Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa ’84 — the founding anchor and executive producer of NPR’s Latino USA — was already happily sharing stories even as she sat down in Sulzberger Parlor for an interview with Fatima Burgos ’21, president of student organization Mujeres. The large silver earrings Hinojosa was wearing were a gift from American Book Award-winning author Sandra Cisneros. Sulzberger Parlor was the very same room in which, decades ago, she realized she could be a journalist. “Being back at Barnard is a dream come true,” she said of the College she credits for giving her the tools she needed to navigate challenging stories.
The interview celebrates Latinx pride and Hinojosa’s position as the College’s inaugural Journalist-in-Residence, where she offers a peek into her class “Latinx and the ICE/Prison Industrial Complex: Access and Strategies for News Coverage.”
A media icon, Hinojosa has dedicated her career to giving voice to the voiceless. She is the anchor of the award-winning political podcast In the Thick and the recipient of four Emmys, the 2012 Johnchild Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged, and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for Child Brides: Stolen Lives. Recently, Hinojosa was one of several luminaries honored during the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s 2019 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, which also included portraits of Cisneros, Celia Cruz, Dolores Huerta, Frida Kahlo, Sonia Sotomayor, and more.
For Burgos, the opportunity to interview a legendary journalist was “incredible.” The San Francisco native and proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants admires Hinojosa for “paving the way for many women like myself interested in media and representing Latinx issues at a national level, and also because of her wisdom that has impacted so many people.” The psychology major, who is minoring in race and ethnicity, continued: “In the amount of time I sat with her I felt understood, I learned so many things, and I was incredibly proud to be a Barnard Latina, just like her.”
Watch the dynamic interview below: