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Latina Trailblazers Honored At Sixth Annual Celebration

May 09, 2014
2014 Arizona Latina Trailblazers

It was a heartwarming celebration as more than 150 friends, families, colleagues and community members gathered to honor four accomplished women at the sixth annual Arizona Latina Trailblazers event March 19, 2014, at the Phoenix Art Museum. The complimentary fiesta featured highlights of the honoree’s lives, music by Flamenco por la Vida and sumptuous hors d’oeuvres

Presented by the Raul H. Castro Institute at Phoenix College and generously sponsored by SRP with support from APS, the annual event premiered a series of moving and uplifting videos highlighting key aspects of the lives of the honorees as narrated by family members, colleagues and, when possible, the Trailblazers. The evening’s emcee, Kathleen Mascareñas from SRP, took time to lead birthday well wishes for Tony Moya, manager of Latino Relations for SRP.

Trailblazing Tales
As the ALT stories were told, cheers, laughter, applause and more than a few tears were shared. The four remarkable women provide stellar examples of commitment to family, community and career.

Catherine Anaya is an Emmy award-winning news anchor for CBS KPHO TV5 and a well-known personality and generous role model in the Valley. This esteemed journalist was in Washington, D.C. interviewing President Barack Obama and so her mother flew in from California and, along with Catherine’s daughter, accepted the honor on Catherine’s behalf.

A large contingency of Superior residents were there to honor Josephine “Josie” O. Campos. The daughter of a miner, her lengthy tenure of as the first Latina director of a Pinal County library places her firmly in the role of community leader.

María García co-founded Phoenix’s first chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, fought many civil rights battles and devoted herself to Friendly House so immigrants from all nations could find their way to American citizenship. Her nephew accepted the posthumous honor.

As the first Latina mayor of Avondale, Ariz., Marie López Rogers’ skills in consensus building and her passion for developing communities has led to national recognition. Her leadership has brought acclaim to this community west of Phoenix and its residents.

Also attending the evening’s festivities were Trailblazers from previous years: 2009 - Dr. Christine Marin; 2010 - Carmela Ramírez; 2012 Elizabeth “Liz” Archuleta and Teresa “Terri” Cruz; and 2013 Anna Tovar.

"It is our joy and honor to recognize and celebrate these exemplary women for their significant contributions to our communities, the state of Arizona and beyond,” said Dr. Trino Sandoval, director of the Raul Castro Institute at Phoenix College. “Documenting their accomplishments in videos and written narratives is vital so that future generations may be inspired to follow in the successful footsteps of our Latina Trailblazers. The K-12 curriculum we are developing based on their lives ensures these empowering stories will be shared in perpetuity.”

Latina Trailblazers Scholarship
During the evening’s festivities, Dr. Anna Solley, president of Phoenix College, announced the creation of the RCI Arizona Latina Trailblazers Scholarship. The scholarship was established so that the groundbreaking accomplishments of the Trailblazers can live on through the lives of future Latinas given the opportunity to pursue their dreams of higher education. Find out more at www.azlatinatrailblazers.com.

Each guest at the event received a copy of “Arizona Latina Trailblazers: Stories of Courage, Hope and Determination,” Vol. VI, authored by historian Jean Reynolds. The digital collection of the 2014 stories is being contributed to the Raul H. Castro Institute’s collection for the Arizona Memory Project, a series of online Arizona history resources housed on the State Library’s website. In addition, booklets and DVDs of the Trailblazers’ stories are being distributed to local public libraries.