The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The hour with Hinojosa

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Maria Hinojosa visited SMU’s campus last week as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The+award-winning+journalist+spoke+in+front+of+the+SMU+community+last+week.
Hannah O’Gara
The award-winning journalist spoke in front of the SMU community last week.

Maria Hinojosa visited SMU last Tuesday in the first Hispanic Heritage event to represent the entirety of the campus, said a university spokesperson.

Hinojosa shared the triumphs throughout her career in becoming an award-winning journalist. She is also an author, founder and CEO of Future Media Group. Despite the great success she celebrates today, Hinojosa faced the staggering reality of the journalism industry as she entered the workforce: most were men and most were white.

“When I was growing up, there were no women journalists and there certainly were no journalists who were not white,” Hinojosa said.

She attributes her inspiration of becoming a journalist from watching news coverage filmed in Mexico. She claims there was no television that featured women broadcasters in the United States.

Hinojosa found herself lucky to secure a job in a time of recession and felt proud to tell her father of her accomplishment. She recognized that she had stepped into the role that she had yearned for as a young girl. For Hinojosa to hold this privilege of being a Latina journalist was more than enough to keep herself motivated.

“I can’t be here and feel like I’m small because I’m the first one,” Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa has lived with the stereotypes that Latinos are coming into the U.S. to change the country for the worse. She stated this claim could not be further from the truth.

“You think I’m obsessed with being an immigrant?” Hinojosa asked. “Actually, I’m obsessed with this country’s capacity for inhumanity expressed towards people who are not born here.”

Although seemingly disheartened to learn that her event was the first Hispanic Heritage event to represent the entirety of SMU, Hinojosa was proud to make history on this campus.

“How is it possible that SMU has never had a university-wide Hispanic Heritage event?” Hinojosa asked. “At a place like SMU or Dallas, trying to say ‘Hey, do you see us?’ It’s the university’s loss and I think they understand now that we’re here to make things happen.”

Attendees agreed that Hinojosa’s lecture was important to the SMU community.

“The more inclusive we are, the more everyone benefits from it,” said Anna Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Cox Business School Latino Leadership Initiative. “I just took inspiration from her acknowledging [inclusivity] is an issue because a lot of times it is glossed over,” she said.

Hinojosa’s lecture now holds a mark in the community next to the Women’s History Celebration, Asian American History Heritage Celebration, Veterans Recognition, 9/11 Remembrance, and Black History celebrations.

“By making it a part of the Bridge Builder’s lecture series, the Hispanic Heritage Celebration is now institutionalized as a visible and sustainable part of SMU’s DNA,” said Dr. Maria A. Dixon Hall, Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Advisor to the President.

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About the Contributor
Hannah O'Gara, Sports Editor II
As one of two sports editors, Hannah coordinates and covers SMU varsity, club and intramural sports, telling readers what to expect and providing context for the major games and decisions, such as leaving the AAC for the ACC. Hannah also keeps readers updated on trends in sports and updates SMU varsity sports scores, rosters and standings online. She works closely with the sideline photographer and other editors to coordinate online content for audience engagement.  You can reach her at [email protected].