Meriden native creates event to empower Latinas

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Growing up in central Connecticut, Marilyn Alverio said she faced discrimination. As a professional, working at a director level, she realized there was a lack of opportunities for Latinas when it came to leadership roles.

The Latinas & Power Symposium was created by Alverio — a Meriden native with Puerto Rican family roots — 19 years ago. She contacted a group of other Latinas working in the Hartford area and they started to get together for lunch to discuss strategies for success, leading Alverio to create the Latinas & Power Symposium.

Alverio feels Latinas have been viewed as “invisible” and wanted the symposium to be a place that demonstrated the talents and skills of Latinas in the workplace. The first symposium was in 2004, with 186 attendees. Over the years, about 10,000 have participated, Alverio said. 

The 2022 Latinas & Power Symposium

“The future is bright: opportunities, preparedness & choices” is the theme of this year’s event on June 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marriott Downtown Hartford.

CNBC Correspondent Bertha Coombs and Emmy Award-winning producer and author Nely Galán will be the keynote speakers. Panelists include Dr. Elsa Núñez, president of Eastern Connecticut State University; Diana Pagano, founder of the “Make Things Happen” movement; Yvette Peña, vice president of Latino Audience Strategy at AARP; and Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, author of “A Woman of Endurance.”

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend the in-person event, which will include lunch and a post-event networking reception starting at 4 p.m. The event will be held virtually also. Men and women from all ethnicities are welcome.

The mission of Latinas & Power is “to inspire, motivate, encourage and enable Latinas to succeed as leaders and advocates by providing them the tools and resources they need,” Alverio said.

Work in progress

Last year Alverio retired from MassMutual after 35-years working in corporate America. She has a political science and cultural anthropology degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Phoenix.

Alverio recently turned the event into the nonprofit Latinas & Power Corporation and serves as chief executive officer. Now the organization is also holding some seminars throughout the year. Another project the organization is working on is The Latinas in Leadership Institute, a three and a half month certification program on leadership and community advocacy.

Latinas & Power is partnering with the University of Connecticut, Hartford campus.

Local community

Adriana Rodríguez, executive director of the Spanish Community of Wallingford, said that she and some of her team members attended the 2021 symposium. She said the event was “empowering and revitalizing.”

“The program started with the CEO & founder dancing her way to the stage to salsa music and it definitely set the energy for the symposium,” Rodríguez said. “It was an incredible feeling to be surrounded by Latinas of all ages and backgrounds in one room. It was a day full of personal growth and learning.”

For more information about Latinas & Power or to become a sponsor, visit

ksantos@record-journal.com203-317-2364Twitter: @KarlaSantosNews


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