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Zenaida Mendez - Air date: 05-20-08

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Published on May 16, 2008

Zenaiada Meanez is the Director of External affairs at Manhattan Neighborhood Network -- the Public Access Cable Television facility in Manhattan.
She was Founder of the Dominican Women's Caucus, Racial Diversity Director for the National Organization for Women (NOW). Former Project Director for the Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit . Biographical information was assumable by the National Organization as follow: Director of Racial Diversity Programs, NOW Mendez brings to NOW over 20 years of experience working on issues affecting women, including equal pay for equal work, reproductive freedom, education, daycare, housing, and economic, racial and environmental justice. Mendez's national and international activism on behalf of issues affecting people of African descent has earned her recognition in the Latina/o and African American communities as well as many awards and commendations from local, national and international organizations.
She served most recently as the Project Director for the Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. In 2001, Mendez was one of the Women of Color Resource Center's Delegates to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances in Durban, South Africa. In 2002, she was invited to address the forum of the Puerto Rico and United States International Dominican Leadership Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Mendez is president and founder of the National Dominican Women's Caucus, founder of the New York City Dominican Women's Caucus and a member of the Board of Directors of the Dominican American National Roundtable. She has spoken on issues of women's rights, racial and environmental justice, electoral politics, parenting, immigration and Latina/os in the United States. Born in the Dominican Republic, Mendez moved with her parents and two sisters to the U.S. when she was a teenager. She became active in social justice as an advocate for children in New York City. In 1990, Mayor David Dinkins appointed Mendez to his office of Latino Affairs. From 1992-1994 she served as Special Assistant to the New York City Commissioner of Human Rights Dennis de Leon, and for five years she was legislative assistant to Representative Charles B. Rangel.

Mendez has earned a BA in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York, Graduate School of Public Affairs. She also is the proud mother of three daughters, two of them college graduates.

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