Listen: Historical context on modern issues affecting Idaho's Latino/a community
On Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 Boise State Public Radio and the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho hosted a panel discussion on issues facing the Latino/a community including housing, employment, treatment of agricultural workers and more.
Speakers Jen Martinez, Estefania Mondragon, Natalie Camacho-Mendoza and Humberto Fuentes joined moderator Gustavo Sagrero as they discussed the top issues Idaho's Latino/a community is facing.
Missed the panel?
Listen in to the recorded conversation and Q&A session from the event:
Here are the moderator and panelists:
Gustavo Sagrero has spent his early years as part of many Boise community projects; from music festivals, to Radio Boise, to the Boise Weekly, before leaving his hometown to work in fine dining abroad. Si gusta compartir un relato, no duda en comunicarse.
Now he's back as a newsroom intern at Boise State Public Radio, digging into the roots of the Treasure Valley and abroad for a good story.
A first-generation Idahoan, proud daughter of immigrant parents, community organizer and political strategist, Jennifer (she/her/ella) earned her undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University in 2009 where she majored in Political Science and minored in Latin American Studies. Following graduation, Jennifer worked for U.S. Senator Patty Murray and decided to return home to Idaho in 2012 to work in the political arena where she held various political roles. Jennifer is deeply committed to creating social change, and brings an anti-racist, feminist, and intersectional lens into all of the spaces she engages. In her spare time, Jennifer selectively consults progressive political campaigns, recruits candidates from historically excluded communities to run for office, is a member of a cohort of BIPOC community members who lead anti-racism trainings, and is committed to ensuring that our communities are at the forefront of political dialogue, bringing her own chair to the table, or building a new table, as needed. Jennifer currently works as the Senior Communications and Marketing Manager for Legal Voice, a regional feminist legal advocacy organization. She is also is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood Advocates Alliance Serving AK, HI, ID, IN, KY, and WA, sits on the Community Advisory Board for Boise State Public Radio, is the Political Director for Add the Words, Idaho, and Chairs the LGBT Democratic Caucus of Idaho. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys a good workout, camping, reading, and spending time with her two dogs Kennedy and Otis.
Estefania Mondragon is a daughter of immigrant parents from Tarandacuao, Guanajuato, Mexico. She brings awareness, both of her languages, heart and imagination to her work. She wholeheartedly believes that change starts from the inside out and is passionate about building power within the intersections. She hopes to raise community consciousness, shift culture, and bringing an anti-oppression lens to the conversation. She imagines a world where everyone is honored and every living being thrives. Estefania is the Executive Director of PODER of Idaho.
Natalie Camacho-Mendoza is an attorney licensed in Idaho and Texas. She is the owner of Camacho Mendoza Law in Boise, Idaho. She has many years of leadership and experience working with communities of color, Tribal nations and urban Indian communities in Idaho, regionally and nationally advocating on many issues including civil rights, criminal justice, voter education/registration, labor, higher education, income inequality, and access to health and Justice. Currently, she is the chair of the board of the national organization Farmworker Justice. FJ holds a seat on the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda board of directors.
After law school, Natalie returned to Legal Services and soon thereafter became the director of the Migrant Law Units and the Managing Attorney of the Caldwell office. Since that time, she has been an attorney and partner at law firms in Idaho and Texas. Her practice has included criminal and civil litigation in administrative, state, federal and Tribal trial courts. She has appeared in state, federal, and Tribal appellate courts.
Humberto Fuentes’ professional interests and advocacy work has focused on rural community development, minority issues, Hispanic issues, and Farm Worker Rights in Idaho. His advocacy and voice have been instrumental in his various positions involving the surrounding rural communities in Southwestern Idaho.
Throughout Mr. Fuentes’ various professional and leadership roles, he has organized and supported grass-roots efforts in the Farm Worker Civil Rights Movements dating back to the late 1960’s. His contributions began when he was a college student at the Treasure Valley Community College, and continued to the development of the Farm Worker Struggle Movement in Idaho which has created pathways and reciprocal continuity within the local Latino Community.
Thank you to the Hispanic Cultural Center for their partnership on this event.