Damarys Ocaña Perez
Damarys Ocaña Perez is Director of Editorial Content at Latina Media Ventures. She leads its magazine, Latina, the pre-eminent beauty, fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine for acculturated U.S. Hispanic women and is responsible for maintaining Latina’s voice, vision and mission across all LMV platforms.
Ocaña Perez first joined Latina as associate editor in 2004 and served in various positions, including Entertainment Editor and Writer-at-Large, before launching a freelance career in 2008. She rejoined Latina as Executive Editor in 2012 and was named Director of Editorial Content in March 2013.
She began her career as a reporter for the Miami Herald, and has written on everything from government and crime, to contemporary art and commentary for print and online publications including People, The Guardian and the New York Daily News.
Born in Havana and raised in Miami, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
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UPDATE: After being hailed as “the bravest woman in Mexico” for becoming a 20-year-old female police chief in a town where drug cartels had beheaded her predecessor, Marisol Valles Garcia of drug-embattled Pradexis Guerrero apparently crossed the border and is seeking asylum in the United States for herself and her infant son. Local officials fired her on Monday for not returning to work.
In her first major trip since becoming head of the newly created UN Women, the United Nations’ agency for gender equality, Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet celebrated International Women’s Day today in Liberia, alongside the African country’s first female president. It was a joyous moment, with Bachelet taking part in local dances and visiting a market in the capital of Monrovia, but she also spoke to reporters about the serious and crucial issues that UN Women is tackling on behalf of half the world’s population.
Sometimes it feels like Apple approves its apps in an utterly random way. Example: Apple once rejected an app by a prize-winning political cartoonist on the basis that it “ridiculed public officials,” yet approved Baby Shaker, in which users shook their iPhones until a digital baby died (it was pulled after complaints). So maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised by all the racist apps Apple has given the green light too.
Check out our list of five of the worst offenders.
Mariachi Hero Grande
Days after the Census Bureau released population numbers for Texas showing explosive growth driven by Latinos and other minorities, controversy—perhaps inevitably—is stirring in the state.
A new Arizona immigration bill that some have called “SB 1070 on steroids” took its first step towards becoming law when it was approved by a key state legistative committee on Tuesday night. SB 1611, one of two immigration bills passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, squeaked by with a 7-6 vote. It will now go up to the full state Senate for vote.
It’s time for Latinos to put on their boxing gloves and get ready to fight: It’s redistricting time and the stakes for our political clout have never been higher —say Latino leaders.
“Because of the size of the Latino population, this redistricting will determine the political destiny of Latinos for the next 10 years,” says Rosalind Gold, senior director of policy, research and advocacy for the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. “We need to make sure that our growth in population translates into political opportunities.”
The past year has seen an unprecedented backlash against undocumented immigrants. Proposed measures targeting them include Arizona’s SB 1070 law, which inspired other states to follow suit with similar bills that would allow local police to enforce immigration laws; conservatives have called for a repeal of the 14th amendment, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the United States, regardless of their parents’ status; and still others are calling for a return to massive workplace raids.
Today at 1:30 p.m. President Obama will place the Medal of Freedom on civil rights and education activist Sylvia Mendez for her work as a Latino education activist. We spoke to the Washington, DC–bound Mendez as she prepared to leave her home in Santa Ana, California, where 64 years ago her parents lead the landmark school desegregation case Mendez v. Westminster that paved the way for the integration of California schools, and later, schools nationwide.
She was a civil rights hero at age 8, a Rosa Parks before Rosa Parks whose struggle to end school segregation is still shockingly little known by the public, but nevertheless inspired a postal stamp. At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sylvia Mendez will receive an even bigger honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award given by the commander in chief. If there was ever a reason to watch a live stream of White House event (at whitehouse.gov/live), this is it.
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