NPR's Maria Hinojosa In New Haven To Speak On "Being Latino" in U.S.


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Maria Hinojosa said there are two reason she was incredibly honored when she was asked to speak at the Progreso Latino Fund Forum set for tomorrow, March 27.  Hinojosa, although a resident of New York City, owns a cottage in Connecticut, so she considers the trip coming home.
As a professional, she also sees Connecticut as a potential leader of how to embrace change within the growing and diversifying Latino community.   “What is happening to a state like Connecticut in over the past 25 years, there is something very profound happening,” said Hinojosa, who anchors and is the executive producer of her NPR show Latino USA as well as founder, president and CEO of Futuro Media Group.
“New Haven is so interesting in regards to how to embrace change, ways to make a more effective city and state as a whole.”
The forum, co-sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the Progreso Latino Fund, begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale on Temple Street.   There is no cost to attend.
Hinojosa, who has worked extensively as a journalist on the changing demographic and potential of the diversifying, growing Latino population in the United States, will speak about the Latino stories she has witnessed across the country.
“Frankly there are mixed messages sent to Latinos and immigrants,” Hinojosa said. “I call it the U.S. mambo: three steps forward and two steps back.”
“The Latino consumer market is a trillion dollar market and the fastest-growing market in the country but, on the other hand, there are more Latinos being detained and deported than ever in history,” she said.
Hinojosa wants to share with people in New Haven and in Connecticut that although these conflicting occurrences can seem disempowering and causing Latinos to feel lonely, these events are happening all over the country.
“Over the past 20 years, the narrative is that Latinos are a minority group, disempowered, disenfranchised, isolated and sad. Some of that is true,” Hinojosa said. “It is about a changing narrative, taking control and telling our American narrative, which is very empowering.”
Tickets to the forum are complimentary and Progreso Latino Fund advisory board Co-Chairman Fernando Muniz said more than 200 people have already registered to attend. The forum is open to the public and both Muniz and Hinojosa encouraged Latinos and others to attend.  Muniz said there will be time for question and answers.
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“One of the reasons we chose this topic was due to the incredible growth and diversification of Latinos in Connecticut,” Muniz said. “Some projections say that the Latino population will double in size in the next 10 years and diversify greatly.”
The impact this will have on the economy and the power the population holds in politics is something Hinojosa will address as she sees it nationwide and in Connecticut.
Hinojosa said she will offer stories from her travels around the country including her most recent trips to Columbus, Ohio, and Idaho, where she has witnessed growth and diversification of Latino communities as well.
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