A distinguished group of women will participate in a panel discussion during the upcoming Powerful Latinas Awards ceremony, which is being organized by Latinas Lifestyle and El Sol Latino Newspapers this weekend.
The central theme of the discussion will be “Powerful Perspectives: Latinas Leading the Way.” Four women will share their inspiring stories and experiences on their journey to success.
The Powerful Latinas Awards recognize Hispanic women in the United States who have made a difference in their communities or surroundings through their invaluable contributions in a variety of fields.
The Powerful Latinas Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 9 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown.
The panelists include women who work in areas such as public service, education, arts/culture, non-profit, and advocacy.
Powerful Perspectives: Latinas Leading the Way
Vanessa Caracoza, Deputy Executive Director, Office of the City Commissioners, City of Philadelphia
Vanessa Caracoza, Deputy Executive Director for the Office of the City Commissioners where she is part of the executive team of the office that leads election administration and voter registration.
Vanessa is an active community leader. She is the co-chair of the Community Resource Group for Latinidad in the City of Philadelphia where she engages with thousands of Latino employees and creates programming such as networking events and professional development opportunities for employees to engage and feel part of a community. Vanessa also serves as Director of Community Engagement for the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA) Philadelphia.
Vanessa is an inspiration to young women in Philadelphia. She shows how the power of commitment, passion and resilience can make an impact in communities.
Jannette Diaz, Chief Executive Officer, Congreso de Latinos Unidos
Jannette Diaz, current President & CEO of Congreso. She served as Congreso’s Interim President & CEO from March to October of 2023 driving the agency forward through transition while also serving as Congreso’s first Chief Experience Officer (CXO). Ms. Diaz has over 30 years of knowledge and experience of working in the non- profit and for-profit sector. Jannette started her career with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia working with youth involved in the Juvenile Justice System and the Department of Human Services.
She is currently serving on Governor Shapiro’s Advisory Commission on Women. She obtained a Bachelors of Science in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Chestnut Hill University. Jannette grew up in North Philadelphia and remains connected to her roots. She is a proud mother and grandmother.
Nasheli Juliana Ortiz González, Executive Director, Taller Puertorriqueño
Nasheli Juliana Ortiz González, hailing from Caguas, Puerto Rico, is a multifaceted individual – a designer, entrepreneur, academic, and activist. At the helm of Nasheli Juliana, an apparel company committed to social justice, she blends cultural leadership with artistic advocacy, making groundbreaking contributions to the fashion industry. Her influence extends globally, having collaborated with international icons like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and others, and showcasing her work at premier High Fashion Weeks worldwide.
With a remarkable 17-year tenure in academia, Ortiz González previously served as the Fashion and Textile Chair at Moore College of Art and Design before assuming the role of Executive Director at Taller Puertorriqueño, El Corazón Cultural del Barrio. In the art world, she has left her mark as a guest curator, producer, and artistic director for exhibitions at esteemed institutions such as the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Whitney Museum of Arts.
As a dedicated advocate for community-based development within Latinx communities, Ortiz González actively shapes the future of fashion manufacturing as a member of the Philadelphia Fashion Garment and Industry Task Force. Her global impact is evident through features in renowned publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Forbes, and Netflix, embodying a pioneering journey where creativity, activism, and entrepreneurship seamlessly converge.
Yvette A. Núñez, Chief of Staff, Mastery Schools
Yvette A. Núñez, Chief of Staff at Mastery Schools, a charter school network with 24 schools across Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ with 1800 employees serving 14,000 students. In that role she has oversight of the organization’s central office and external strategy portfolio, including advocacy, communications, development, and partnerships. She has more than 25 years of experience at the intersection of communications and public policy in the nonprofit sector, and prior to her role at Mastery, served as Vice President of Communications at UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino advocacy organization. There, she led a team of 25 and regularly interfaced with the White House and Congressional offices while executing a national narrative change strategy and multistate advocacy communications campaigns. In Philadelphia, she has served as Vice President of Civic Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, Chief Communications Officer at Congreso, and held a number of other external affairs roles in the nonprofit sector and federal government.
Yvette is the first person in her family to graduate from high school, is an honors graduate from Temple University, and earned her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. She serves on the PIDC NMTC & Community Capital Advisory Board as well as the board of CEIBA.
She lives in Cherry Hill, NJ and is the very proud mother of four children: William, Olivia, Cruz and Noah.
Yocasta Lora, AARP PA, Associate State Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement
Yocasta Lora, serves as Associate State Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement for AARP PA. She leads national and state initiatives through advocacy and community engagement. In November of this year, Yocasta was also promoted to lead the Multicultural Market in the Philadelphia region, overseeing the Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ+, Asian American Pacific Islander, and African American Black markets.
In 2023, she was named in the City & State Impact 50 as one of Pennsylvania’s most powerful forces for environmental, social, and governance improvement and the Philadelphia Urbanist Changemaker of the Year. Her current civic engagements include serving on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women under Governor Shapiro, for the Montgomery County Advisory Council for Equity, for the Pennsylvania Pedestrian and Pedalcycle Advisory (PPAC), and the Philadelphia Mayor-Elected Cherelle Parker Transition Team. She also serves as a board member for the City of Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO), Share Food Program, and HACE.
Lora’s education includes a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) degree from La Salle University, an Executive Education Women’s Leadership Certificate from Yale University, and Effective Organizational Communication and Communication Strategies from Harvard University.
La ceremonia de los Powerful Latinas Awards contará con dos coanfitrionas de lujo.
Ariane Datil is a Murrow and Emmy award winning journalist and the national host of VERIFY, national fact-checking brand that airs in more than 60 tv stations across the country. During her time with VERIFY she has helped debunk misinformation about major news stories including federal and state election results, state laws impacting the rights of LGBTQ+ identifying people, the spread of infectious diseases including covid-19 and monkeypox, and images/videos claiming to show footage from the war in Israel and Hamas, among other things.
Lori Lizarraga, Murrow and Emmy-award winning international reporter. Current Host, Code Switch, NPR