Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas Hosts Inauguration Watch Party

The virtual event will also include a panel discussion on the Latino vote in Arkansas.

Poster for "The Arkansas Latino Vote" featuring panel of speakers

The Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas is hosting a virtual watch party for the inauguration Jan. 20. The watch party will be followed by a live forum called The Arkansas Latino Vote.

Panelists include:

Rafael CollazoRafael Collazo — Director of Political Campaigns for the UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) Department of Legislative and Political Affairs.

Rafael leads the execution of advocacy initiatives, focusing on strategy and campaigning. He recently led UnidosUS’ field campaign efforts to elevate the Latino perspective on federal budget and tax policy. For two decades, Rafael has implemented successful voter registration, leadership development, and community organizing programs, targeting Hispanics in more than 20 states. Prior to his work with UnidosUS, Rafael served as the National Deputy Director of Democracia USA/Democracia, Inc., the nation’s largest nonpartisan Hispanic voter engagement organization.

Ismar Garcia-HernandezIsamar Garcia-Hernandez — Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow 

Isamar was born in San Bernardino, California and raised in Arkansas. She graduated from the University of Arkansas where she had active leadership in the Associated Student Government lobbying for policy reforms such as campus voting sites and sexual assault prevention. Isamar has been mobilized by her passion to serve the Hispanic community and work hard to elevate the voices of people of color at all levels of the U.S. by advancing in political engagement. Isamar was a campaign organizer and legislative assistant for Arkansas Representative Megan Godfrey. She is passionate about immigrant labor rights, public education, and criminal justice reform. Isamar was a 2019-2020 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow and worked for the office of Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas.

Rebecca SotoRebeca Soto — Development Coordinator for the Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas

During her 5 years with HWOA, Rebeca has been involved in numerous civic engagement activities including citizenship assistance, voter registration and advocacy. Rebeca organizes activities to teach youth about government and advocacy. As a young mother, she believes it is through her example that her kids and other young voters will observe the importance of being an informed Latino voter in elections.

Kevin FloresKevin Flores — Springdale City Council, Ward 2 Position 2

Kevin is the first Latino elected to serve on the Springdale City Council. He was born in El Salvador during the country’s civil war. At the age of three, he and his family moved to the U.S. and eventually settled in Springdale where he graduated from Springdale High School in 2006. Kevin is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. After his service, Kevin obtained a B.A. in Economics from Fordham University and a J.D. from the University of Arkansas. He has experience in foreign policy and immigration law.

Bonnie MillerBonnie Miller — President of the League of Women Voters of Washington County  

Originally from Southern California, Bonnie earned a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Race & Ethnic Studies. In 2008, she moved to Arkansas to pursue a graduate degree in Sociology. She has spent several years working on redistricting reform in the state. Bonnie also serves on the Board of Directors for the League of Women Voters of Arkansas and recently served as Chairperson of Arkansas Voters First, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to ending partisan gerrymandering through the establishment of an independent citizen-led redistricting commission. Outside of her redistricting reform work, she helps coordinate voter registration drives and trainings, candidate forums, and education and advocacy programs around ballot issues and elections.

The virtual watch party and panel discussion is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 20. Registration information is available at www.hwoa.org.