April 20, 2021

Maria Hinojosa Once I Was You

Photo Credit: Kevin Abosch

The John Brademas Center welcomed Maria Hinojosa in conversation about her new book, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, with author and former WWE wrestler AJ Mendez. Maria talked about her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago. She offered a personal and illuminating account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also sanctioned willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations—charging us with the broken system we have today.

Maria Hinojosa dreamt of a space where she could create independent, multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diverse American experience. She made that dream a reality in 2010 when she created Futuro Media, an independent, nonprofit newsroom based in Harlem, NYC with the mission to create multimedia content from a POC perspective. As Anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, distributed by PRX, and Co-Host of Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast In The Thick, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad.

Also check out AJ Mendez's most recent book, Crazy is My Superpower.

DC Dialogues

Brademas Center

AJ Mendez

AJ Mendez is the New York Times Bestselling author of Crazy Is My Superpower, co-founder of Scrappy Heart Productions, and former championship wrestler with the WWE. She is a writer, making the Black List’s inaugural Latinx TV List in 2020, co-author of IDW's GLOW and Dungeons & Dragons comic book series, as well as DC’s upcoming Wonder Woman Anthology. A mental health advocate and keynote speaker, AJ serves as an ambassador to The Jed Foundation and The National Alliance on Mental Illness, was honored with NAMI’s 2018 Multicultural Outreach Award & 2020 Leaders of Mental Health Award, and sits on the Board of Directors for The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA. AJ has 6 million engaged followers across Twitter and Instagram @TheAJMendez.