Latinitas Announces Design Chica Poster Contest

Latinitas LOGO



Latinitas is Requesting Submissions for the Design Chica Poster Redesign Competition

AUSTIN, TX — February 7, 2017 — So you think you can design? Austin-based nonprofit Latinitas is looking for talented graphic designers to redesign the poster for its upcoming Design Chica Conference. Through this competition, the nonprofit is looking to highlight and challenge the diverse talent in the Central Texas area.

Interested contestants must include all of the information that was on the initial poster, a list that can be found on the website, as well as a photo and short biography of no more than 200 words that introduces the designer and explains what design means to them. All designs must be submitted as a JPG and AI/PSD/Sketch (source/editable file) to by February 26, 2017.

Eligible graphic designers must reside in Austin or its surrounding areas, and must be at least 16 years old. Top entries will be featured on the Design Chica website. The winner will be announced by March 1 and will receive spotlight recognition in Latinitas’ online magazine and social media channels, and a prize package still to be determined. The winning poster will appear on all Design Chica marketing materials following the contest with design credit given to the designer.

Latinitas’ Design Chica Conference will take place on April 15, 2017 at ACC Eastview, 3401 Webberville Road. The goal of the conference is to introduce girls of all backgrounds to design thinking and to have them work with user experience design professionals to create their very own website. During lunch, girls will meet with local virtual reality experts while experiencing VR demonstrations.

More information about the contest can be found at


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About Latinitas

For 14 years, Latinitas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually. Founded by two journalism students fed up with the lack of representation of Latinas in media and technology industries, Latinitas presents enrichment programs at Texas schools, libraries and community centers that use culture as a thread to teach web and graphic design, blogging, video and audio production, photography and of late: video game and app development and coding.


Latinitas Selected as a Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grantee

Latinitas and Mozilla Gigabit logos


Contact: Vicky Garza /

Latinitas Selected as One of 19 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grantees

The Austin-based nonprofit’s Gigabit Girls project will bring virtual reality to girls in Austin Public Housing

Austin, Texas (January 24, 2017) – Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization focused on equipping Latina youth with multimedia production skills and technology training, has received a 2017 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grant for its effort to combine gigabit technology and education in public housing.

Latinitas will use the grant towards the Gigabit Girls project, in conjunction with Austin Public Housing. The project includes an introductory course in virtual reality (VR) that will be taught to girls engaged with Latinitas programming and living in public housing in Austin. Additionally, Gigabit Girls will call for the recruitment of VR professionals to support the program and bridge the century-long divide between Austin’s downtown business district and East Austin’s housing projects.

Latinitas is one of six nonprofit organizations and programs from Austin to receive the grant, which was also awarded to Austin Free-Net, Austin Monitor, Changing Expectations, University of Texas UTeach Outreach, and PenPal Schools. The other 13 grantees are located in Kansas City, MO, and Chattanooga, TN.

The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, a collaboration with the National Science Foundation and US Ignite, will grant the selected organizations a total of $241,000 for a 16-week pilot period beginning January 30 so that they may “build, pilot, and scale gigabit-enabled applications and associated curricula that have immediate, measurable effect on classrooms and informal learning organizations.”

Learn more about the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund at

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Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually – 2,000 in Central and 1,500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the first and still only magazine of its kind, (25,000 monthly viewers), and its own social media network, (1,400 registered girls).


Created in 2011, the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund is a joint initiative between Mozilla, US Ignite and the National Science Foundation. Their mission is to leverage next-generation Internet technology to create a more connected, open, and innovative city. The Gigabit Community Fund couples gigabit connectivity (250x faster than most Internet speeds) with grants supporting projects in the realms of education and workforce development. Mozilla believes the Internet is best as a free, open, and accessible public resource — and gigabit technology can help the Web flourish as just that.

Latinitas Launches “1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth” #GivingTuesday Campaign



Contact: Vicky Garza /

Latinitas Launches “1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth” Campaign for #GivingTuesday

Global Day of Giving Takes Place on November 29th

AUSTIN, TX — November 21, 2016 — Austin-based nonprofit Latinitas aims to raise $1,000 in monthly giving by #GivingTuesday through its “1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth” campaign. #GivingTuesday, which takes place on November 29th this year, is a global giving movement that harnesses the power of social media to inspire giving and makes it easy to do so, which is perfect for individuals who want to support and champion the causes the believe in this holiday season but have limited time.

“Our goal is to raise $1,000 in recurring monthly donations which will not only allow us to budget more technology equipment so that the girls in our programs get more hands-on tech experience, but it also helps us maintain our eastside presence in a city with an exploding real estate market,” said Latinitas Co-Founder Laura Donnelly. Donations can be made through our secure Click and Pledge site.

While Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all about shopping for deals, #GivingTuesday is a day for giving back. “There’s a movement in the U.S. that people want to buy less and give more, especially during this time of year. People have the opportunity to impart change through their dollars and that’s what #GivingTuesday is all about,” said Donnelly. During this campaign, Latinitas will provide some reasons people should support Latina youth and will ask its supporters to post their reasons for giving on social media over the next week.

In 2015, nonprofits raised more than $117 million online on #GivingTuesday to help make the world a better place in countless ways.  Much more was generated offline and through donations of time and other resources. People participated in #GivingTuesday activities in 71 countries around the globe last year, and this year, participating countries include Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Slovenia, Tanzania, the UK and more.

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About Latinitas

For 14 years, Latinitas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually. Founded by two journalism students fed up with the lack of representation of Latinas in media and technology industries, Latinitas presents enrichment programs at Texas schools, libraries and community centers that use culture as a thread to teach web and graphic design, blogging, video and audio production, photography and of late: video game and app development and coding.

Latinitas and Con Mi MADRE Present Austin Latinas in Film Event


Contact: Laura Donnelly / 512-414-0472


Latinitas and Con Mi MADRE Present Austin Latinas in Film Event

September 15th Panel Features Troublemaker Studios Co-Founder and Vice President
Elizabeth Avellán

AUSTIN, TX — August 31, 2016 — Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States and their love for movies is unsurpassed: Latinos purchase 25 percent of movie tickets sold while they comprise 17 percent of the population; however, they are cast in less than 5 percent of the speaking roles in American films, which, for Latinas, are too often a “spicy Latina” or a domestic worker.

Austin-based nonprofit organizations Latinitas and Con Mi MADRE have partnered to bring together a panel of impressive women who work in front of and behind the camera to discuss the current state of Latinas in the film industry and learn about some of the amazing projects our panelists are working on.

Austin Latinas in Film will take place Thursday, September 15, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Google Fiber Space (201 Colorado Street). The event is free and open to the public.

The panel will feature Elizabeth Avellán, Co-Owner and Vice President of Troublemaker Studios and President of EYA Productions. In addition to producing genre and family films such as Spy Kids – one of the first and only films to feature Latino kids – that have collectively grossed over a billion dollars, she has played a primary role in developing Austin, Texas, as a thriving film community.

“We cannot simply encourage children to pursue their dreams; we have to create an environment for them that helps them see, helps them believe that their dreams can and will become a reality. If they don’t see others who look like them, who come from similar backgrounds, succeeding in the areas they want to pursue, it makes it hard for them to believe that it can be a reality,” said Con Mi MADRE Executive Director Dr. Teresa Granillo. “This type of panel and discussion is one step, a necessary step, into creating that environment, particularly for Latinas, who are sorely underrepresented in American cinema.”

Also on the panel are: six-time Lone Star Emmy winning Chelsea Hernandez, editor of Arts in Context on KLRU and Building The American Dream documentary filmmaker; Sharon Arteaga, producer for Republic Ventures Group; and Latina actress and writer Sandy Avila Ramirez. The panel moderator is award-winning writer and director and Austin Film Society Artist Services Manager Iliana Sosa, who is currently in pre-production of her full-length documentary, tentatively titled JULIAN. Sosa will be accompanied by youth moderator Emily Alpuche, a fourth-grade Latinitas ambassador.

“American cinema is still exclusively White and male,” said Laura Donnelly, founder of Latinitas, which works primarily with young Latinas in its after-school programs and weekend workshops. “When we ask girls in our programs to name the Latina/o equivalent of Will Ferrell, someone who is cast in multiple movies a year, they can’t. Until they can, we will keep this dialogue going.”

This is the second annual Hispanic Heritage Month panel hosted by Latinitas. Last year’s panel was Las Voces: Austin Latinas in Journalism, which featured panelists from Ahora Sí, the Austin American-Statesman, the Texas Tribune, KUT-FM, and Univision.


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About Latinitas

For 14 years, Latinitas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually. Founded by two journalism students fed up with the lack of representation of Latinas in media and technology industries, Latinitas presents enrichment programs at Texas schools, libraries and community centers that use culture as a thread to teach web and graphic design, blogging, video and audio production, photography and of late: video game and app development and coding.


About Con Mi MADRE

Con Mi MADRE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to empower young Latinas and their mothers through educational and support services that increase preparedness, participation, and success in post‐secondary education. Con Mi MADRE currently serves 600+ mother‐daughter teams in 20 middle and high schools in the Austin area. The majority of the families are low‐income (65%), and 80% of the girls will be first‐generation college graduates.


Healthy Chica Conference Gives Girls Tools To Create a Movement

Latinitas Uses Media, Tech and Musician/Health Enthusiast Suzette Quintanilla to Debunk Confusing Health Messages 

AUSTIN, TX- Media has such power and influence, directing mixed messages at teen girls about diet, esteem, body image, sexuality, happiness, achievement and much more.  Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference, Oct 24, 9am-4pm at ACC Eastview for any girl ages 9-18 puts the message-making in girls’ hands and is an opportunity to re-script confusing perspectives about what is and isn’t healthy .  Conference attendees will use video, photography, blogging and other digital media methods to explore nutrition, exercise and mental wellness.

Suzette Quintanilla, sister to the late Selena Quintanilla and drummer for the Los Dinos, will kick off the morning by sharing her journey to a fit lifestyle. Girls and teens at Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference will also be visited by nutritionists, doctors, dentists, acupuncturists, hospice workers, girls’ health experts and social workers who will share their career experiences during lunch.  Girls will also complete an exercise circuit sampling CrossFit, yoga and martial arts.

Latinitas is a non-profit organization focused on empowering girls and teens using media and technology. It also publishes the first and only magazine made for and by young Latinas. (

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics report 73 percent of Mexican American women are overweight or obese, ten percent more than the general population. More than half of Mexican American women do not report any leisure exercise and are consequently at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.  As the U.S.’s largest Latina population, statistics paint a dire picture about the fate of Latina female health, overall.   And, these numbers are only addressing physical health. One out of 7 young Latinas attempt suicide, a majority afraid to get help due to dated and cultural stigmas about depression. In many ways, Latina girls’ and teens’ health and wellness is in crisis.

“Media manipulates what ‘good health’ is photo-shopping bodies to an unreachable body ideal. Ad-driven, it’s also hard to know what is really good nutrition and what is a fad.” Said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas founder and COO.  “This event lets Latina and other girls define healthy living on their own terms, a point of view not covered well in mainstream media.”

Registration is $10 and includes lunch.  Girls and teens can register at or by calling 512.900.0304.  Scholarships are available upon request or girls can post a picture of a healthy habit (ex. lacing up tennis shoes for a run, grabbing an orange as a snack) to Latinitas social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) with the hashtag, #healthychica for free admission.

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Contact Laura Donnelly Gonzalez at 512.809.4618 or for an interview.     


Latinitas and Google Fiber Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Las Voces: Austin Latinas in Journalism

Local and National Journalist Panel Discuss Diverse Voices in Media

Women represent just 35 percent of newspaper supervisors according to the 2014 American Society of News Editors newsroom census.  Same goes for TV and radio, where women make up just 28 percent of news directors in the top 25 U.S. markets and 26 percent of radio news directors at stations with 1M listeners or more.

Shifting the lens to women of color, Latinos, overall, are just one percent of U.S. newsroom staff and national coverage of Latino issues in a country where 90 percent of American children under 5 are Hispanic is…wait for it…under one percent, with issues limited singularly to immigration and crime.

WHAT:           Bringing together Latina journalistic voices in print, radio and television, Latinitas and Google Fiber present for the first time Las Voces: Austin Latinas in Journalism, a panel discussion on cultivating diverse voices in media and the shifting American narrative. 

 WHO:             Las Voces Panelists include:

Josefina Casati, Editor in Chief, Ahora  Si

Gissela Santacruz, Editorial, Austin American Statesman

Alexa Ura, Politics and Demographics Reporter, Texas Tribune

Veronica Zaragovia, News Reporter, KUT-FM

Moderator: Leslie Montoya, Univision and Alejandra Charre Otero, Latinitas

 WHEN:          Wednesday, Sept 30, 5:30 pm doors open, event goes until 7:30

 WHERE:        Google Fiber (201 Colorado).  Food and drink served.


“Representation is key in a providing authentic narratives in media.  We thank Google Fiber for providing the forum and space discussion strategies for cultivating more diverse voices in media and also a platform to celebrate women in the trenches doing it right now.” Said Latinitas founder Laura Donnelly.

About Latinitas

Latinitas is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to empower young Latinas through media and technology.  Founded in a class at UT Austin in 2002, Latinitas is also the first and only digital magazine made for and by young Latinas ( Twenty five thousand readers per month and thousands of articles later with 20,000 served through the magazine’s outreach programming that includes digital media education camps, clubs and workshops, Latinitas continues to grow with new chapters in El Paso, TX and programs in Las Cruces/Silver City, New Mexico.  

About Google Fiber

Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that is available in Austin. Fiber customers get access to a range of products from Gigabit Internet to Google Fiber TV to the Basic Internet product. Go to to learn more. 

Blackbaud Inc. Partners with Latinitas to Get more Girls of Color Coding

AUSTIN, TX (DATE) – Engineer Lina Nilsson shared her woes about the low numbers of females working in engineering in a recent New York Times Opinion piece[NM1] .  She cites legitimate issues of workplace discrimination and a lack of female role models, but also points out what attracts women towards STEM careers is different than their male peers.  That difference is starting to change the numbers of female enrollment in STEM classes.

Nilsson said when societal causes are attached to collegiate classes on engineering tech and science – women enroll.

At the interdisciplinary D-Lab at M.I.T., which focuses on developing “technologies that improve the lives of people living in poverty,” 74 percent of over 230 enrolled students this past year were women.  She also cited Arizona State University as a school whose humanitarian engineering courses and study options have twice as many women as its traditional engineering classes.

Capitalizing on this important trend is Austin-based Latinitas, a nonprofit focused on empowering Latina and other girls and teens using media and technology and local software supplier, Blackbaud.

Latinitas will visit Blackbaud for a 10 hour coding boot-camp July 30-31.  Girls ages 9-14 will meet Blackbaud engineers, designers, testers and programmers, and work in teams to create an app that helps community.  Community is defined as the girls themselves, their families, neighborhoods, cultures or the world.  Blackbaud staff will assist with coding lessons and will then test guide girls through testing, documentation and product marketing.

“We polled our Latinitas about what motivates them overall and the general consensus is ‘helping others.’  Blackbaud’s engineers, programmers and other technology professionals are going to help us connect girls’ passions for change with the development of an actual piece of technology innovation,” said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas founder and COO.

“Blackbaud is interested in promoting methods that encourage more women to study and work in technology, so we are excited to help the girls in Latinitas leverage that desire to help others into a technology product that causes societal change,” said Sally Ehrenfried, manager of philanthropy and volunteer engagement at Blackbaud.

Founded in 2002 by Alicia Rascon and Laura Donnelly, then-journalism students at UT Austin, fed up with the misrepresentation of Latinas in media, Latinitas has served over 20,000 girls and teens through after-school clubs, weekend workshops, camps and conferences at 112 schools, libraries, community centers. The organization also publishes, the first and only magazine made for and by young Latinas.  Latinitas has evolved with Austin and its evolution as a tech sector, first by providing digital media training to students who lacked that access and now as a source of coding, app development, video game design and robotics education programs for Hispanic and other youth and their families.

Blackbaud is a leading global provider of  software and services specifically designed for nonprofit organizations. Its products focus on fundraising, website management, CRM, analytics, financial management, ticketing, and education administration.

Contact Laura Donnelly Gonzalez at 512.809.4618 or for an interview.       

Laura Donnelly Gonzalez

Founder, COO Latinitas

( o ) 512.900.0304

( c ) 512.809.4618

Empowering young Latinas using media and technology


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Latinitas Honors Renowned Photographer Diego Huerta

AUSTIN, TX – May 28, 2015 – Celebrating it’s 8th annual Fotos de mi Alma photography auction,

Latinitas will mark the occasion by featuring a number of pieces representative of the cultural

work of Austin‐based photographer Diego Huerta.

The event will highlight Mr. Huerta’s remarkable work, and will be complemented by a

collection of photos from photographers around the world. The sale of these pieces will serve as

the major fundraising effort of the year for Latinitas, a non‐profit organization dedicated to

empowering young Latina girls through media and technology education.

The auction will take place Thursday June 11th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the IBC Bank

Community Suite located at the bank’s Austin headquarters at the corner of Fifth and San

Antonio streets.

Joining the event as keynote speaker will be film director Carmen Marron, whose exceptional

journey into the competitive world of film‐making, has made her into a true Hispanic role

model. Her films include “Go for It”, a coming of age movie about goals and choices, starring

Gina Rodriguez of “Jane the Virgin” fame.

“We couldn’t be more proud to have Diego’s work as the foundation for this year’s auction.”

Said Latinitas board president, Ana Ruelas. “His artistic accomplishments deserve to be

recognized for the cultural contribution he is making to elevating perceptions, not only of

Mexico, but of all of Latin America. That we have him working out of Austin is a huge privilege

and source of pride for our community.”

Mr. Huerta has dazzled audiences with “31K Portraits of Peace”, a photo documentary of the

majesty of Mexico’s people and places. His work has been an effort to counter the negative

perceptions of Mexico as a dangerous and unlikeable place.

“The outstanding collection of photographs in this year’s auction should be a real treat for all

those who appreciate the power of photography as a story telling platform,” said Latinitas cofounder

and executive director, Laura Donnelly. “I expect this year’s event to be the most

successful in our organization’s history.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at:

About Latinitas

Founded by Laura Donnelly and Alicia Rascon, Latinitas is a non‐profit organization dedicated to

helping enable young Latinas to achieve personal and academic success through media and

technology education. With a variety of enriching experiences, Latinitas discover their voice and

develop media skills while building a solid foundation for their future.

Contact: Laura Donnelly, Executive Director. 512‐900‐0304

Fotos de mi Alma Photography Auction

Fotos de mi Alma Photography Auction No. 8

WHEN: June 11 from 6pm-9pm

WHERE: IBC Bank Community Suite
IBC Bank Plaza, 500 West 5th Street, Austin, TX 78701

WHY: Photographs are a glimpse of what may lie deep in the soul of a landscape, a seemingly everyday situation or a person. Good ones grab us by the imagination, they make us question, dream, think. Perhaps that is why Fotos de mi Alma, a photographic odyssey capturing Latino life through the lenses of professional and amateur photographers is our most successful fundraiser for Latinitas.

This year, Fotos de mi Alma No. 8 takes place at IBC bank’s new community space on W. 5th street in downtown Austin with a breath-taking balcony view overlooking Austin’s burgeoning growth. Cocktails and hor d’oeuvres will be served compliments of event sponsors’ Glazer’s fine spirts and Kurant Events catering. Latinitas presents two special guests: Diego Huerta, ( international photographer and Carmen Marron, writer/director/producer whose new film “Endgame” hits theaters this month.

WHO: Established in 2002, Latinitas, a 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to empower young Latinas through media and technology, has been a vital part of young Latina’s lives through after school programs, teen internships, Saturday and Summer camps, special events and the very first digital magazine for young Latinas – The bilingual magazine, written for and by young Latinas, provides a vehicle whereby these girls and young women not only see themselves positively reflected, but are also a part of the production. Fotos de mi Alma No. 8 really reflects Latinitas’ decade long reputation creating systemic change through many types of lenses – media to technology.

Latinitas Multimedia Arts Camps

SUMMER CAMPS – This Summer, girls in Austin & El Paso, TX have an opportunity to get a taste of what their life could be like as a movie star, a news anchor, a photographer, a fashion reporter, a radio DJ, a magazine writer, a poet, a graphic designer and more in Latinitas multimedia art camps. Through intense week-long day camp program, girls can find their creative expression outlet by producing original media arts projects.The Latinitas camp is led by a team of women educators, role models and mentors experienced in guiding girls in hands-on lessons, interactive presentations, team challenges, and fun games that address girl issues and encourage self-esteem, expression, confidence and empowerment. Girls will produce original multimedia arts projects and master techniques in photography, writing, design, radio production and filmmaking. REGISTER NOW!