Alicia Menendez Wants Latinas Everywhere to Have Their Closeup
Journalist Alicia Menendez shares just about every platform she possibly can with Latinas in a successful effort to make sure they are heard
By Cristina Merrill
There’s nothing wrong with being the brains behind the scenes, but journalist Alicia Menendez wants more Latinas to be front and center, and she works tirelessly to make this happen.
For one, Menendez is the head of the MSNBC show American Voices With Alicia Menendez. MSNBC signed her on for the role in late 2019 in order to boost live weekend programming, according to a report in The Hill, and she uses this platform to interview a wide range of people other media outlets are prone to ignore.
Not only is she giving marginalized people—especially Latinas—a platform, but she’s spotlighting them at a crucial time for the country. She noted in an interview with Bustle, where she served as a contributing editor, about the importance of the Latina vote.
“If you grew up in a Latino home, you know that very often Latinas are the deciders,” Menendez said. “They decide which bills get paid. They decide which products get purchased. They run the show. We’re seeing that same decisiveness and empowerment translate to this election. Latinas are engaged and emboldened to take part. They will be some of the most critical voters. But there is still chronic underinvestment when it comes to this electorate. There is a tendency to expect people to show up without engaging them. You need to give those voters a vision, future, and agenda to show up for.”
Menendez also met another major milestone in 2019: she released her book The Likability Trap: How to Break Free and Succeed as You Are.
In an interview with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah to promote her book, Menendez noted how likability is “wildly subjective” and that it’s especially tough on women: “If you are a woman who strives to lead, you are told one of two things. You are either told you’re too much, too assertive, too aggressive, you need to tone it down. Or you’re told you’re not enough. You don’t take up enough space. You don’t take up enough oxygen. You don’t have what it takes to lead.”
The trailblazer also hosts the Latina to Latina podcast, and her guests include familiar names whose accomplishments have gone above and beyond.
“Each week on Latina to Latina, I talk with remarkable Latinas about making it, faking it, and everything in between,” she wrote in a guest editor piece for Hispanic Executive. “Our past guests include Hollywood powerhouses Gina Rodriguez and Gina Torres, business visionaries Katia Beauchamp and Nina Vaca, and leaders like UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa and US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. Every guest has a unique story, and still, there are so many common threads that emerge again and again: respect for hard work, deep gratitude for families who have sacrificed to make all things possible, resilience in the face of adversity.”
Whenever we need a boost in our day, let’s take a moment to remember that Alicia Menendez is in our corner.