Latin American Conference empowers Hispanic-American Women


Bohdanna Cherstylo

The event was hosted in the banquet rooms from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For one day, the Banquet Room of the Oakland Center was filled to the brim with empowered Latinas.

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Latina Empowerment Conference  on Oct. 8 worked to educate and improve opportunities for Hispanic-American women from Oakland University and the surrounding communities in the area.

The conference was a product of one member of Michigan’s Latina community, Teresa Beltrán, CEO of Beltran Media. Her work for the Latina community focuses on media efforts to provide social and career resources for Hispanic-American women.

The Ask the Latina conference, along with its accompanying website,, was created to “benefit Latinas at different stages of  life by building valuable social, economic, and business connections,” according to the Ask the Latina event program.

The event itself hosted a score of speakers, all ranging in experience and vocation. The more notable speakers included OU’s Vice President for Student Affairs Glenn McIntosh and Christine Chavez, granddaughter of Hispanic rights activist Cesar E. Chavez.

The event started with opening statements by Beltrán and a speech by McIntosh.

“We have a lot of power within our grasp,” McIntosh said during his opening speech. “We just have to use it.”

The event was then organized around various workshops and panel discussions, some offered in both English and Spanish, and others only in one language or the other.

The workshops were on issues pertinent to the Hispanic-American community. Each workshop featured a presentation prepared by Hispanic-American professionals in their career fields, as well as a panel discussion of Latin American practitioners in the featured fields.

Workshop topics included diabetes in the Latino community, career options financial security, immigration in Michigan and tips for starting a business. Each workshop lasted approximately an hour.

For more information on the resources provided in this conference and similar events in the future, students can visit