Fairfield University convocation to feature CNN Correspondent


CNN's New York correspondent for urban affairs, Maria Hinojosa, will be the speaker at Fairfield University's opening year convocation on Friday, Sept. 17, at 11:30 a.m. in Alumni Hall. A writer and award-winning reporter, Ms. Hinojosa is also the host of NPR's Latino USA. Her address is titled, "We are all the other: living in the new America." The public is welcome.

Born in Mexico City and raised in Chicago, Ms. Hinojosa has dedicated her journalistic career to telling the stories of the voiceless. As the child of immigrants, she remembers often feeling voiceless herself. Today she she is nationally recognized as a ground-breaking journalist for bringing to the airwaves the stories and voices of America's neighborhoods and barrios.

Some of her critically acclaimed stories include a piece about African American men and suicide, stories about the Pope's visit to Cuba, and an in-depth look at skinheads. Her award-winning story about gang members in New York City led to a book by Harcourt Brace, "Crews," in which she reveals the violence, loyalty and fears of young men and women whose family structure has been replaced by a gang.

Her most recent book, "Raising Raul," by Viking-Penguin Books, is a memoir of her own life and experiences in raising her son, Raul, the first member of her family to be born in the United States.

Ms. Hinojosa, who joined CNN in May of 1997, has been the host of NPR's Latino USA since 1993. The only English language national radio news program about Latinos in the United States, it is broadcast over more than 200 public radio stations across the country.

She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including being named one of the 100 Most Influential Latinos in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine and receiving the Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting on the disadvantaged for her piece documenting how jail had become a rite of passage for young men of all races. Her piece about gangs in New York won the top story of the year award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and first place from the New York Newswomen's Association.

A magna cum laude graduate of Barnard College, she majored in Latin American Studies, Political Economy and Women's Studies. She is married to the Dominican artist, German Perez.

Ms. Hinojosa is regarded as an important voice not only for issues affecting Latinos, but for other people of color and women as well. She points out that while society tends to condemn immigrants as the "others," we all have roots in another land, unless one is of native American descent. "The nature of being American is that we all embody different cultures and no one person or ethnic group has ownership of this country," she said. "We are an inherently multi-cultural society. The 'other' is not the enemy; the 'other' is ourselves."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 1, 1999

Vol. 32, No. 50