WILN Opinion+: Nancy Hernandez and Kim Stoll

Welcome to the very first episode of Wisconsin Latino News Opinion+ where we talk about major issues the Latinx and other underrepresented communities face in the state of Wisconsin. For this inaugural episode we spoke with two members of Milwaukee Women inc (MWi) about their efforts towards equitable leadership.

Milwaukee Women inc is an organization of professional women focused on changing the face and quality of leadership in the Wisconsin business community by increasing the number of women corporate directors. The group recently published their 2022 Research Report, “Celebrating 20 Years of Advancing Inclusive Leadership.�

The report found that MWi’s goal for women to fill 25 percent of director roles in Wisconsin was met early. 26.3 percent of director seats in Wisconsin’s top 50 public companies are currently held by women. 

“With all the data and the numbers clearly demonstrating the overall value that diversity, equity and inclusion brings, I think [it] really helped MWi achieve its goal of 25 percent by 2025,� said Kim Stoll, Chair of MWi and Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Badger Meter.

The statistics were much lower for women of color. In fact, only 5.7 percent of these roles are held by women of color, equating to 26 women. This number increased from last year’s report, but still displays the disparities that exist for BIPOC.

“Of those 26 only three are Latinas,â€� explained Nancy Hernandez, MWi Steering Committee member and President of the Hispanic Collaborative.  “But I think that we are seeing more women, Latinas especially, going through higher education, getting into different levels of managerial ranks and experiences and in the c-suite.â€�

Both Hernandez and Stoll remain optimistic that the continued efforts of MWi and other organizations, along with companies’ desires to be more inclusive, will lead to a continual increase of women in leadership roles.

“There are women out there. Boards and companies just have to make an intentional effort and cast, perhaps, a wider net to find those candidates,� said Stoll.

Resources mentioned in this video: 

Milwaukee Women inc’s website: https://milwaukeewomeninc.org

Celebrating 20 Years of Advancing Inclusive Leadership 2022 Research Report: https://milwaukeewomeninc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/MWi_Report_2022_UPDATED.pdf

MWi’s Board/Executive Database: https://milwaukeewomeninc.org/board-database/

Hispanic Collaborative: https://www.mkehc.org

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Latino News Network selected for LMA Lab for Journalism Funding

Local Media Association announced in October, the news organizations that will participate in the third cohort of its Lab for Journalism Funding. The Latino News Network (LNN) is among the local news organizations the lab will help develop and execute strategies to fund essential local journalism via philanthropy. The six-month immersive lab runs from November 2022 through April 2023.

The lab, a project of Local Media Foundation, is operated by LMA with continued support from the Google News Initiative. Since its launch in September 2020, the lab has trained and coached 55 publishers, helping them raise more than $11 million to fund community service journalism. LMA published a 42-page report, Pathways to Philanthropy, to share lessons learned and best practices with the news industry. 

“We are excited to welcome this latest cohort,â€� said Frank Mungeam, chief innovation officer at Local Media Association. “The lab has a proven track record, and we are excited to help these news organizations find funding as one way to sustain civic journalism and a healthy local news ecosystem.â€� 

“The Google News Initiative works to support a thriving local news ecosystem, and we are excited for this third cohort of news publishers in the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding to develop new, sustainable funding sources for their essential local journalism,� said Chrissy Towle, head of Associations and Ecosystems, Americas at Google.

The newsrooms accepted into the third cohort include a diverse set of publishers in small and large markets, with a strong representation of family-owned outlets and publishers who focus on traditionally underserved audiences. The cohort also includes two local broadcast news organizations. These news outlets share a commitment to local journalism that serves audiences in their communities. LMA asked leaders at these news outlets to share their goals for joining the lab.

“The diversity of revenue sources for news outlets has grown significantly. With so many options, creating a sustainable news model can be daunting,” said Hugo Balta, Owner and Publisher of LNN. “The Latino News Network is grateful to be part of the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding, a program that I’m confident will help us develop strong competencies in harnessing local philanthropy to support reporting projects.â€�

Publisher’s Notes: This announcement was first published by the Local Media Association: News outlets selected for third cohort of LMA Lab for Journalism Funding.

More about LNN

The Latino News Network (LNN) mission is to provide greater visibility and voice to Hispanics-Latinos, amplify the work of others in doing the same, give young journalists mentoring and real work experience, and apply the principles of solutions journalism in its investigative reporting.

Wisconsin Latino News is one of six local news outlets overseen by LNN in the Midwest and New England.

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Dr. Patricia Tellez-Giron on “Helping each other” through COVID-19

Three years since the pandemic began, its lasting effects are becoming more apparent as communities look to physically, mentally and financially recover. BIPOC communities were hit the hardest in most states, and in Wisconsin, Hispanic or Latinx residents still have 1.4 times greater case rates than white Wisconsiners, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

While the pandemic fostered widespread misinformation through social media, Dr. Patricia Tellez-Giron says her organization used the speed of Facebook and other mediums to broadcast accurate updates.

“We knew that [misinformation] was gonna happen so we started giving education and information to dismantle the wrong information, so we went right away on the radio to answer questions and to give information that was accurate,� she said.

Dr. Tellez-Giron is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Chair of the Latino Health Council, a group of 40 organizations throughout Dane County that support the health of Latinos through education, advocacy, consulting and networking.

For Dr. Tellez-Giron it made sense to inform the public immediately, in a format that resonated. She turned to the Consejo Latino para la Salud Facebook page and to Nuestra Salud on Madison’s La Movida station, a Spanish-language health education radio program that’s run for 18 years. This effort earned her recognition from Time magazine’s Meet 27 People Bridging Divides Across America.

For many, obvious health risks came secondary to the risks of not working.

“We knew that day one when this came that we were going to be hit hard ‘cause most of the people had to go and work and did not have jobs where they could stay home and work from home, so regardless of the fear of having to go [to work] and getting infected, they had to go out because they needed to pay rent and food and everything and indeed, we saw that the community was greatly affected, not only medically but also financially,� she said.

The stakes were extra high for undocumented people who were not eligible to recieve stimulus checks and who face numerous additional barriers.

“So it goes from, again, being uninsured, the language, the access to services and not only medical services but social services that are very, very important. Coming from a different culture and having to, you know, acculturate to all the norms in here, eating differently, navigating the weather, so there are so many things and then racism and discrimination big, big, big time,â€� she explained, citing pre existing racial disparties. 

Tellez-Giron says she sees the impact of Latino Health Council’s reach in Dane County. As of Oct. 12, 60.3 percent of Hispanic residents in the state have received at least one COVID vaccine dose. In Dane County, 86.6 percent of the Hispanic population has received one vaccination compared to 80.5 percent for non-Hispanics in the county.

As for the path forward, Tellez-Giron says “It is hard to know because what we know until now is that we don’t really have this virus under full control. We are smarter, so we know more about this virus, we have the vaccines, we have the masks, washing your hands, keeping your distance, but it’s how do you educate people that have chosen not to follow the rules, who are then influencing everybody else,� she asks.

Experts have studied COVID news fatigue, the idea that people have become increasingly disinterested in updates as the pandemic has gone on. She says people’s curiosity in what seemed to be the latest health threat, Monkeypox, has already passed.

“Initially we had a lot of interest, like in the radio people would call and ask about it, and now we don’t really have much,� she explained.

Last month President Biden came under fire for declaring that the pandemic was over. In an Oct. 4 webinar from The Center for Health Journalism, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s Chief Medical Advisor voiced his concerns with this statement.

“Right now it looks like we’re going in the right direction, however, we are entering into the winter months where no matter what the respiratory disease is, there’s always a risk of an uptick in respiratory diseases,� he said.

However, he does remain hopeful on the nation’s ability to handle future health concerns.

 â€œIf lessons learned are really learned, we would do better. I think if you look at the kinds of things, and I hope… I hope that gets translated into a better implementation when the next threat does occur,â€� he said.

Though it’s unclear what’s to come, Tellez-Giron says Latinos’ resilience and support for one another continues. 

“We don’t wait for other people to provide for us and this pandemic showed again how if we work together, even among the community, even within the community, we can help each other,� she said. “Most of the time when things like this happen, it’s the [Latino] community that starts responding and providing for the community, showing the community at large that we are not here to be burden, we are here to be a part of this community and to contribute and to provide for our own if we can’t get the resources that we need.

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Latino News Network Expands Local Coverage To Wisconsin

The Latino News Network (LNN) is expanding its local media coverage to Wisconsin today. 

The addition represents the second Midwest affiliate for the multimedia news source that introduced Illinois Latino News (ILLN) last year. LNN was founded in New England in 2012 with the launch of flagship news outlet, Connecticut Latino News (CTLN).

Hugo Balta, Owner and Publisher of LNN, commented on the new edition, saying, “Hispanics-Latinos are the second largest and fastest growing racial and ethnic population in Wisconsin, but the state’s local news media is not representative of the group’s prominence. Wisconsin Latino News (WILN) is going to change that oversight.�

The Latino News Network oversees six independent, English language, local digital news outlets with statewide coverage, and Hispanic-Latino editorial focus in the Midwest and New England.

“I’m so proud to witness LNN’s growth and expansion in the Midwest. To launch Wisconsin Latino News just a year after introducing Illinois Latino News is a huge accomplishment that shows the need for inclusive storytelling and reporting that amplifies Latinx voices in these states,� said Annabel Rocha, Writer/Editor for ILLN. Rocha oversees LNN-Midwest.

The WILN newsroom takes a partnership approach to prioritizing Latino communities through solutions-focused reporting. “The community is more than just the audience, they are collaborators,� said Balta.

If you have a story idea, we want to hear from you! Email us at info@latinonewsnetwork.com

Follow Wisconsin Latino News on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WILatinoNews

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100085238640125

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wi_latinonews/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wi-latino-news/about/?viewAsMember=true


More about LNN

The Latino News Network (LNN) mission is to provide greater visibility and voice to Hispanics-Latinos, amplify the work of others in doing the same, give young journalists mentoring and real work experience, and apply the principles of solutions journalism in its investigative reporting.

Learn more about our work: https://latinonewsnetwork.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LatinoNewsNet_

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/latino-news-network/

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