Houston Latino Icons

A three-part series from Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall, in collaboration with Tony Diaz, Director of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say.

Lina Hidalgo

Lina Hidalgo

Lina Hidalgo currently serves as county judge for Harris County, the first woman elected to the position. Born in Bogota, Colombia, she moved to Houston when she was 15 years old, and later graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science. In addition to championing bail reform during her tenure as county judge, Hidalgo continues to be instrumental in ensuring safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Johnny Mata, photo by Pablo Rocha

Johnny Mata

Houston activist Johnny Mata, former head of the Civil Rights Committee for District 8 of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation’s largest Hispanic service organization, has been an advocate for Houston’s Latino community for over 40 years. Mata has been instrumental in local activism surrounding criminal just reform, police brutality, and labor conditions. He currently stands as special advisor to Houston’s police reform task force.

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Dr. Dorothy Caram, photo by Pablo Rocha

Dr. Dorothy Caram

As an educator, community leader, and cultural ambassador, Dr. Caram has dedicated her life to advancing Latino culture and education. She has served on numerous commissions, boards and committees, including president of the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston. Dr. Caram has been recognized as a tireless advocate for equal access to education and has been named Distinguished Hispanic Citizen of the Year by the mayor of the City of Houston. She has also been formally recognized by the governments of Mexico and Spain for her contributions.

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Watch special Hispanic Heritage Month programming on PBS

Watch special Hispanic Heritage Month programming on WORLD

Resources

Community Spotlight

Houston remembers Macario Ramirez

Macario Ramirez

Our series on Houston Latino Icons is collaboration between Houston Public Media and Tony Diaz. The series was inspired by the passing of Houston Latino community leader Macario Ramirez. As a business owner, activist, and cultural leader, Ramirez inspired many Houstonians, especially those who visited his Mexican folk art store Casa Ramirez in the Heights.

To read more about Ramirez and his impact on the Houston Latino community, click here.