National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Names New Executive Director: Jessica González-Rojas

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Leader with 15 years experience in progressive movements to lead prominent national Latina organization

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I am thrilled to be in a position to work hand in hand with Latinas and our allies nationwide at this critical moment in the community to raise our voices for dignity, justice, and health

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) has named Jessica González-Rojas as the organization’s new Executive Director.

González-Rojas has been a leader in progressive movements for 15 years and has been a prominent national voice in the reproductive health and rights movement for five years, most recently as NLIRH’s deputy director. She has played a pivotal role in establishing the organization as a leading voice for Latinas in national policy discussions at the White House, on Capitol Hill and in target states, and in spearheading groundbreaking research on the Latina experience. She has forged new partnerships with allied movements such as immigration, sexual health and rights, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) liberation.

“We are thrilled to have Jessica Gonzålez-Rojas serve as our Executive Director", said Berta Colón, NLIRH Board Chair. "Jessica is a strong leader with a proven track record and deep understanding of reproductive justice issues. She will, without doubt, ensure that Latinas' voices are heard loud and clear in the halls of statehouses, in the White House and on Capitol Hill, and in communities nationwide.”

As the Latina population has surged in the United States, NLIRH has built a national network of Latinas who are engaged, mobilized, and ready to take action on pressing reproductive health and justice issues. The organization hosts the most-read national blog on Latina reproductive health issues, Nuestra Vida/Nuestra Voz, and produces the informative Latina reproductive health e-alert, Instantes, that brings national and state policy and social concerns to thousands of supporters nationwide. The organization is the most prolific media voice about Latinas and sexual health. Increasingly, NLIRH has spearheaded social media initiatives in response to the growing online communication preferences among Latino/as, including hosting a robust annual Latina Week of Action that most recently featured a blog carnival with prominent contributors such as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"Latinas' health and rights have been particularly under fire in recent years, with families torn apart, safety nets eroding, rigorous scapegoating campaigns, and tenuous access to healthcare. At the same time we are growing in numbers, we are organized, and now is the time for Latinas' voices, perspectives and experiences to take center stage," said Jessica Gonzålez-Rojas. "I am thrilled to be in a position to work hand in hand with Latinas and our allies nationwide at this critical moment in the community to raise our voices for dignity, justice, and health".

González-Rojas is a regular presence in national and local media outlets. She was honored by El Diario/La Prensa, the nation’s oldest and largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, as one of 2009’s “Mujeres Destacadas” (Women of Honor). She is a regular contributor to El Diario/La Prensa on pressing reproductive health issues in the Latina community, as well as a regular media voice in local and national outlets such as National Public Radio, the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC-FM), the Boston Globe and the New York Times.

González-Rojas is an Adjunct Professor of Latino and Latin American Studies at the City University of New York’s City College and has taught courses on reproductive rights, gender and sexuality. She has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and recently completed a program at the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the nation’s only reproductive health policy and advocacy organization working on behalf of the reproductive health and justice of the nation's 15 million Latina women.

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Andrea Hagelgans
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