While we were celebrating the professional and personal achievements of our community and women at the Latinas Think Big Summit in New York and Harvard Latina Empowerment and Development Conference in Cambridge this past Friday and Saturday, terror and horror was unfolding in Paris. As the portraits of the victims of these terror attacks begin to emerge, we find that among them is a sister: an American Latina and citizen, Nohemi Gonzalez, 23 years old, who was a design student from California studying abroad in Paris, a dream of hers and a journey that she embarked on zealously to try to make a better life for herself and her family. She was a first generation Mexican-American, raised by her mother, a hairdresser, the heart, soul, and financial bedrock of her family, to whom, like many of us to our parents, she attributed the strength of her character, her independence, work ethic, and drive to succeed and improve her economic situation.
Nohemi and her mother are shining examples of what Latinas represent. Contrary to the current political rhetoric about our community, Nohemi came from a hardworking, productive immigrant Latino family that put education on a pedestal as a means to achieve economic independence. This is a hallmark of the Latino culture and purpose in this country, and Nohemi’s story validates our strong community that works hard to contribute to our society in all ways. God bless Nohemi and her loved ones, and I hope in the near future we can celebrate in her name and find ways to support her mother in her business as a hairdresser. We now have another angel watching over us, guiding us on our collective journey to prosperity and happiness in this nation and around the world.
You can check NBC News for more information, images and videos.