Pulling from health advocacy, business, and human rights advocacy, these three Latinas are joining in the fight to ensure the National Museum of the American Latino gets its rightful place on our National Mall
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (FRIENDS), an advocacy campaign fighting for the creation of a Smithsonian museum on the National Mall dedicated to the 500 year history of American Latinos in the U.S., announced three new additions to its Board of Directors: former Obama White House official and women’s health advocate Alejandra Campoverdi, businesswoman and impact investor Angélica Fuentes, and activist and founder of Justice for Migrant Women, Mónica Ramirez.
“This dynamic trio of change makers and influential leaders will add greatly to our efforts to realize the dream of so many Americans—that is, to have the history of Latinos in the United States told on the grandest stage our nation has to offer, the National Mall,” said Estuardo Rodriguez, President and CEO of FRIENDS.
“We are honored to have such an accomplished and well-equipped group of champions join our fight, and I look forward to tapping into their expertise as we move into the next phase of advocacy for the long-overdue Smithsonian museum, which is to secure the best location on the National Mall for our future museum and to raise the $350 million in funds necessary to get started on the building,” said Lili Gil Valletta, FRIENDS Board Chair.
The additions come during a pivotal season for the FRIENDS campaign. Most recently, FRIENDS sent a letter signed by more than 100 influential Latino leaders to Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch. The letter urges him to ensure that the museum is built on the National Mall. It was sent in response to news that space issues on the National Mall may affect the location of the future Latino Museum. In addition, FRIENDS succeeded in helping to get the National Museum of the American Latino Act passed in Congress in December of 2020, officially inaugurating the museum as part of the Smithsonian Institution.
Learn more about the new Board members below:
Women’s health advocate & former Obama White House official
Alejandra Campoverdi is a nationally-recognized advocate for women’s health, a member of the Medical Board of California, and a former Obama White House official. An influential patient advocate for breast cancer awareness and health equity, Campoverdi produced and appeared in INHERITANCE, a PBS health documentary that intimately follows the surgical journeys of three women genetically predisposed to cancer. It was named one of the “Best Documentaries of 2020” by ELLE. In 2020, Campoverdi was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the Medical Board of California, whose mission is public protection and promoting access to quality medical care. She is the founder of the Well Woman Coalition, an initiative empowering women of color to have agency over their own health through awareness, education, and advocacy. Campoverdi also founded LATINX & BRCA in partnership with Penn Medicine’s Basser Center for BRCA, an awareness campaign on the BRCA gene mutation that provides Spanish-language educational materials and resources. From 2009-2012, Campoverdi served in the Obama White House, initially as Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and later as White House Deputy Director of Hispanic Media, where she developed and implemented the White House’s communications strategy directed towards the Latino community around a broad range of issues, including health care. Campoverdi hosts the Pod is a Woman podcast, a weekly conversation about politics and pop culture led by three veterans of the Obama White House. She serves on the boards of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy and the California Community Foundation, and is a former Commissioner for First 5 California. Campoverdi earned a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and graduated cum laude from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California.
Businesswoman and impact investor
Angélica Fuentes is a Latin American businesswoman and impact investor. Equity, women empowerment, education and ESG investments have always been a priority in all her endeavors. Angelica’s entire career has been fueled by a strong and enduring commitment to the cause of women.
Angélica was appointed CEO of Grupo Imperial in 1992 at the age of 29. She quickly positioned the company as a top player in Northern Mexico’s energy sector. She served as President of the Mexican Natural Gas Association from 1996 to 2000, and as President of the Business Energy Network of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (APEC) from 2002 to 2004. From 2007 to 2015, she served as CEO of Grupo Omnilife-Angelissima-Chivas. Under her leadership, the company became one of the top 100 corporations in Mexico.
In 2014, she founded the Angélica Fuentes Foundation dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Latin America. In 2019, she founded Muvop, a microfinance institution that targets those who lack access to credits and provides an e-learning platform focused on personal empowerment and financial education. Angélica is an active investor at Banqu, a software technology company on a mission to connect the world’s poorest to the global economy.
Her work in this field has been recognized by numerous honors and awards. In 2015, UN Women gave her the WEP´s CEO Leadership Award; she was the first female CEO to receive this award for championing gender equality in the private sector. In 2016, PVBLIC Foundation, Ismael Cala Foundation, and the United Nations gave her the award for Latin Woman Empowerment. In 2017, she received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from The Maestro Cares Foundation.
Founder of Justice for Migrant Women and The Latinx House
Mónica Ramirez is an activist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur. For more than two decades, she has fought for the civil and human rights of women, children, and immigrants. In 2003, Ramirez created the first legal project in the United States dedicated to addressing gender discrimination against farmworker women, which she later expanded to create Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2014, Ramirez founded Justice for Migrant Women to provide technical assistance to lawyers, advocates, political leaders and law enforcement on addressing workplace sexual violence, as well as other issues confronting migrant women. In 2019, she founded The Latinx House, a gathering place for people who appreciate and support the Latinx community and who celebrate Latinx excellence in film and entertainment. She is also a co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (The National Farmworker Women’s Alliance), which is the first national farmworker women’s organization in the US. Ramirez has received Harvard Kennedy School’s inaugural Gender Equity Changemaker Award, the Feminist Majority’s Global Women’s Rights Award, the Smithsonian’s 2018 Ingenuity Award for Social Progress and she was named to TIME100: NEXT 2021 List. She currently serves as the President of Justice for Migrant Women, President of the Latinx House and she is a founding principal of Poderistas.