I am proud to live in a time where more than ever before, women are celebrated for their strength and determination. I am grateful for my own upbringing; I was raised to appreciate my heritage, to appreciate the gifts I was given and to work hard to achieve my goals.
I appreciate Latina celebrities who raise our status in the world, but even more than that I appreciate my mother, my aunts, my grandmother. These are women who have overcome a great deal of adversity to create better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Although we see these women everyday, they are rarely publicly recognized for their efforts and contributions. An important "everyday" Latina to recognize is Inocente Izucar. Izucar was the subject of the short documentary, Inocente, which took home the Academy Award in its' category last Sunday.
(from CBC.ca, 2013)
Inocente's story began filming when she was 14 years old. Not only did she have to deal with growing up and surviving high school, she had to deal with homelessness. Originally born in Mexico, Inocente's family illegally crossed the border for a better life. Despite the violence and hardship that seperated her from her family, Inocente found hope in painting, and was determined to become an artist.
(CBS News- "60 Minutes", 2013)
Inocente is now 19 years old, a graduate of high school, and successful artist who owns her own apartment. She no longer has to worry about homelessness or her safety. While she is not embarassed to share her past, she looks to the future and proves that anything is possible for Latinas.
(The Verge.com, 2013)
Everyone experiences difficult times and pain throughout their lives, but people like Inocente choose to take that pain and channel it to create positive things. What activities or talents could you share to help others?
Can you think of any other positive Latina role models that you see everyday? Whether it is your teacher, your mom, or your sister- take the time to thank them for their work and their help in making life better for Latinas like you!
To learn more about Inocente's story, check out her website: Inocente's Story
MTV will also be airing special viewings of the documentary over the coming weeks, and they have the full film online.