The largest gathering of Hispanic women in the country is set for the Valley next month, featuring political, business and community leaders who will focus on everything from entrepreneurship to salsa dancing.
The two-day National Hispanic Women’s Conference, Oct. 23-24 at Phoenix Civic Plaza, begins with a half-day event for youth and ends with a Dillard’s fashion show. It is expected to draw about 2,000 women from across the country.
It comes just three weeks after the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual convention and continues to position the Valley as an emerging Hispanic conference hub.
Last year, the Valley attracted several large Hispanic conferences, including the League of United Latin American Citizens, and next year will host the National Council of La Raza.
The women’s conference is intended to inspire young high school and college-age women, while educating and empowering professional women.
About 10 students and staff members from Arizona State University’s Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program will attend the conference, said program director Angela Sanchez. The ASU program mentors girls, starting in seventh grade, toward college graduation.
"To be surrounded by professional women is very inspiring," Sanchez said. "We are planting this idea that they can dream big and go to college . . . and become a professional in any field that they desire."
Speakers will include Maria Elena Salinas, anchor for Miami, Fla.’s Univision, and Linda Alvarado, construction company owner and partowner of the Colorado Rockies.
Women also will hear about how to become politically involved.
"We think it’s incredibly important not only that they vote, but that they are not afraid to run for city council or start out with the PTA," said conference chairwoman and Phoenix advertising executive Sonja Mazon-Rubalcava.
The nonprofit Hispanic Women’s Corporation was founded in 1985 and has been running the conference ever since. It also has a college scholarship program for girls.
For more information
• To find out more about the Hispanic Women’s Corporation or the Hispanic Women’s Conference, call (602) 954-7995 or visit