The Michigan Hispanic Collaborative is a group of Hispanic
leaders committed to supporting Hispanic students' academic and
professional success. At the MIHC, Martínez focuses on
establishing a network of partnerships to help put in place
proven models that will improve Hispanic academic and employment
Hispanics are a fast-growing group in the United States and
outpace other groups in entrepreneurship and business
establishment. But a stubborn academic completion gap remains.
Nationally, 67.1 percent of Hispanics finish high school and
just 15.3 percent finish college. In Detroit, the rates are 52.7
percent and 6.1 percent respectively.
Martínez is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor and holds a bachelor's degree in Organizational Studies.
She was born and raised in Detroit, and began her career l15
years ago in the private brokerage and banking sector, a role
that evolved into non-profit community economic development as a
financial coach at Southwest Solutions' Center for Working
Families in 2008.
has held her realtor license for more than 15 years and has held
property and casualty and life insurance licenses. She has
dedicated the past 11 years of her career to applying her
financial background to improve systems that assist constituents
with growing their financial awareness. Her professional
experiences have allowed Martínez to pursue her passion, which
is serving others and improving individual and family conditions
EMU event honors Chávez, who was the child of Mexican American
migrant laborers and spent his early years in a succession of
migrant camps, attending school only sporadically.
spent two years in the Navy and returned to migrant farm work.
In 1962, he began organizing the largely Hispanic farm workers
of Arizona and California. A born leader figure, he used strikes
and nationwide boycotts to win union recognition and contracts
for California grape and lettuce growers. He brought his union
to the AFL-CIO, and in 1972 it became the United Farm Workers of
Chávez dedicated his life to building a movement of poor working
people that extended beyond the fields, and into cities and
towns across the nation. He inspired farm laborers and millions
of people to commit themselves to social, economic, and civil
EMU event began in 2009. Since then, the annual event has grown
to include hundreds of students representing more than ten
different high schools throughout southeast and mid-Michigan as
a way to honor the “Service and Learning” component of the
celebration while helping to prepare underserved student
populations for college.
Gonzales Trailblazer Award honors former EMU faculty member
Sandra Gonzales, who helped to lead a campus-wide initiative to
celebrate the César Chávez Day of Service and Learning.
During the Fifth Annual Chávez Day Luncheon, in 2013, Gonzales
returned to EMU to deliver the keynote address. After her talk,
she became the first recipient of the Dr. Sandra M. Gonzales
Trailblazer Award, recognizing Latino/a leaders who have made
significant contributions to the Latinx community on the Eastern
campus and beyond.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university
in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 students
pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and
certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In
all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are
delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and
Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services;
Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized
by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and
commitment to applied education. For more information about
Eastern Michigan University, visit www.emich.edu.