Francia Márquez Mina
Among the current recipients of The Goldman Environmental Prize (the highest honor for environmental work), is Francia Márquez Mina, an Afro-Colombiana who has dedicated her life to protecting the La Toma region from illegal gold mining.
Cardi B is still on her meteoric rise from 2017. Her album, Invasion of Privacy, went gold in minutes. She landed on Time‘s “100 Most Influential” list, set a new record on Apple Music for the most-streamed album (over 100 million streams), was the first female to have five Top 10 singles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs charts at the same time, and recently co-hosted “The Tonight Show.” In addition to her musical milestones, Cardi is also engaged to fellow rapper Offset, and getting ready to give birth to her first child, a girl.
When something doesn’t exist in your environment that is needed, you create it. This is exactly what Afro-Boricua Noelle Santos felt when Barnes & Noble closed up shop in the Bronx (in fact, she had the notion of opening up a bookstore before the major bookseller was even in the neighborhood). Noelle’s answer is The Lit. Bar, an independent bookstore/wine bar/community center, slated to open this summer.
The Puerto Rican-Dominican actress is in a film that had the biggest domestic debut—in history (and the 14th biggest movie release). Zoe Saldana plays Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War, which, so far, has grossed $1.2 billion worldwide. The star also got a corresponding star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this month.
Juana B. Matias
Currently a Democratic Representative for the state of Massachusetts, Juana Matias is also currently running for Congress. According to her campaign page, Matias is an “immigrant, legislator, fighter. She represents Lawrence in the state house and will be Trump’s worst nightmare. Matias is running for Congress because she knows people who are struggling to achieve the American Dream, and believes a rigged system run by political insiders has and will continue to ignore the needs of our working and middle-class families until they are represented by someone who knows firsthand the challenges they face.”
Amara La Negra
Amara La Negra didn’t arrive on Love & Hip Hop: Miami this year—she kicked the door down. She is currently on the rise in popularity, but the fact that Amara signed a multi-album record deal this year, all the while reppin’ hard for Afro-Latina pride and self-confidence, and speaking up for injustice, is a strong indicator of her bright future. In March, the Afro-Dominicana was on the cover of the Spring issue of Latina Magazine, and she recently dropped the first singles off her debut album, “Insecure,” and “What a Bam Bam.”
Another Afro-Latina running for Congress is Sol Flores. According to her campaign site, the Puerto Rican, who hails from Chicago, “has dedicated her life to serving others and giving a voice to the voiceless. In Congress, she’ll fight for our community—helping move people out of poverty and into the middle class. Sol will stand up to Republican attacks on Obamacare and fight for quality affordable healthcare. She will fight for paid family leave and equal pay for women. She will protect Planned Parenthood and fight back against any attempt by Donald Trump and the Republicans to restrict a woman’s right to choose. And she will fight for comprehensive immigration reform.”