Event celebrates women and Arizona history
In commemoration of National Women’s History Month and in anticipation of Arizona’s centennial celebration, community members gathered at Phoenix Art Museum on March 24 for the third annual Arizona Latina Trailblazers event, a festive and uplifting evening honoring six pioneering women who have left an indelible mark on history and in our communities: civil rights activist Cecilia Teyechea Denogeán Esquer; Tempe’s pioneer trailblazers Manuela Sánchez Sotelo and María Sotelo Miller; political pathfinder Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Garrido Wilcox, and Tucson’s public servants Carmen Cajero and State Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford.
Presented by Latino Perspectives Magazine and the Raul H. Castro Institute at Phoenix College, and generously sponsored by SRP, the free community celebration premiered a series of moving digital stories about the women’s lives as shared by family members, colleagues and the women themselves.
Kathleen Mascareñas, media relations specialist for SRP, hosted the evening. “The trailblazers’ individual stories are an inspiration for us all and are also part of our collective history as Americans and Arizonans and Latinos,” she said.
“I think all trailblazers have one thing in common,” said Tony Moya, manager of Latino Relations for SRP. “They wish to make a difference in the world. They seek to make it a better place and work to strengthen our community.”
Each guest received a copy of Arizona Latina Trailblazers: Stories of Courage, Hope and Determination, Vol. III, written by Dr. Christine Marin.
The educational and inspirational value of the booklet, which includes an accompanying DVD of interviews, was highlighted by Dr. Anna Solley, president of Phoenix College, and Ricardo Torres, publisher of Latino Perspectives.
“It is our hope that these materials will be used in classrooms across our state and will inspire our youth and generations to come,” said Torres.
The booklet is now part of the Arizona Latina Trailblazers collection contributed by the Raul H. Castro Institute and Latino Perspectives Magazine, available via the Arizona Memory Project at the state library’s website. Copies will also be distributed to all public libraries in the state.
“To preserve history by sharing these important stories is both an honor and a pleasure,” said Solley. “To know that we are working together to ensure that our next generation of leaders has access to the perseverance, bravery and wisdom of those who have come before them is rewarding, gratifying and a true privilege.”