The stories of women of color (and of those belonging to marginalized communities) are often invisible. And while we’ve seen mainstream media cover these stories with more regularity in recent years, we still have a lot of work to do. (Media is still overwhelmingly white, after all.) But as we wait for the world to catch up, several have taken to Instagram to build platforms that shine a light on the women in our communities. Through their posts, we learn about women who look like us, who have similar stories as us, or who come from the same backgrounds – in short, they could be us.
With Women’s History Month taking place this month, we’ve seen more woman-centered stories. But for many of these platforms, uplifting women is a year-round task.
Below, check out 15 Instagram accounts that empower Latinas and other women of color.
Brown Girls Museum Blog
Women of color have been shut out of many industries, including the art world. But with the Brown Girls Museum Blog, Ravon Ruffin and Amanda Figueroa have tried to bring our voices to the forefront. On Instagram, the pair shows us how they take space in a mostly white, male-dominated field, while also putting us onto many talented woman creatives of color.
Nalgona Positivity Pride
Nalgona Positivity Pride is a body-positive and eating disorder awareness project. While there are plenty of platforms meant to empower these groups of women, they don’t always look at the role race and culture can play. But NPP does.
Even based on the name, it’s easy to see that Grow Mija is all about positivity. Run by artist Iliana, this Instagram account features images of women of all races and shapes to show that we all deserve to thrive.
Jenay Wright, the founder of #IAmEnough, dedicates her time to bringing the stories of AfroLatinas to light. On Instagram, she celebrates Afro-Latinas’ accomplishments – past and present – as well as that of other women across the African diaspora.
Started by Ilian Panameño and Mu-Chieh Yun, We, Ceremony is a visual platform that regularly posts the stories womxn and femmes of color. Drop by and you’ll probably find a new hero or two.
Despite greater acceptance of natural hair, there are some who still believe that “pelo malo” exists. Rizos Dominicanos is there to show that every hair should be valued through beautiful images of curls of all kinds.
Central American Art & Beauty
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Here to introduce myself, my name is Zaira & I am the creator of this page Well friends, here we go again, in celebration mode!! It’s a festive gala, a jamboree commemorating this page’s 2nd birthday I hope it’s been good for you as it’s been for me. Together we have explored culture, art, reminisced on memories, honored legendary people, shared stories, made friendships, etc. We’ve shared plenty of frustrations affecting our communities, but we’ve also smiled and gleamed with pride at our triumphs. Most of all, I want to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for your loyal support & participation on here. It has become a little bit more tricky finding time to share content as I am still in school and working part time but I don’t intent to stop any time soon . For two terrific years now, y’all have truly kept this page spinning, seeking, & striving. That’s no exaggeration. I wish there was a way to show my appreciation & express my sincere gratitude to all of you personally ✨ #2ndBirthday #2ndAnniversary #CentAmArtAndBeauty #CentralAmericanLove #ThankYouSoMuchEveryone #IAmCentAm
While Central American Art & Beauty uses Instagram (and Twitter) to highlight people from Panama, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, founder Zaira Miluska is very committed to telling the stories of womxn from the isthmus.
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Hola, mi nombre es Johanny Navarro (@johannyivelisse) y soy compositora de música clásica y arreglista. Desde niña sabía que quería dedicarme a este arte. Siempre sentí una necesidad de escribir música y compartirla con los demás. Vengo de un hogar lleno de músicos y rodeado de música puertorriqueña, por eso en mi estilo incorporo ritmos autóctonos como la bomba, la plena y los aguinaldos. Tengo la oportunidad de crear música nueva y con ello expresar mis emociones, pensamientos y convicciones. Cada obra se ensaya y luego se lleva al escenario donde será escuchada frente a la audiencia. ¡Es un trabajo hermoso! No ha sido fácil, pero gracias a Dios y la clase artística local, y otros países que apoyan mi trabajo y me comisionan obras, he podido mantenerme trabajando. Además de hacer música de concierto, también he trabajado música para ballet, danza contemporánea y, mi favorita, la ópera. He tenido la oportunidad de escribir para conjuntos de cámara, solos, dúos, coros y orquesta sinfónica. Sueño con componer música clásica relevante a nuestros tiempos como puertorriqueños. Soy hija de esta patria y es mi orgullo más grande, es por eso que he decidido adentrar mi cultura caribeña en mi sonoridad. Actualmente me encuentro componiendo mi próxima ópera que se estrena este año, además escribiendo la obra “Areytos” para flauta y órgano, comisionada por Andrés Mojica y Ana M. Hernández, que se estrenará en julio en la Catedral St. Patrick en Nueva York. Somos muy pocas las compositoras mujeres, en especial latinas, que trabajamos en la industria de la música clásica. Aunque, en los últimos años, se ha visto el empuje que hemos dado para que se nos den los espacios para la presentación y exposición de nuestro arte. Poco a poco las jevas hemos hecho camino para ser escuchadas, respetadas y admiradas por la calidad auténtica de nuestro trabajo musical. ¡Gracias por incluirme en este espacio lleno de jevas que llenan de orgullo a nuestro Puerto Rico!
Jevas is succinct about its mission. It wants to draw attention to “mujeres que meten.” And it does, with each post showing us a woman who has made her mark on the island.
The Mujerista is all about showing the strength of the women in our communities.
Mujeristas Collective is a space to celebrate and discuss Latinas and women of color.
Necia Media Collective
Necia Media Collective describes itself as a “womxn of color critically conscious arts and multimedia network.” Through nearly 800 posts, Necia has shown women the barriers that exist and given them the encouragement to keep fighting.
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A harsh reality is that as students of color we are judged harshly by faculty and other students when it comes to determining our potential or granting access to opportunities in school. I remember so deeply wanting to be part of the “elite” trial team at my school, but going into tryouts already feeling defeated bc I knew they wouldn’t select a short, brown girl to join the team (bc when you looked at the roster of the prior teams, it was overwhelmingly white—blinding almost ). But I tried out anyway (didn’t make it) and instead created different opportunities for myself and other Latinx students. The latest blog post shares why it’s important to go into spaces that aren’t yours, that are uncomfortable, but then you do your damndest to turn them into your space, because that will eventually make it <our> space. || And this is my long-winded way of saying, even if it doesn’t seem like you’ll make it, please, please, por fas—try out for moot court and journal!! It’s scary and you may feel it’s not for you—but it is. Take on the challenge and try out!
Nubia Willman, the lawyer behind Latinas Uprising, shares her wisdom and encouraging words with women who are (or are interested) in the legal field, a profession where we are woefully underrepresented.
Editor’s Note: Nubia Willman writes a column, Ask an Immigration Lawyer, for Remezcla.