March 10, 2018 | Boston, MA
Egan Research Center in the Raytheon Auditorium, Northeastern University
On behalf of the Latina Circle team, thank you for joining us on Saturday, March 10 at the Egan Research Center at Northeastern University for the Amplify Conference. The conference convened over 100 leaders and many of our partner organizations to address the most pressing issues affecting the state’s Latinx community and foster the relationships to table these issues collectively. The conference was the second convening of the new Amplify Latinx Initiative, a non-partisan, collaborative movement aimed at advancing the next generation of civically engaged and empowered Latino leaders.
A very special thank you to Northeastern’s Latino/a Student Cultural Center for hosting us, and to our Advisory Board, Steering Committee, Sponsors, Partners, Speakers, and Volunteers, without whom we could not have made this conference and the Amplify Latinx initiative possible. Your dedication and passion are living proof that AMPLIFY LATINX will leave a mark in Massachusetts and beyond.
Take Action HOW CAN YOU AMPLIFY?
Your conversations will help us shape the future of the Amplify Latinx movement. Stay tuned for next steps as we shape our shared agenda and explore models to support our leaders and their organizations. Here are six actions you can take to continue amplifying.
Join us as an Amplify Partner Organization
Nominate a Latinx Featured Leader or Organization
Share your #HowIAmplify Story
Follow Us on Social Media
Connect with Other Amplifiers
Share your Happenings
View the inspiring videos from the day’s presenters and speakers. ➔
Access the Skill Building presentation below given by Cristina Aguilera Sandoval of Brandeis University and Vanessa Cárdenas of Emily’s List.
Poet Angélica Maria at Amplify Conference
Secretary Rosalin Acosta
Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Rosalin Acosta is the newly appointed Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. Prior to joining the Baker-Polito Administration she was a widely respected financial and banking service professional with over thirty years of experience in Greater Boston financial institutions, most recently as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Enterprise Wealth Management at Enterprise Bank in Lowell, where she oversaw the operations of the bank’s Wealth Management and Brokerage divisions since 2013. Secretary Acosta has also worked in senior executive roles at TD Bank and Sovereign Bank (now Santander). She has served in many community and civic capacities, including as a Board Member of The Boston Foundation, a Board Overseer at Boston Children’s Hospital since 2009, where she was a founding member of Milagros Para Ninos, and a 14-year Member of the Boston Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA). Acosta was a Director and Planning Member of the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board and was appointed a Northern Essex Community College Trustee by Governor Baker in 2016. Secretary Acosta has been named one of Boston’s Most Influential Women by the Women of Harvard Club in 2014, where she serves on the Leadership Committee, and El Planeta’s Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in Massachusetts for three consecutive years. Born in Cuba, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she was a member of the Women’s Varsity Ice Hockey Team. She is the proud mother of five children and an avid traveler, runner and cyclist.
Cristina Aguilera Sandoval
Project Co-Director at the Sillerman Center for Philanthropy at Brandeis University
Cristina is an advocate, trainer and consultant, with expertise in social movements and diversity-and-inclusion. Born in the US and raised in Venezuela, she spent the last decade inspiring others to take social and political action, building coalitions to pass legislations, connecting individuals to opportunities and information and integrating leaders that are making communities more welcoming. She currently works as a consultant with the immigrant integration projects of the Sillerman Center for Philanthropy at Brandeis University, the Endowment for Health and the New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees (NHAIR). She co-founded Venezuelan Women in Action, launching this fall, to raise international awareness about the political violence Venezuelan women are facing and she manages operations at her husband’s immigration and human rights law firm,the Law Offices of Julio Henríquez. Cristina worked for six years at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), where she rose to become Director of Organizing. Before joining MIRA, she worked with the labor movement across the United States and abroad. Cristina was an undergraduate at Venezuela’s Universidad de Carabobo and graduated with a Master’s in Public Administration from the LKY School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Director of Strategic Communications
Vanessa Cárdenas is a seasoned political strategist who has worked at the global, national and local level. Currently at EMILY’s List she works to expand the organization’s reach into key states and communities. Prior to EMILY’s List, she worked at the World Wildlife Fund where she supported efforts towards a global climate agreement. Before that, Vanessa founded the project Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress (CAP) which examines the implications of demographic change. In that role she conceptualized and was the main editor of the book All In Nation https://allinnation.org/ which makes the argument that closing racial gaps is not just a moral imperative but an economic necessity. Prior to CAP, she worked at the National Immigration Forum where she worked with local and national allies in the struggle for a fair and just immigration system. Vanessa started her career as a teacher assistant for the Arlington County Public Schools. Her expertise includes Latino political participation, women’s issues, climate change, US demography, immigration policy, and political communications.
Co-Founder of Latina Circle, General Counsel at Compass Working Capital, and CEO of FitNation Ventures Inc.
Betty Francisco is an entrepreneur, business executive, attorney and community leader. Currently, Betty is the General Counsel at Compass Working Capital where she serves as the organization’s chief legal advisor, responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s legal affairs. As an attorney, she has over 17 years of experience advising health clubs, life sciences, and technology companies in the areas of legal, compliance, risk management, operations, and human resources. Most recently, Betty served as the CEO and Founder of FitNation Ventures, a business and legal consulting practice focused on advising health and fitness companies, and which launched Reimagine Play, a startup that offers fitness programming for children and families in Greater Boston. Previously, she served as EVP, General Counsel for Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY, a fitness brand acquired by Equinox Fitness. Betty began her legal career as a Senior Business Law Associate at Edwards Wildman, one of Boston’s largest law firms representing start-ups, corporations and investors. Betty is also an investor with Pipeline Angels, a network of new and seasoned women investors focused on creating capital for women social entrepreneurs.
Betty is also a dedicated community leader who has been involved with a number of non-profit and civic leadership organizations. She is the co-founder of Latina Circle, a Boston-based network that is advancing Latina leaders across industries into positions of power and influence, and which recently launched the Amplify Latinx initiative to increase Latino civic engagement and political representation. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Roxbury Community College, the Board of Corporators of Eastern Bank, the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston YMCA and the Board of Directors of Boston Educational Development Foundation. She serves as an advisory member for the Boston Women’s Commission under Mayor Martin Walsh. She is also a member of the Advisory Council for The Capital Network, Project 99 and Bentley University’s School of Arts and Sciences.
Betty obtained her J.D. and M.B.A. from Northeastern University, and her B.A. in History from Bard College.
José C. Massó, III
Announcer/Producer, “¡Con Salsa!” WBUR FM Radio
Director of Policy, Massachusetts Port Authority
José Massó’s career has included prominent positions in education, communications, media, politics, government, entertainment, sports and philanthropy.
A native of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2013 he joined Massport’s senior leadership as the Director of Community Relations under the direction of CEO Tom Glynn and was promoted to Director of Policy in 2016.
Massó also continues his role as announcer/producer of “¡Con Salsa!” every Saturday night on WBUR 90.9FM, National Public Radio in Boston, and celebrated his 42nd anniversary this past June 22nd. In 2010, Massó was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He has the distinction of being both the first Puerto Rican and Latino to join such a renowned group of radio and television broadcasters throughout the Commonwealth.
Co-Founder of Latina Circle and Founder of Roman Law
Eneida Roman is a Latina advancement champion and connector. For over a decade, she has been a risk-taking entrepreneur, providing a breadth of legal services for her clients through the boutique legal practice she founded in Boston, MA. Ms. Roman is a licensed Industrial/Organizational Psychologist in Puerto Rico and a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. She is also a Certified Mediator and strongly believes in the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution in order to resolve legal matters.
Ms. Roman is an award-winning multi-faceted professional whose experience and background include executive work around legal compliance, negotiation, diversity & inclusion, organizational behavior, non-profit interest work, teaching at college level, as well as psychological assessments.
Ms. Roman has served in leadership positions for the American Bar Association (ABA), Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), and Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA). She currently serves on the ABA’s Commission on Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities and is the National Co-Chair of the HNBA Latina Commission. As a result of her work with the HNBA Latina Commission, Eneida founded the Latina Circle, a non-profit social venture focused on developing Latina executive leaders in Boston. The Latina Circle hosts quarterly “Cafecitos”, which provide its members with meaningful networking, mentoring and business partnering opportunities. She is also very committed to Big Sister of Boston and currently serves on Board of Directors and is a founding member of its Diversity Council. She concurrently serves on the National Hispanic Advisory Council of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which mission is to increase Hispanic mentors nationwide.
Ms. Roman has been recognized as a national leader and been selected as 1 of 22 attorneys for the American Bar Association’s (ABA) TIPS Leadership Academy; 1 of 50 attorneys to participate in the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Latina Executive Leadership Program; as an American Bar Association (ABA) GP Solo Diversity Fellow Scholar; and as part of a distinguished group of attorneys to participate in the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA), all of which are coordinated efforts to strengthen the pipeline of bar association leaders by providing leadership training and professional development to benefit the legal profession overall.
Ms. Roman is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a distinction limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. The Fellows is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Some of her accolades include recognition three consecutive years by El Planeta newspaper as one of the ‘Top 100 Most Influential Individuals in the Hispanic Community in Massachusetts‘. In 2011 she was named ‘Top Lawyer Under 40’ by the Hispanic National Bar Association, and also received the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys’ Leadership Award. In 2012 she was recipient of The AD Club’s Rosoff Award for her dedication to meaningful diversity. She was nominated by Big Sister of Greater Boston, and obtained the mentor award which given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to a minority community by providing guidance and experience. In 2014 she was selected as Massachusetts Big Sister of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. In 2016 Eneida was selected by Latino Leaders Magazine as 1 of the 25 Most Influential Latino Lawyers in the United States.
Ms. Roman attended undergraduate and graduate schools at the University of Puerto Rico and Inter American University, both with honors. She is a graduate of New England Law School of Boston, MA where she was honored with the New England Service Award at the time of graduation. Ms. Roman is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts Federal District Court, First Circuit of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal is an expert in legal protections for people of color and immigrants. He has filed and won dozens of life-changing and law-changing cases across the country on behalf of people of color and immigrants. He advises federal and state policymakers on the legal needs of marginalized communities. His work is regularly featured in publications such as the New York Times.
A sought-after thought leader, Iván speaks nationally on racial justice and immigration issues. He often focuses on the legal needs of people who identify across intersecting lines of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status.
Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Iván was the Legal Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP). At CHLP, he supervised a legal team on national projects using HIV as a lens to address racial justice, criminal justice, immigration, and public health issues.
Before joining CHLP, Iván worked at Lambda Legal, where he developed an initiative to address the legal needs of LGBT and HIV-affected people of color and low-income people. He also focused on marriage equality cases.
Previously, he handled MALDEF’s immigrant rights docket. He served as counsel in Friendly House v. Whiting, a challenge to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, and was a member of the legal team that successfully defended Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, 557 U.S. 193 (2009), a landmark U.S. Supreme Court voting rights case.
Before joining MALDEF, he was an associate at Fried Frank LLP. At the firm, he worked on the legal defense of an innovative municipal program in New Haven, Connecticut, that provides undocumented immigrants with an ID that allows them to receive city services they would not otherwise be able to access. Similar programs have now been rolled out in San Francisco and New York – victories for immigrant rights that would not have been possible without the precedent set in New Haven.
Iván clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he received a Juris Doctor from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar.
Honors & Awards:
- Martin Luther King Award in Social Justice, University of Pennsylvania (2018)
- Beacon Award, Boston Bar Association (2017)
- Massachusetts’ 100 Most Influential People for the Latino Community (2017)
- OUTLaw Alumnus of the Year Award, NYU School of Law (2016)
- Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color (2016)
- Community Service Award, Queens Pride House (2014)
- 21st Century Fellow, Rockwood Leadership Institute (2013)
- Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40, National LGBT Bar Assoc. (2012)
Elena Letona, Ph.D.
Director, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts
Elena was born in El Salvador. She attended Oberlin College-Conservatory where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and music history, and the University of Massachusetts Boston where she earned a Ph.D. in public policy.
Elena has 30 years of experience working and serving the nonprofit sector as volunteer, organizer, activist, teacher, director, and consultant.
Between 1999 and 2008, Elena directed Centro Presente, an immigrant rights organization in the Greater Boston area. During her tenure, she led a change process that transformed Centro Presente into a member driven organization. In 2005, Elena’s work was recognized when she was selected to be part of the Barr Foundation’s inaugural class of Fellows.
Currently, Elena directs Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, a membership organization of working-class, low-income, people of color and immigrants dedicated to building power to achieve racial, economic and environmental justice.
Founder/ Executive Director of Encuentro Diaspora Afro
Yvette Modestin, a writer, poet and activist was born and raised in Colon, Panama. Ms. Modestin was named one of “30 Afro Latinas you Should Know” in the world.” She was recently named as one of the 100 Most Influential African Diaspora Leaders. In March of 2017 she was named by ALDia News as one of 10 Latina Warriors. Ms. Modestin has been profiled by the Boston Globe as “The Uniter” for her work in bringing the Latin American and African American community together and for her activism in building a voice for the Afro Latino Community. In July 2017 she was named one of 9 Inspiring Women Who Fought for the Rights and Visibility of Afro Latinamericans by Remezcla. She is Founder/Executive Director of Encuentro Diaspora Afro in Boston, MA. She is the Co-Founder of ARAAC EEUU –The Regional Council of People of African Descent from Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Modestin is the Diaspora Coordinator of the Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diaspora an international network of Afro descendent women. She was recently named as one of the Top 5 Latina Activist by Wear Your Voice Media. Ms. Modestin is the narrator of the film ‘Cimarronaje en Panama/Maroons in Panama’ a film by Toshi Sakai. She is a member of the IBW Board- Institute of the Black World and a Commissioner of the National African American Reparations Commission. Ms. Modestin is a contributor to the newly released book, Afro- Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism. She is one of the contributors to the book, Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro Latin American Biography. In 2017 her Poetry book, Nubian Butterfly; The Transformation of a Soulful Heart will be released in Panama. She is one of the editors and writers of the book, “Women Warriors of the Afro Latina Diaspora”. The book was named in the top five Latino books in the country for 2013. She is a contributor in the book, The Trayvon Martin in US: An American Tragedy and the Psychological Health of Woman of Color. She is one of the featured poets in the book,” Rapsodia Antillana.” This book is the first of its kind to highlight Afro Antillean poets of Panama. She is featured poet in the, “Antologia de Poesia Colonense,” which is an Anthology of poets from her hometown of Colon from 1900-2012.
In 2013 she received the ‘Lider Afrodescendiente’ Award from Fundacion Bayano in Panama. In 2014 she was recognized by the US Panamanian Association Inc. as a Panamanian Leader in the US. Ms. Modestin writes a blog about the events and experiences in the community called ‘Reflections from a Colon Girl.’ As an artist, a licensed mental health clinician, wellness facilitator, community organizer, educator and Ifa practitioner, Ms. Modestin speaks to the acknowledgement of the historical pain of people of African descent and the awareness of the connection that would lead to the healing of our communities. Her purpose is to move with the intent of lifting the voices of the ancestors.
David A. Morales
EVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Steward Health Care System
David Morales is the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Steward Health Care System, New England’s largest integrated community health care provider and foremost innovative health care company in Massachusetts. As a member of the executive leadership team, he works to facilitate the company’s system-wide strategic initiatives, resolve complex business issues and ensure successful implementation of Steward’s business objectives.
Morales manages various business units that deliver highly successful outcomes. He leads the Strategic Business Solutions Group, a team dedicated to implementing value-driven solutions across Steward, and responsible for negotiating union labor contracts for over 6,000 employees, as well as Steward’s ambulance and transport services. He leads the federal and state public policy and analysis group, which leads provider reimbursement and health care transparency efforts. Morales is also the President of Steward’s professional and general liability captive insurance company.
One of the key architects of Massachusetts’ Health Care Reform law (Chapter 58), he previously served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, the state’s Medicaid rate-setting and health care policy office, now known as the Center for Health Information and Analysis.
As Commissioner, he led provider price and cost transparency efforts. He also presided over the implementation of the All Payer Claims Database and the state’s first Health Care Cost Trends hearings. In addition, as a member of the Health Care Cost and Quality Council, Morales worked to standardize the metrics used to publicly measure quality, total medical expense and relative prices of hospitals and physician organizations.
Prior to serving as Commissioner, Morales was Deputy Chief of Staff to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Before joining the Governor’s office, he worked as Senior Adviser to Massachusetts Senate President Robert E. Travaglini. In both roles he led landmark initiatives that include health care reform and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative.
Morales has extensive expertise in the pharmaceutical market and implemented the nation’s first prescription drug insurance model—Prescription Advantage—which informed the creation of Medicare Part D.
A graduate of Bowdoin College, he serves on the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable Board of Directors, the Mass Taxpayers Foundation Board, as well as the Lynn Classical High School Board of Directors. He lives in Lynnfield, Massachusetts with his wife and their two children.
Boston Afro-Latina Activist, Poet, and Organizer
She is currently a freshmen at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, majoring Political Science and minoring in Creative Writing.
Believing in the power of poetry as a medium for social justice. Garcia`s writing is often inspired by the women in her family, social and racial injustices in America, coping with loss and mental health, as well as her Dominican roots.
In 2017 she was one of the five selected among 300 youth poets to represent the Boston area in the International Youth poetry competition known as Brave New Voices, placing 2nd overall among 60 teams across the world. Her work has been highlighted in both the Huffington Post and the Boston Globe.
Michelle is Louder Than A Bomb alumni, MassLeap board member and organizer, as well as Youth Liaison and Youth programmer at the House Slam. Her actual talents are laughing at her own dry jokes between poems and being able to live with the guilt of eating bacon waffle cheese fries at anytime of the day.