The Year of the Woman: My Time On-Air Talking About How Women of Color are Changing the Game

Late August was a busy week for on-air action at The MC. While I was preparing for my first-ever radio interview with Eric K. Ham on his Sirius XM Radio show, Politics of the United States (P.O.T.U.S.), Kaitlyn was recording a PSA for the YWCA USA. While we’re pretty new to the spotlight, having the chance to get our faces and messages out there has been a great opportunity for us to grow and push ourselves out of our comfort zones!

I first connected with Eric at the POC Entrepreneurial Bootcamp, where he led a skill-building session called “From Elevator Pitch to Meaningful Engagement: The Art of Compelling Storytelling.” He’s been around the storytelling block, so it was great to have him share his experiences with our participants who are learning how to incorporate storytelling into their brands! You can read all about participants experience here.

After the bootcamp, Eric invited me to stop by and have a conversation on his show with Beverly Kirk and Tatiana Anderson -- two amazing, brilliant women. Although I was nervous, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up! During the show, we were there to discuss three topics: “The Year of the Woman” in politics and outside of that, “Which Way is Up?” our journey to who we are today, and to highlight the work of an amazing woman we admire under “She Did That!”

Naturally, I did my research, read a few articles about The Year of the Latina (vis a vis Latino Victory Fund), rehearsed my story about how The Melanin Collective came to be, and obsessed over some quick tips for interviewing well on the radio. That morning, I also had one of my BFF’s talk me through my interview to help me stay organized and to help settle my nerves. As I circled the building, trying to find the entrance, I was relieved to see Tatiana Anderson, a world news reporter based out of Washington, DC, coming out of the cab into the building as well. I’m glad I was not the only one running late and a bit lost. In the waiting room was Beverly Kirk, Fellow and Director for Outreach for International Security Programs and Director of Smart Women, Smart Power at CSIS. These women were smart, fashionable, and ready to rock the interview.

As we entered the studio, it was great to see that his entire team consisted of a diverse group of women! Of course, Eric is the main host, but the room was full of an array of women including Jenna Hacker, his producer, and our main contact. If representation matters, we could almost check every box!

The interview itself was the fastest 30 minutes of my life! We only got to one bullet, but it was a great conversation.

Here’s a quick recap of what we talked about:

Is it the year of the woman? More like the Year of the Latina

  • The year 1992 was called “The Year of the Woman” because a record number of women decided to run for office. They were galvanized by the controversial nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court after Anita Hill, a former employee had accused him of sexual harassment. Anita Hill had worked with Clarence Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and testified about his sexual harassment to an all, white, male panel who humiliated her and accused her of provoking him and encouraging him. She continued to work with him because it was her livelihood but okay, let’s just pretend she could have quit and walked away. Anyways, the televised sexist, racist, and bigoted fiasco resulted in a ton of women running for office, hence the name the year of the woman!

  • There are 54 million Latinos living in the United States. Less than 5% of the nearly 45,000 elected officials and federal state and local governments nationwide are Latino. Several majority Latino counties have no Latino representation at any level.

  • The Latino Victory Fund is working to “help change the face of this country’s politics for real policy change.” Last year, they help elect the first two Latinas to the Virginia House of Delegates.

  • This year, the Latino Victory Fund has endorsed 36 candidates running for office. Over 55% of them are Latina, and we are super excited because of representation matters! Knowing that people of color are the most affected by policies and laws at all government levels, don’t forget how important it is to vote and to encourage and support your community to do the same.

Did you also know that outside of the political arena, women are making strides in journalism, business and beyond?

Of course, we are! Women run the world and women of color are being their brazen selves. We’re tired of waiting for people to come around or for society to change so we’re taking the lead. Just in my short time as an entrepreneur in DC, I’ve had the great opportunity to learn about amazing #mujeronaspoderas doing great work in all fields involving women. Check a few of them out below:

As for “She Did That!” I want to say a special thank you and shout out to Jennifer McClanahan-Flint, founder and CEO of Leverage to Lead. Without her support and encouragement, as well as no-nonsense executive coaching and accountability, The MC wouldn’t be here. She continues to do amazing things, including working with California’s penal justice system to provide inmates with healing, accountability, and rehabilitation in a way that will help them better integrate into the world when they finish serving their sentences.

Having this amazing opportunity on the radio was exciting and new, and I hope it did something to encourage women of color to continue to make it the year of the woman and to work together because after all, my liberation is tied to your liberation.

As for The MC, I hope you can join us for the next Twitter Chat, Women of Color in Politics!

Doris Quintanilla