One afternoon in the summer of 2009, Rebecca Aguilar was sitting in her kitchen with her laptop in front of her. She was listening to the 2009 Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As she listened to the criticisms and compliments being directed toward the first Hispanic nominated to the nation’s highest court, she began to feel a kinship with the woman. Many of the comments made by the senators were similar to ones used to describe Rebecca on a frequent basis.
When the issue of Sotomayor’s “Wise Latina” statement arose, Rebecca believed her critics had taken it out of context. “I knew that she meant a Wise Latina was just that—a smart Hispanic woman. I wondered, ‘What’s the big deal?’ That’s when I realized if I was feeling this way, then other Latinas must also feel the same way.”
Rebecca called up two of her close friends to see what they thought about creating a networking group for Latinas, and their enthusiastic responses convinced her to create the Wise Latinas Linked (WLL) group on Facebook.
Since starting the Facebook page in 2009, the group has grown to more than 3,300 members. Rebecca credits her friends, Sandra Gonzalez and Vicki Adame, a reporter and media relations consultant, respectively, for the success of the group.
“Together we found a way to get Latinas to come together. The group page is a place where Latinas can voice their opinions and concerns without judgment.” Rebecca says it is a place to get good information “without being bombarded by advertisements or people selling products.”
The Wise Latinas Linked blog was created as an extension of the Facebook page to continue the conversation in a more public format. Rebecca writes her opinion pieces based on issues and concerns first voiced by members of the WLL Facebook group. The articles are a reflection of the members’ concerns and opinions of deeper—and sometimes controversial—subjects.
“The response has been tremendous in the number of readers and, most importantly, the impact,” Rebecca says. “For example, in July I wrote ‘Summer’s Eve Vagina Ads Anger Latinas.’ I believe that after reading the blog, Latinas contacted Summer’s Eve, and in the end the company pulled the commercials off the web and television.”
Mamiverse is proud to include Rebecca Aguilar as a contributor to our site. Her articles are diverse and include helpful suggestions for navigating social media.
Rebecca says she feels honored being nominated for Best [email protected] Social Network Leader in the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM). “I’ve always considered myself a journalist for change, but being nominated for ‘Best Social Network Leader’ puts me in another arena,” she says. “I am flattered by the nomination, but also inspired by LATISM and the work it is doing.”