Recently I had the opportunity to meet Elisa Batista, Campaign Director for Moms-Rising, a multicultural organization committed to taking on the most critical issues facing women, mothers, and families today by educating the public and more importantly, mobilizing massive grassroots actions so that together they can actually make change happen. Some of the campaigns they are working on right now include: closing the gender wage gap, ending biased racial profiling, supporting paid sick days, getting better nutrition in schools, and supporting (CHIP) the children’s health insurance program.
As a successful Latina and a role model for women of all backgrounds, Elisa is proving that if you have the desire, and a rockstar work ethic, you really can change the world.
Elisa is 38 years old and was born to a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother. Her family lived in Miami until she was 14 and then moved to New Hampshire. Her father works in a paper manufacturing plant and her mom works as supermarket cashier. She said that her parents taught her two very important lessons: 1) Have a strong work ethic and 2) Get a good education because that could be your ticket out. They were right on both counts.
Today, Elisa works tirelessly on the issues that matter to her and is committed to getting others involved so they can speak up for what matters to them.
Elisa says that the most important things she has learned from working with MomsRising is that “It’s all well and good to get people riled up and angry about something but the key is showing them that they can actually do something about it. There is a process for that. I think part of my job is actually taking the mystery out of enacting social change.”
Elisa’s advice for young Latinas: “Latinas have an amazing amount of power in this country. We need to own that power. We are more likely than any other demographic in the United States to have children so we have a really big stake in the future of this country. What I tell a lot of Latina mothers is to listen to what your leaders are saying. You may say its all noise and it doesn’t matter but trust me, it does. It all matters.
When you are not speaking up for yourselves and you’re not voting, there are companies out there, there are other people out there, who are doing it for you. You don’t want that. Let’s wake up, turn off the telenovela a little bit, and become engaged. This is important not just for ourselves, but for our children and for our families.”
You can read the full interview here: http://www.bevisible.soy/#/interview_elisa_batista
Andrea Guendelman is co-founder of BeVisible.
At BeVisible we’re committed to building a thriving social networking platform to connect Latinas and help them build their professional network, showcase their skills, and accelerate their career. In order to bring the voice of leadership to these women, I frequently interview successful Latinas who want to share their story and be mentors to those who are just starting out in their careers.