Under Secretary Maria Otero for Democracy and Global Affairs today received the Graciela Olivares Award.
At the awarding ceremony, Ms. Otero thanked Janet Murguia for her leadership as the President of La Raza and Daniel Ortega for his dedication as the Board Chair.
“I especially want to thank my family, some who joined me here tonight – my mom and my dear husband, Joe Eldridge.
It is an honor to receive this award, and an even greater honor to walk in the footsteps of Latina leaders such as Graciela Olivarez. The theme of this year’s conference “Embrace Now,” is fitting particularly for this award.” -Ms. Otero
Ms. Otero recognized Graciela Olivarez as the first Latina to graduate from Notre Dame Law School, the lead advocate for gender equality on La Raza’s board, and one of the highest ranking Latinas in a Presidential Administration.
“She must have embraced every moment in her life as an opportunity to change the world.” -Ms. Otero
Ms. Otero stated that Latinas are making progress when they shatter glass ceilings without even knowing it. She said she was personally shocked when she learned that her appointment makes her the highest ranking Latina in the State Department’s history.
“True to their commitment to appoint diverse and qualified individuals, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have appointed numerous highly qualified Latinos to lead our diplomatic engagement across the world.” -Ms. Otero
She highlighted that even in Washington, DC barriers are broken. Her sister, Deputy Mayor BB Otero, is the highest ranking Latina in the District’s history.
“These barriers are broken down, day by day, Latina by Latina.” -Ms. Otero
Ms. Otero said she is proud to help pave the path for future generations, and she embraces the responsibility to address critical issues affecting the Latino community.