Major “Change”: First Hispana Honored on U.S. Money
In August 2022, the U.S. Mint will begin circulating quarters commemorating a Hispanic woman – Nina Otero-Warren. This will be the first time that the life and legacy of a Hispanic woman is recognized on any form of U.S. currency. Check your pockets for this positive “change”!
Who was Nina Otero-Warren?
Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren was born in New Mexico in 1881 to parents who could trace their ancestry to the early Spanish colonists of Nuevo Mexico in the 1700s. She spent much of her life working on important social causes and participating in government to better the lives of women, Hispanos and Native Americans. Otero-Warren is best known for being:
- A Prominent “Suffragette”: Before 1919, women in the United States were not allowed to vote. “Suffragettes” was the term used to describe women and women’s activist groups that fought to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The 19th Amendment guarantees women’s right to vote by making it illegal to discriminate with respect to voting rights on the basis of sex: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Otero-Warren was prominent in the woman’s suffrage movement in her home state of New Mexico. She also worked to involve the Spanish-speaking community in the struggle, translating suffragette speeches and pamphlets into Spanish. The Spanish phrase on her new quarter – “Voto Para La Mujer” – is a translation of one of the movement’s main slogans: “Votes for Women.”
- The First Hispanic Woman to Run for U.S. Congress: In 1922, Otero-Warren ran for New Mexico’s (then) only seat in the House of Representatives. (New Mexico now has three seats in the House.) She lost the race, in part because of her support for the teaching of Spanish language and culture in public schools.
- The First Female Superintendent of Instruction in New Mexico: Otero-Warren was in charge of Santa Fe public schools from 1917 to 1929. At a time when students were punished for speaking Spanish in the classroom, Otero-Warren advocated for a gentler, more inclusive education environment. She changed the curriculum to include the teaching of Spanish language and culture; hired Hispano teachers; improved the physical condition of Santa Fe schools; and lengthened the school day. Otero-Warren also opposed placing Native American children in boarding schools away from their parents and reservation lands.
The American Women Quarters™ Program
The Mint is the part of the U.S. government responsible for making coins. (Paper money is made by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.) From 2022-2026, the Mint will produce quarters that honor a diverse group of women who have made significant contributions to America. Many of the women honored and their accomplishments historically have been underrepresented and underappreciated. To learn more about the American Women Quarters™ Program and Nina Otero-Warren, check out this video:
Info / InspirationEllen Ochoa Is Out of This WorldApril 06
Student LifeHispanic Scholarship Spotlight: The New Mexico Legislative Lottery ScholarshipOctober 21
Info / InspirationIn NASA’s New Interactive Graphic Novel, a Latina is the “First Woman” on the Moon!September 11
Student LifeLatinas Lead Two (!) Prestigious Harvard Student PublicationsAugust 22
Info / InspirationOn the Record with NYT Journalist Lourdes Garcia-NavarroApril 06
Student Life35 Top Science Competitions for High School StudentsJanuary 31
Student Life45 Exciting Environmental Science Internships for High School StudentsOctober 18
Student Life35 High School Internships in the Bay AreaJanuary 22
Student LifeUltimate Guide to Middle and High School CompetitionsOctober 26
PlayThe Right “Stuff”: Best Piñata Treats for TeensOctober 30