own way to enact profound changes and reforms, despite the obstacles that stood in her way. And she certainly has had her share of adversity: she was diagnosed with diabetes when she was just eight years old, lived in housing projects in the Bronx in her youth, and fought (and still is fighting) against blatant discrimination throughout her career. Now in her early 60s, Justice Sotomayor has already made history in being appointed to the Court as the first Latina justice, the third woman justice, and one of the three youngest justices in this position.