Community News

Sí Se Puede

It's been such a challenging time in our comunidad, and we're in awe of all the resilience we've seen through these times. So, we'd like to cheer on those who have been inspiring us lately. Did you or someone you know receive an honor we should know about? Let us know by emailing us at for publication consideration.

Artwork by Cassandra Garza of CGarza Arte
Artwork by Cassandra Garza of CGarza Arte

Sí Se Puede

✨ Muchas felicidades to Latin Grammy-nominated artist and native Austinite Gina Chavez for this powerful TED talk plus performance. Chavez shares her inspirational story around the 2:58 mark and goes on to give an uplifting rendition of her anthem "La Que Manda." Check it out! 👇👇

✨ Kudos to El Naranjo owner Iliana de la Vega for being a finalist for best chef in Texas by the James Beard Foundation and Mando Rayo for his nomination in the Commercial/Sponsored Visual Media category by the foundation for the "Made Right Here Road Trip" series on YouTube.

✨ Felicidades to the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center's ATX Caminos teen leadership program for celebrating its 5th anniversary. Swing by the center's Community Gallery to check out art from the program's five-year trajectory. The program is also currently hiring teens ages 15-18. Apply here. 🎉

✨ Felicidades to The New Philanthropists, an organization working to create more racially diverse and inclusive nonprofit boards. On March 29, Austin Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper Madison declared it The New Philanthropists Day.

✨ Congrats to all of the winners of the Austin Under 40 Awards including Sharon Vigil of Communities in Schools Central Texas who was nominated in the Youth and Education category and Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez of NextGen America who was nominated in the Non-Profit category. Full list of winners here .

✨ Kudos to all of the nominees of Austin nonprofit startup accelerator DivInc's annual Champions of Change award. Winners will be announced March 3 and the event benefits DivInc's programming to support underrepresented startup innovators. Some nominees include: Mando Rayo, founder of The New Philanthropists, Monica Maldonado, founder of MAS Cultura and Denise Hernandez, deputy director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Travis County Attorney's Office.

💥Good news for all of us! The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection has acquired a donation of materials related to the comic series"El Peso Hero" by Héctor Rodríguez, an educator and comic book creator. He's the founder of the Texas Latino Comic Con. We can't wait for this all to be available publicly.

East Austin native Stephanie Gatica was recently featured in Kendra Scott national commercial.
East Austin native Stephanie Gatica was recently featured in Kendra Scott national commercial.
  • Felicidades to East Austin native Stephanie Gatica! She was selected to appear in the Kendra Scott holiday campaign, which includes a national commercial. In addition to her work at Kendra Scott, she's also an Amazon employee, full-time student at Huston–Tillotson University and was recently named a student ambassador. Gatica also inspires us by being an advocate for those, like her, living with the skin condition vitiligo. WATCH: Kendra Scott commercial here. Gatica appears in 0:16. Cheers to this mujer poderosa! 🎉
  • ✨ Kudos to all Latinx candidates stepping up to lead and who are boosting representation in all local races. Felicidades to longtime community leader and local marketing and communications executive Stephanie Bazan for announcing her candidacy for Austin City Council District 5. Bazan, a member of the Limon family, grew up in South Austin and formerly served as the director of communications and programs for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Bazan is an alumna of the LBJ Women's Campaign School at the University of Texas School of Public Affairs.
  • Felicidades to all the winners and nominees of the HABLA Con Orgullo Awards, which celebrate leadership and community impact. Among the recipients of the awards presented by the Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin were Latina Legend Gloria Mata-Pennington and Latino Legend Saúl González. See the complete list of winners featured in La Voz.
  • Congrats to community leader and preservationist Gloria Mata Pennington who was recently awarded the latest Katherine Drake Hart History Preservation Award. She was a longtime employee of the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department who authored "A Living Legacy: Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present and Creating Our Future: Austin Parks and Recreation Department 1928-2003." Find the book at the Austin History Center and check out the award announcement and video clip from the ceremony here. Gracias Gloria for always lifting up our comunidad!
Contributed by The Texicana Mamas
Contributed by The Texicana Mamas
  • Felicidades to The Texicana Mamas, made up of veteran musicians Tish Hinojosa, Patricia Vonne and Stephanie Urbina Jones, for their debut at the Grand Ole Opry inNashville for Hispanic Heritage Month. Kudos for blazing paths for Latinas on that celebrated stage. As if that wasn't enough, the trio also performed at the renowned listening room The Bluebird Cafe to a sold-out audience. Let's break those glass ceilings mujeres!
  • Congrats to Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D. for being named the new director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas. Maggie fans know that this trailblazing journalist, educator and founder of the Voces Oral History Project has been lifting our comunidad throughout her career. She's also most deserving of her recently-announced award - the 2021 Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi Award from the Oral History Association.

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