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Innovative Thinker: Maria Hinojosa

Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love & Hate in a Torn America

Maria Hinojosa is an Emmy & Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist who has collaborated with the most respected networks and is known for bringing humanity to her reporting. Maria understands firsthand how social determinants can influence and damage lives and communities. In this keynote, she relates the history of U.S. immigration policy that has brought us to where we are today, as she shares her deeply personal story to help elevate the conversation around disparities, hoping to make a difference in lives now and for future generations, because this affects all Americans.

Based on her book, Once I Was You, Maria offers a personal and eye-opening account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders but also enabled willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations—charging us with the broken system we have today.

$20 (Free for SITE SANTA FE Members)


About Maria Hinojosa

As a reporter who was the first Latina in many newsrooms, Maria Hinojosa dreamt of a space where she could create independent, multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diverse American experience. She made that dream a reality in 2010 when she created Futuro Media, an independent, nonprofit newsroom based in Harlem, NYC with the mission to create multimedia content from a POC perspective. Futuro does this in the service of empowering people to navigate the complexities of an increasingly diverse and connected world. Hinojosa’s Pulitzer Prize-winning podcast, “Suave”, focuses on her relationship with David Luis "Suave" Gonzalez, in addition to telling the story of thousands of other people sentenced to die in prison for a crime they committed as a minor. “Suave” is gut-wrenching, deeply personal and full of heart.

As the Anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, distributed by NPR, as well as Co-Host of In The Thick, the Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. Her new book, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, Hinojosa tells the story of immigration in America through her family’s experiences and decades of reporting, painting an unflinching portrait of a country in crisis. She is also a contributor to the long-running, award-winning news program CBS Sunday Morning and a MSNBC Contributor.

Hinojosa’s nearly 30-year career as an award-winning journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN, NPR and anchoring the Emmy Award-winning talk show from WGBH Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. She is the author of two books and has won dozens of awards, including: four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAHJ. She has been honored with her own day in October in New York City and has been recognized by People En Español as one of the 25 most powerful Latina women. Additionally, Hinojosa was the first Latina to anchor a PBS FRONTLINE report: “Lost in Detention,” which aired in October 2011 and was the first to explore abuse at immigrant detention facilities, garnering attention from Capitol Hill as well as
both the mainstream and Spanish-language media.

As a reporter for NPR, Hinojosa was among the first to report on youth violence in urban communities on a national scale. During her eight years as CNN’s urban affairs correspondent, Hinojosa often took viewers into communities rarely shown on television and continued that work longform on Now on PBS. At Futuro Media, Hinojosa continues to bring attention to experiences and points of view that are often overlooked or underreported in mainstream media, all while mentoring the next generation of diverse journalists to delve into authentic and nuanced stories. She is the author of four books: Crews, Raising Raul, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, and The Young Reader's version of her memoir Once I Was You. These days her focus is deep accountability investigative journalism.

In 2018 she was a Fellow at Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a frequent speaker across the country. In 2019, she was named the inaugural Distinguished Journalist in Residence at her Alma Mater, Barnard College. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Thank You!

Special thanks to the Gale Family Foundation for their leading support of the INNOVATIVE THINKER SPEAKER SERIES.

INNOVATIVE THINKER was established as an annual event to honor SITE SANTA FE’s former Director of Education, Juliet Myers. SITE SANTA FE’s INNOVATIVE THINKER SPEAKER SERIES brings leading cultural figures to Santa Fe, NM, to illuminate cross-disciplinary contemporary issues.