9 Powerful, Change-Making Hispanic Leaders in North America
Have you ever wondered how Hispanic culture has transformed North America?
More than you’ve ever imagined.
Today, I’m introducing you to nine inspiring and influential Hispanic leaders, men and women, headlining this transformation. From the arts to the political landscape, sports to the U.S. Supreme Court, these nine Hispanic and Latino leaders have made history and changed North America forever!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The Growing Influence of Hispanic Culture in North America
- 9 Current Change-Making Hispanic Leaders in North America
- Speak Spanish Like These Influential Hispanic Leaders
The Growing Influence of Hispanic Culture in North America
For decades, the Hispanic culture has been a very important element in North America’s melting pot of cultures. Influential Latino leaders and popular Hispanic Americans who contribute to society in a variety of ways have had an impact on history and on America itself.
In fact, the impact is so widespread and overwhelming that we can’t think of a field where Hispanics have not made their mark. Sonia Sotomayor, Isabel Allende, and Miguel Cabrera are just some of these luminaries.
Learning about the lives of prominent Hispanic scientists or impactful Hispanic leaders is a creative way to learn about this culture and its growing importance in the region.
Understanding the differences between Hispanic and Latino is also recommended when approaching this fascinating culture.
9 Current Change-Making Hispanic Leaders in North America
This list of influential Hispanic figures has been limited to current famous and successful community leaders. If you want to learn about Hispanic Americans who have changed history, read this interesting article. The list includes quotes and images for each leader and important information about their lives.
1. Lin-Manuel Miranda
Quote: “I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable. I am an original.”
It’s hard to know where to begin when talking about Lin-Manuel Miranda. The American actor, singer, film director, playwright, songwriter, screenwriter, and producer is truly a renaissance man that succeeds at everything. Of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent, Miranda has won Tony Awards, Grammy Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, and was nominated for Academy, Golden Globe, and Emmy Awards.
2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Quote: “I wake up every day, and I’m a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx. Every single day.”
This Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx represents New York in the US Congress and is one of the most notable Hispanic politicians today. In 2019, at the age of 29, Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Also known by her initials, AOC is one of the most popular politicians among young voters. Thanks to her straightforward message and outstanding social media presence, she has more than 8.5 million followers on Instagram alone.
Photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez | © Franmarie Metzler/Wikimedia Commons
3. Sonia Sotomayor
Quote: “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.”
Another Puerto Rican from the Bronx, Sonia is the first Hispanic and just the third woman to become a judge of the U.S. Supreme Court. Sotomayor received scholarships for Princeton University and Yale Law School and graduated with honors from both prestigious institutions.
The English and Spanish editions of Sotomayor’s autobiography My Beloved World are bestsellers. Finally, President Obama also praised her work, and, when appointing her to the U.S Supreme Court, he said that “Judge Sotomayor saved baseball.” She did this by restoring important terms of the players’ labor agreement.
4. Isabel Allende
Quote: “Write what should not be forgotten.”
Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer born in Lima, Peru, where her father held a diplomatic position at the Chilean embassy. She’s the nephew of ex-Chilean president Salvador Allende, who was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup in 1973.
In 2007, Latino Leaders Magazine described her as a literary legend and named her the third most influential Latino leader in the world. She has written 21 books, including The House of Spirits. Additionally, Allende has received many literary awards and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
5. Miguel Cabrera
Quote: “I’m just trying to play my best and have fun.”
Miguel Cabrera is 39-year-old a Venezuelan baseball player. He plays as a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, and in April of this year, he became the 7th player in history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Legendary players such as Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, and Derek Jeter have reached that number of hits or home runs, but none have reached both.
Cabrera debuted in 2003 for the Florida Marlins. His illustrious career has spanned several “baseball eras.” The future Hall of Famer is an inspiration for millions of Hispanic kids who look up to him as a hero and role model.
6. Gustavo Dudamel
Quote: “The challenge is not so much to change the sound. The challenge is to connect and to create something special.”
In 2013, the American magazine Musical America named this Venezuela music director the “Musician of the Year.” Dudamel has won several conducting competitions around the world, including the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Prize in 2004. He has conducted at La Scala of Milan, at the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall, and in 2017 he became the youngest guest conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic’s famous New Year’s Day Concert.
Dudamel also conducted an orchestra for the soundtrack of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he performed at the Super Bowl together with Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars, in 2016. Needless to say that Dudamel is one of the most influential musical leaders in the world right now.
7. Jorge Ramos
Quote: “It’s a privilege to work as an anchor for Univision, but more important, I am amazed by how Latinos are transforming America.”
Jorge Ramos is a Mexican-American journalist who has won 10 Emmy Awards, and in 2015 Time Magazine named him one of “The World’s Most Influential People.”
He has covered important historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Persian Gulf War, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has interviewed world leaders such as Barack Obama, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chávez.
In a time of fake news and censorship, Ramos’ brave and truthful voice is an example to other journalists.
8. America Ferrera
Quote: “Am I Latin? Am I American? What the hell am I? I love my culture, and I’m very proud of my culture.”
Ferrara is a Honduran-American actress who became famous for her role as Ugly Betty in the hit TV series of the same name. For that performance, Ferrera was recognized by the US House of Representatives for “being a role model for young Hispanics.” In 2007, Time Magazine named her one of the “Most Influential People in the World.”
For her role in Ugly Betty, Ferrera also won a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and was the first Latina to win the Primetime Emmy Awards’ Best Actress category. In addition, Ferrera is an advocate for Latino voting rights and was the opening speaker at the Women’s March on Washington in 2017.
9. Tony Romo
Quote: “Work hard, do things the right way, and things will go your way.”
As an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois, not much was expected from the football career of Antonio Ramiro Romo—a Texan of Mexican descent. However, he went on to play for 14 seasons in the NFL (2003-2016) and become the face of the world’s most valuable sports franchise, the Dallas Cowboys.
After his successful career as quarterback of the so-called “America’s Team,” Romo became a sports analyst for CBS and quickly became “the highest-paid broadcaster in American television history.” Not bad for an undrafted free agent.
Get Inspired to Speak Spanish Like These Hispanic Leaders
This list portrays male and female Hispanic leaders who inspire others with their work and example.
From talented artists in the music business such as Lin-Manuel Miranda and Gustavo Dudamel to political figures of historical importance such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sonia Sotomayor, Latino kids and young people all across North America have lots of figures to look up to and admire.
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