Anahí Ponce is an El Paso-based Xicana activist. Living in la frontera, or border community, Anahí embraces the fluidity that makes up Xicanx culture between Mexico and Texas. She founded Chicas de Chuco, a non-profit based organization in El Paso that brings leadership resources and organizing opportunities to womxn in the community. Even though she was born and raised in a predominantly Chicanx community, Anahí has been criticized by fellow Chicanx folks for not speaking Spanish fluently. It is a dilemma prominent for many Chicanx folks who were raised by grandparents or parents who were oppressed during an era of newly integrated schools in Texas. But Anahí is determined to expand the Chicanx identity—not limited by language.
Haley Ariyibi embodies what it means to be authentically herself, all while serving as the Speaker of the Senate as the University of Texas at Arlington. Haley was born in Irving, Texas, but moved to Grand Prairie, Texas, around the age of twelve. Haley expressed that through her experiences living in both cities, she was exposed to people from different backgrounds, opinions, and perspectives. Haley became more aware of politics during her senior year of high school when the country was gearing up for the 2016 Presidential Election. Haley reflected on how this election exposed her to the injustices that our world faces. From this experience, Haley found her passion for women’s rights, social activism, and the Black Lives Matters Movement.
Judge Lindsey Wynne was appointed as a District Court Judge in Collin County in September 2019. But it wasn’t her impressive appointment that provided Lindsey with the greatest satisfaction. Within two weeks of her appointment, Lindsey had a full docket of 1,500 cases that she began hearing on her first day. Over the course of her first five months and with the assistance of her remarkable court staff, she disposed of over 1,400 cases in her court. Not only does Lindsey pride herself in her noticeable efficiency and strong work ethic, but also her commitment to the courtroom and ensuring people’s cases are heard. As a judge hearing family law matters, Lindsey draws from her background as a former family law attorney, as well as a former prosecutor in the crimes against children and juvenile divisions. Judge Wynne served for many years as an advocate to protect, educate, and rehabilitate children, and now, as a Judge, she seeks to uphold the law and ensure children’s best interests are the priority in her courtroom.
Ann Zadeh represents District 9 on the Fort Worth City Council, a position she has held for the past six years. When she first secured her position, Ann was a first-time candidate—never having run for any leadership position before. In fact, Ann was always politically engaged but never imagined running for office. She did not consider serving as an elected official until she was asked to run for office. On average, women are asked seven times to run for office before finally deciding to run. By the time Ann filed to serve, she had led a successful career as a city planning consultant and a member of Fort Worth’s Planning & Zoning Commission and Urban Design Commission. To say the least, Ann was extremely qualified to serve as a city councilwoman—residents are thankful someone asked.
Genevieve Collins is a native Dallasite running for United States Congress in Congressional District 32. A few weeks ago, she faced off against four other men in the primary election—Genevieve came out victoriously with 22,500 votes, securing the nomination without a runoff election. But that isn’t the most impressive part: Genevieve is a first-time candidate running for public office (or any leadership position for that matter). She crunched her own data, wrote her own policy, and mapped her own path to victory. It is Genevieve’s priority to run her campaign like a business, with independence and authenticity. She compares herself to the captain of a ship, saying “if you are the captain of the ship, you are going to wade into turbulent waters if you don’t know where to go.” Genevieve is the captain of her victory.
Luisa del Rosal is running to win the seat for Texas House of Representatives District 114, an area serving large portions of Northern Dallas. Luisa isn’t a typical candidate: she is an immigrant from Mexico running to represent the conservative values. Proudly running unopposed in the primary election, Luisa has her eyes set on the general election—hoping to expand representation of Hispanic women in the Republican party. Now that women are running at an increased rate across Texas, Luisa believes Texans are ready for women to serve at the table. “Never think that because you are a woman candidate that you cannot succeed.
Amanda Edwards is running in the Democratic primary to serve as the next United States Senator, facing eleven other candidates. Prior to running a statewide campaign, Amanda served on the Houston City Council. With her background in politics, it may be shocking to hear that Amanda has never “liked” politics—but she had a gut feeling to serve others through elected office. Amanda is transforming the status quo that a candidate has to be in love with the idea of politics itself rather than serving others. In Amanda’s words, “[i]t’s not about the spaces that you’re most comfortable, it’s about the spaces that you’re most needed.”
Jillian Glantz is an up-and-coming filmmaker and historian focusing her most recent documentary projects on the history of smaller, underrepresented groups of people in the Rio Grande Valley. After growing up in Dallas, Glantz found herself searching for a suitable career path. “I spent my first two semesters after high school at The University of Texas- Arlington… And I hated it,” she explained. “Then I tried college at The University of Texas in Austin. I spent a semester there, and hated it more.” To the dismay of her parents, Jillian then decided to take a break from school to pursue her dreams of learning the ins and outs of filmmaking. “I didn’t follow a traditional path,” Glantz explained. “But I knew myself best.”
Mayra Farret stands as a symbol of giving to the Latino community in San Antonio. When she’s not starring in Bravo’s hit series Texicanas, Mayra is mixing her love of fashion with her desire to give back to others. She intertwines fashion and philanthropy by hosting runway fundraising events, featuring pieces from Mexican fashion designers, focusing her efforts on organizations that aim to prevent domestic violence. Put simply, Mayra is giving fashion a cause.
Adryana Aldeen, a consultant, analyst, strategist and commentator on public policy, is a maven of the Hispanic community. Throughout her career, her passion has centered on the education and empowerment of Latinos on public policy and politics. A frequent political analyst of NBC universal-Telemundo, Univision and CNN Español, Adryana has become one of the most well-known Hispanic conservatives on Spanish news television. Before marrying her husband, healthcare attorney Doug Aldeen, Adryana gained recognition through her work and within her community by her maiden name, Adryana Boyne.