LatinoJustice’s Ninth Annual Latina Trailblazers


CONTACT: Christiaan Perez,, 212-739-7581

New York, NY - Today LatinoJustice honored four Latina Trailblazers who have broken countless barriers to be leaders both in their industry and for the Latino/a community. Whether as community advocates or legal powerhouses, these Latinas epitomize the diversity and achievement of the Latina professional experience.

“It is my privilege, as Board Chair of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, to take part in honoring such an inspirational group of Latinas. Our honorees have shown enormous innovation, perseverance and compassion in blazing new paths that Latinas can follow towards a brighter future,” Maria Melendez, Partner at Sidley Austin LLP.

This year’s honorees are:

Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA of the USA - Alejandra oversees YWCA’s network of 210 assications serving 2.2 million women and girls around the country in 46 states. She also has over two decades of professional experience and has served in senior leadership for two presidential administrations.

“It is an honor to be recognized by LatinoJustice and to be among many trailblazing Latinas, especially Justice Sonia Sotomayor—a true shero! YWCA is celebrating 160 years of action and social impact, centered on helping improve the lives of women of color. I look forward to continuing to work with LatinoJustice to improve the lives of those most marginalized,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Chief Executive Officer at YWCA of the USA.

Angela Fernandez, Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights - Angela has over 20 years of experience advocating for human and civil rights in the United States and internationally. In New York City she has helped build broad city and statewide coalitions to reverse policies that could have devastated vulnerable communities.

“It is an incredible privilege to be honored as a Latina Trailblazer by LatinoJustice PRLDEF. It is humbling to be seen as worthy of such a distinction by an organization that has been a leader in the most critical civil rights issues of our time. From suing the city to stop stop and frisk, to defending working class immigrant women against sexual harassment at the workplace, to fighting back against voter restriction laws and to fighting back against ICE’s racial profiling — there are no words to describe how meaningful this is,” said Angela Fernandez, Esq, Executive Director and Supervising Attorney of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

Lucy Lopez, Deputy General Counsel, McKinsey & Company - Lucy advises senior leadership at McKinsey & Company on risk management and corporate governance issues, overseeing McKinsey’s Managing Partner and board elections and oversees the professional development of a global team of lawyers.

“I am honored to be considered a Latina Trailblazer. It means that somehow, some way, I am managing to open doors for others, helping and enabling Latinas to achieve to their maximum potential. Perhaps I am inspiring a little girl to dream about everything that is possible, about what she can become, and what she is able to do to improve her community, and thus, the world might be enriched by her perspective. These possibilities were not obvious to me when I arrived in the United States at eight years old and found few who encouraged me. Being a trailblazer means helping Latinas see the full range of possibilities and empowering them to vigorously pursue their dreams,” said Lucy Lopez, Deputy General Counsel, McKinsey & Company.

Paola Lozano, Partner,Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP - Paola is co-chair of Skadden’s Latin America Group and heads the firm’s Spanish language corporate practice. She also served as a member of the firm’s Policy Committee.

"I am honored to be named a 'Latina Trailblazer'. LatinoJustice's legal advocacy and education efforts are critical in promoting equality and creating new and vital opportunities for Latinos to succeed,” said Paola Lozano, Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

The Breakfast was generously sponsored by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Lucy Lopez; Goldman Sachs & Company; and Skadden; Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.


LatinoJustice PRLDEF, originally established as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) in 1972, is one of the foremost national nonprofit civil rights legal defense and education funds working to advance, promote, and protect the legal rights of Latina/os throughout the nation. Our work is focused on addressing systemic discrimination and ensuring equal access to justice in the advancement of voting rights, housing rights, educational equity, immigrant rights, language access rights, employment rights, workplace justice, and the discriminatory effects of the criminal justice system, seeking to address all forms of discriminatory bias that adversely impact Latina/os.

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